Thursday, June 21, 2018

Lounging by the pool

Apparently this summer we're making a habit of swimming in the pool at our hospitable friend's country seat in the Village of Ashton. The atmospheric temperature today rose appropriately to 30℃ by mid-afternoon. There was the thinnest trace of gossamer cloud in the sky; the sultry air was still and the peripheral willows languished. The sun seared unrepentantly; we melted in the lounge chairs. After withstanding the scorching yellow orb for a mere moment a revivifying dip in the pool beckoned.  The family dog chose wisely to linger indolently with his tennis ball in the shade by the pump house.

What hasn't diminished is my conviction that anything man-made is merely an encroachment upon nature and that the need to care for and maintain these sometimes stunning fabrications is a relentless preoccupation.  Before our host retired to his private avocation he informed us of certain of the details surrounding the upkeep of the pool (including the local history pertaining to springtime flooding and its affect upon the ground-water generally and the pool liner in particular).  But if one survives the pressing domestic needs and persuasive apotheosis, the reward is nonpareil.  It is probably no accident that several years ago all of us travelled together to Sardinia where we rented a mountain-top villa on the craggy north shore with a pool overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The astronomic venue atop a practically perpendicular drive was both spectacular and preposterous. Our host is the first to promote the salubrious pay-off of a swim. Though I adored the view of Maddalena and distant Corsica from our castle in the sky I am not about to depreciate the very competitive image of the meadow adjoining our friend's pool.

There are times when I dreamily recall where I have been and what I have done. I am frankly astounded by the fortuity. There obviously is no merit to the perverse suggestion that anything other than chance is in control. I am inclined to think that apart from those whose destiny is alleged to be completely predictable (admittedly a narrow if not entirely illegitimate vernacular) we all share the possibility of being jubilant about what life offers. I have yet to endure the affront of my gusto overtaken by remorse or other perishing prejudice - even though there are occasionally instances of reduced avidity. My dismissal of the conundrum is that disparagement achieves nothing either helpful or improving.

Yet the absorption of positive thinking is not always purely logical. The reality of mind and body is that the impenetrable dichotomy does at times suffer uncontrollable inconsolability. As prepared as I am to accept the momentary abuse of depression, I do however rebel against grim persistence. The debilitating recollections of the past or the incomprehensible fear of the future will never I trust triumph over my hope for a reassuring outcome.

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