In 1956 when I was ten, my family moved from our post-war, veterans’ cottage on Viau Street in Montréal Est to West Hill Avenue in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce; I told my best friend Dale we were moving to the Wild West. My parents had said so. Margaret, we’re moving out west.
Dale and I vowed to write. When I learned we’d still be in Montréal, our plan changed to meeting on the pilgrim-knee-worn, winter wood-covered steps of Saint-Joseph’s Oratory, where English Catholic kids loved to go—okay, to pray, but more to stand in awe before the glass-encased, preserved heart of (recently sainted)Brother André who started things off, and stare slack-jawed at the crutches, leg and back-braces hanging high in niches hot with burning red, green and gold vigil-lights, and thrown off—up there—after miraculous cures by the saint.
My heart too is still here—but I be no saint!