I was to be off to Cozumel for a couple of weeks of Caribbean vacation, but it wasn’t to be. I received a call late last Sunday telling me someone running a red light had killed my mother Moralea; ironically as she was setting on a cross-continent drive from Victoria, BC to Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. So, we took our already packed bags and flew to Canada, which is where I’ll be for the next couple weeks.
Some of you may remember my mother’s articles about butterflies and moths, but she also wrote about her travels through this country and her love of the corner ice cream shop you can find in nearly every plaza. She visited this country three or four times a year, always stopping in Vallarta to visit for a few weeks at a time.
On occasion, we’d make a more extended trip together. Once the tourism agency of Oaxaca put us up for a week, touring dozens of very old, very beautiful churches (but which neither of us particularly cared about), and as we were driving through the mountains from church to church, she would ask to pull over every time we passed a field of wildflowers, so she could look for her beloved butterflies.
On that same trip, we spent a day at the Monte Alban archeology site, which is spectacular and much more my jam than churches. We wandered around, going our separate ways and hours later I found her in the public bathrooms, up on the counter trying to get a closer shot of a giant moth, much to the bemusement of the other people using the loo. Priorities.
Other times she’d be content to wander the dirt roads behind my house in the city, camera in hand finding tiny pockets of beauty. She loved to photograph Mexico and loved to share her findings with everyone. Her Facebook is a veritable treasure of photos of plants and creatures from Mexico to Canada.
Moralea’s favourite place in Vallarta was the Vallarta Botanical Garden, which she would visit a couple of times a year, setting out early on her own and navigating her way to the bus, despite her complete lack of Spanish. Amongst other things, Moralea was a horticulturist, who specialized in natural restorations and the environment was the lens with which she viewed the rest of her life through. She was proud of the (albeit slow) changes that parts of Mexico are making with single-use plastics. We lost a good one. Thank you to everyone who sent messages. It is appreciated.
Hug those closest to you.