Leaving Del Rio

It’s been dry for seven months. On the way in from Del Rio International Airport, my father told us that the local church congregations have been saying rain prayers all spring.

Dad, my step-mother and younger siblings moved here almost ten years ago. Del Rio is his long-awaited escape from Southern Ontario winters, a Texas border town just 3 miles from Mexico. I’ve visited a number of times over the years; its low-key charm and arid climate make it a good vacation spot and writing retreat for me.

I toured Stealing Nasreen through here three years ago and am back with Six Metres of Pavement for a couple of readings, a book signing and a creative writing workshop. Each event has been attended by welcoming, interested readers, people who asked lots of questions about writing process, and the characters and setting in Six Metres of Pavement. They wanted to know about Toronto, Ismail’s mistake, Celia’s agonias. Del Rio is a frontier town with an artist’s heart.

It’s now a week later, and my partner and I wait at the airport. There are only two outbound flights a day, and ours has been grounded due to a thunderstorm with hail the “size of golf balls”. The airport staff have made us coffee, and changed the channel in the waiting room to Disney to entertain the children. They got the rain they prayed for after all.

Dad at Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Del Rio

2 thoughts on “Leaving Del Rio

  1. I am writing from Del Rio, Texas, on the “frontier”. I just finished reading Six Metres of Pavement–a quiet, refreshing, poignant journey of the soul. I am first generation U.S. citizen, my parents were immigrants from Mexico, so I am very familiar with the immigrant experience. The edges of this lovely tale of loss, atonement, and self-discovery touched the edges of my own life. In order to go on, Ismail finds he must FORGIVE HIMSELF, and open himself up for love. As does Celia–she herself must learn to FORGIVE HERSELF. Theirs is a voyage of flawed humanity, of adulthood, of a life lived imperfectly, but a life LIVED. What a quiet and luminous story unfolds about each other and about their delightful friends, especially Fatima. I await hungrily for your next project and wish you the best on your writing journey.

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