I arrived at my friend Lucca’s apartment near Commercial Drive in the late afternoon. I drank in the sight of green grass and the spring flowers – I had left Whitehorse in a snowstorm. We had our ritual cup of tea and then headed off to a little Italian restaurant called Marcellos. It’s become a common haunt for us when I’m in Vancouver, and on this night we were meeting Iris and Iris’ friend Ally there for dinner.
It was great to see the girls. Iris looks healthy and happy. She gave me a beautiful birthday card (the words she wrote sustained me many a time on the Camino) and a pair of earrings. The story of the earrings is an odd one. She presented me with a little bag, but when I opened it there was nothing inside. The earrings had somehow wiggled their way out. Iris and Ally went back outside to look for them while I searched the floor inside the restaurant. And thankfully I located them under a chair. Lying right beside a dime.
For those of you who know me well, you’ll be aware that dimes hold special significance for me. Shortly after my mom died, I started finding dimes everywhere – walking down the street, on the floor at home, stuffed under couch cushions, and in my pockets. I remember once I was having a particular difficult day and I found seven dimes! I couldn’t figure out what this was all about…it was always dimes and not other coinage. Then someone said that these might be from my mom since this only started happening after she died and that the dime with its Bluenose schooner is a fitting reminder of my N.S. roots.
In any event, I took this to mean that my mom would be with me on the Camino and I slipped the coin in my pocket for good luck (after asking Iris to hold it in her hand for a few minutes to add her own energy to it).
Now that the earrings had been found, I was delighted with them and I vowed to wear them every day on the Camino. And I did, up until the last few days, when once again they disappeared and have not been found since. I contacted the last few places I stayed in hopes that those earrings would show up, but no such good luck. Iris says given their early history the earrings were destined to be lost. At least I had them for most of my trip, and every time I’d put them on I’d smile and think of Iris.
After dinner I said good-bye to Iris and Ally and headed back to Lucca’s. I knew it was going to be a very short night, and it was. I think I got about two hours sleep before I had to drag myself out of bed and into a taxi bound for the airport. Next stop: Toronto.