The North and South Thompson Rivers merge in Kamloops
This morning I scrolled through the posts I’ve written since arriving in Canada. Pickings are slim – there has been a lot going on, and I’ve not had a lot of time to blog.
Living in Kamloops and living in Merida are as different as you can imagine. Both places have their own beauty, and their own challenges.
Merida is hot and humid for much of the year, but the winter months are glorious. The city lies just 30 kilometers from the Gulf of Mexico and the topography is flat as a pancake. My garden is lush and tropical. Kamloops is cold and dry in the winter, but during the summer months, the days are long and lovely. It is far from the ocean, but a string of lakes are close by. Sage and Ponderosa pine cover the surrounding hills.
The ancestral people who settled in the Kamloops area, called it, T’kemlups, which means, “the meeting of the rivers”. Indeed, right alongside downtown Kamloops, two major rivers join – the South Thompson, flowing from the warm interior – and the North Thompson from the frigid high mountains. The merging causes the water to rise and spill over the banks to form Kamloops Lake. Later the lake narrows and becomes a river again. A few hundred miles further downstream, the Thompson River meets the Frazer River in a gorge called Hell’s Gate. After a series of deathly rapids and undertows, the mighty river calms and meanders its way west until it reaches the Pacific Ocean.
Oh the parallels I could draw from this tale of two rivers! I lived fulltime in Mexico for more than 40 years. Through my family life and my involvement in the community, I grew to feel at home there. Nonetheless, memories of my Canadian home and that identity never left me. Most of the time, the loyalties I feel to both Canada and Mexico harmoniously coexist. Nonetheless, there are occasions when my emotional equilibrium feels like “Hell’s Gate”.
A bicultural life has its share of turbulence – my decision to live in Canada for half the year created a good deal of inner conflict. But after three months here in Kamloops, I think my two “halves” are fusing again. I feel strong and peaceful.
And guess what? Even though my Canadian stay is not finished, I will be traveling to Merida for two weeks. I have some paperwork to look after and I long to see Jorge, Carlos and Maggie. I want to swim in my pool and see how my garden is growing.
Jorge will fly back to Vancouver with me, and before his return flight to Mexico, we’ll spend Thanksgiving, Halloween and Dia de Muertos with each other.
Changes in our Lives – Whew! You can say that again.