On Leaving Vancouver

Professional Development Day strikes fear into many the heart of a Science World employee. It brings screaming toddlers plus older siblings.

No School! Day off! Let’s go to Science World!  Crowds of families descend on the spherical glass building, a monument to science and inquiry and a huge indoor playground to boot. I’m sitting in the Cafe, one of my favorite spots in this city.

Vancouver’s sense of place slices me with the serrated edge of its beauty. Nowadays, familiar scenes bring my heart into my throat. I know I might be leaving this city. Familiarity woos the eye of the beholder just as easily as it can numb. In my case, it’s anything but numbness.

For 12 years, the city on water, the city under mountains, the city of sea-to-sky fame has been my reality. It’s hard to imagine any future place that could top Vancouver’s collision of the everyday and the mythological.

In my foreground: screaming toddlers, lunching mothers, poutine-sucking preteens, a sleeping dad with baseball cap pulled over his eyes. All this flanked by a huge window, framing the Cambie Street Bridge and the waters of False Creek. Lazy afternoon sunlight bounces off a white railing, rimming the wharf. Water taxis float by in blissful revery, oblivious to the storm of spilled ketchup and cookie crumbs just beyond one large pane of glass.

The mundane and carnal are right up front—ethereal waterfront scenery flickers behind. I’m aware that I may soon have to say goodbye to moments like this.

Yup. Impending loss definitely sweetens what is already good.

On the shore of Vancouver's Fraser River

On the shore of Vancouver’s Fraser River