Balmy Day

The date is critically close to the first day of June. The exquisitely balmy weather atmospherically heralds approaching summer. The corridor of verdant foliage along the bicycle path adjacent the Mississippi River (and the channel surrounding Coleman’s Island) lent a magical theme to our morning cycle. We dipped off the gravel pathway long enough to travel upon the well-trod track leading through Al Potvin’s and Shirley Deugo’s property. In that process I encountered Billy Sullivan and his 10-year old daughter Ėlise (whose twin brother William I spoke with just days ago in similar circumstances). The children have a new brother who according to his justifiably proud father is full of p&v.

It was however almost too hot for many people to venture out-of-doors. Later when I went for my customary tootle in the car I could only endure the open roof and windows briefly before succumbing to the relieving air conditioning.

The apex of my routine vehicular jaunt today was Neat Café in Burnstown where I found proprietor Mark Enright up to his elbows in black earth while attending the herb garden which complements Chef Dawn’s creations. He stopped his labour long enough to inform me that June 9th is the hopeful date for reigniting commercial activity for the season.

When I headed out of Burnstown across the large bridge over the Madawaska River I noticed young Huckleberry Finn and several of his companions on the historic stone ribs of the former railway track. They managed to crawl or climb atop the stone structures from the River below. I presume they were successful getting themselves cooled by a swim in the River. Yesterday (when the temperature was equally high) we saw people swimming in White Lake as we passed through the Village.

It would be unduly chary of me not to confess that the primary source of my delight today is not the weather or the prospect of summer or even the image of youthful resplendence. Rather it is what I hope will be the culmination of my raptness with the undercarriage of my new automobile. At the risk of over-anticipating a favourable outcome I believe I am at the very least on the threshold of having acquitted myself of this annoying concern. As anyone knows who knows me, the achievement of so-called perfection in the automotive department is never without its drama. I regret to say that in this instance as in so many others the mere effluxion of time has seemingly afforded what I am hopeful is a release from the erstwhile punishing imperative. It is only reluctantly that I dare to stir the venture. Nonetheless I have sufficient confidence that progressively – if not indeed more speedily – the conundrum will resolve itself. I say this because the predominantly offensive element of the quandary was what appeared to be carbon contamination in increasingly diminished display. It is consistent with the thesis of the Lincoln Motor Company that it is indeed normal for there to be condensation drips from the undercarriage. They did not however explain the cosmetic problem with the carbon. Reason naturally suggests residue of combustion or something similar. The hope is that whatever it was  is only residue and capable of evacuation.

If I may be permitted the privilege to lapse momentarily into idle thought, the sine qua non of this exercise is not the recovery of purity but rather the acceptance of life’s inescapable qualifications. Nothing, absolutely nothing is ideal! We all know it.  What separates this observation from trifling adage is the further corollary that the axiomatic allure of math has no truck in matters of mechanism. The moment man pretends to unite hitherto non-conjoined elements he attacks Nature itself – and in the event of a combat there is assured to be one winner only. This is not to say that the unnatural productions of humanity are damaged goods; nor that we should resist the attempt to improve the “creation” (pardon the unintended deistic reference). The objective is no more complicated that getting on with it!