La Mer ("The Sea") is not only the title of Debussy's orchestral masterwork but an apt metaphor for his innovative art. As Rachel Carson noted, like the sea itself, the surface of Debussy's music hints at the brooding mystery of its depths and ultimately the profound enigma of life itself – after all, mankind carries the primordial salt of the sea in our blood.
As I write this account the sky has brightened. It is minutes past the sunrise at 6:19 am. We're confining our early morning intake to strong black coffee. At eight o'clock we motor to Temple's Sugar Bush for our annual muster with dear friends and their 5 year old son, Wyatt. There we intend seriously to indulge ourselves in maple syrup and whatever else is at hand to underpin (and camouflage) it.
Sunday morning is always laden with familial and religious (or at least reflective) tones. Our sudden transition to the Northern climes has reactivated the sparseness of thinking which so often accompanies cold weather. We are dressed accordingly, wearing for example long pants for the first time in six months. The dry air has affected me, removing the former soothing richness of the sea air, like switching from the choral productions of Pärt to Brahms. Sunnandaeg, "day of the sun", dies solis.
When we returned home from our very agreeable repast at Temple's Sugar Bush I received a telephone call from my erstwhile physician. In answer to our earlier request (rendered shortly before we left Longboat Key) we have arranged to rally wth him chez nous this evening before he departs tomorrow for Florida to attend to his business interests there. He is an inveterate vagabond and it requires studied spontaneity to capture him on the run. I have however abandoned any hope of preparing the meal myself. Instead I shall rely upon two meat pies recently purchased at an Ottawa gluten free bakery; then collect suitable appetizers, veggies, salad and dessert at Farm Boy in Kanata. The liquor cabinet will be replenished as required - predominantly Champagne and martini numbers. In the interest of relaxation I have likewise forsaken the recipe for Side Cars. Squeezing a lemon is far too much effort!