7 in the morning finds me sitting at Paquebot café’s bay window, facing the granite poem that is Mont Royal. Shrouded in fog or sparkling in the frosty light, it watches over the dogs romping in the park. Those little characters cross the street before my very eyes with no regard for how much I miss my Miss Tibby. Nor do the cyclists care that I had to ditch Maple Leaf the Bike in the US.
On Fridays, I pack my being into my snail shell and backpack to the wind-swept fields of the St Lawrence plain. My man and my dog are waiting for me there. The revised room in Montreal was too small to hold us all. After the reunion show-and-tell, we puppy pile onto the couch in front of the fireplace for a weekend of writing and research. Monday morning, I reenact the ritual of my foremothers’ generations. I trek into Montreal from a far-flung rural community to study. A room facing a brick wall is where I rest my head. It wouldn’t be out of place in Manhattan. And the neighborhood! If you’ve not heard of the Plateau, it’s a bilingual Brooklyn, with better croissants and cheaper coffee.
Montreal sings its ode, but I haven’t had time to dance to it. I’m knee deep in the preparation for my thesis, and I’m grant-writing for a food museum. I’ve had nightmares that I’ve been in Montreal without knowing it. It’s happening. Every minute of every day is scheduled—even Fun gets planned. How else to squeeze all the learning from this year of reflection and intellectual exploration?
Watching the fine snow lace the trees and blur the woods, I’d extend this moment forever if I could.