I said goodbye to Susan the other day. She was leaving for London for two weeks, and I dropped her at the airport. Planning to spend some nights at her son’s apartment, she had packed bedding into a huge suitcase, which dwarfed her as she stood next to it. It was a pretty humorous site. We had left Montreal for the airport at the peak of afternoon rush hour and had given ourselves one full hour to get there, but surprisingly the road opened up for us all the way there. It was almost like magic, like Mary Poppins magic. No traffic, no construction. Even when I mentioned there wasn’t any traffic it didn’t jinx us. Twenty-three minutes from her door to the airport drop off lane! I unloaded the steamer and I stood beside her. I kissed her mouth and put both my hands on her cheeks. Her eyes sparkled, not from the kiss (I don’t think) but from the gold inside her that those of us lucky to be close to her recognise. And then she walked through the doors and into the terminal. It was a hard goodbye, that part of it, the walking away part. The metaphor of her preparing for and moving toward death was almost too much for me. Then she turned, smiled, and waved at me through the window. And perhaps with the magic from the drive in the air and her destination, the last scene of Mary Poppins came to mind, in which Mary sees her work complete, smiles, and flies off across the London sky. I guess that made me the cockney chimney sweep waving from the rooftop and telling her not to stay away too long.