Saturday, September 8, 2018

It's official - we've arrived!

Shortly after I returned home late this afternoon I was asked if I had checked the mail which I advised I had not.  So in a moment of gusto I collected the damaged frying pan (which earlier this morning we had replaced with a new one from the local hardware store) and said I would dispose of it in the garbage bin downstairs then check the mail.  Somewhere along my little journey to the blue box and the post box I was overtaken by the mildly disturbing thought that I had the wrong day in mind. I glanced at my iPhone. Today is Saturday.  There is no mail delivery on Saturday. Nor was there any mail in the post box.  It's official - we've arrived - though obviously we're not certain exactly where!

As confirmation of my degeneration I later willingly confessed that when driving past Little Bridge Street (where I maintained my law office for almost forty years) on my way home this evening I thought to myself, "It's so history!"  Apparently I was right! Although I hesitatingly allowed that if I never see Little Bridge Street again it will be too soon, I pointedly added that as long as I see Longboat Key it's a deprivation I can bear. This is not to say that I no longer have affection for Almonte and our home here, quite the contrary.  It's simply recognition that things have changed, we're moving on - albeit with some patent confusion.  Even as I said the words Longboat Key I luxuriated in the dappled sunshine on the precious Persians and the hardwood floors. It reminded me just how much we'll miss our furnishings here over the winter, the mahogany and the brass, the crystal and the paintings, the indisputably comfortable dwelling and its very fine inhabitants.

I am bound as well to observe that my constitutional drive this afternoon was more than usually improving.  Instead of wending my way along Highway #416 towards Manotick (as I frequently do) I detoured towards Arnprior, then doubled back along the back roads from the Village of Pakenham to the Hamlet of Blakeney.  It is a truly bucolic meander!

An explosion of small birds bolted before me as I entered the turn from Kinburn Side Road onto the Blakeney Road.  The historic stone and clapboard homes lent an instantly arresting atmosphere.

Though the weather was cool and refreshingly autumnal (the car windows and roof were open), the experience was approaching sacramental.  No doubt it mattered that I was listening to Dixit Dominus and other clerical anthems. The euphoria was augmented by the sudden evaporation of urban noise and commotion. I found myself seamlessly awakening to the uninhibited pleasure of solitude.

Dixit Dominus

I glided by herds of horses and cattle languishing in the late summer fields. It is a wonder I hadn't previously settled upon the tranquillity of an aimless Saturday afternoon. Certainly there were unvarnished allusions to the serenity of the moment. My only caution is the notorious exuberance which invariably precedes demise.  I'll settle for the time being upon a perfect day!

Post Scriptum

The punishment is endless! By entire coincidence this evening we watched (as is our custom) a couple of taped episodes of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS.  What mattered - aside from the regular assaults upon Trump and his cronies - were two segments in particular, one a comedian (Kathleen Madigan) who wants Congress to say bye-bye to "PawPaw" (politicians who are really old and out of touch); another an interview with an actor/singer (Troye Sivan, a South African born Australian) who is openly gay. Both are millennials and clearly intelligent; there was nothing radical or offensive about what they said. To resort to "What is this world coming to?" no longer works. Things have changed and it can't be denied. Nor would anyone in their right mind want to do so. Madigan significantly reminded the audience that millennials will not do what they don't want to do, whatever the cost or threat. Coal mining for example is right out. It was painfully evident that Madigan and Sivan don't see Trump having anything to do with making America great again. To an old fogey like me it was an inspiring clue that the younger generation will meaningfully and materially affect the future.

Kathleen Madigan
Troye Sivan

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