It is oft repeated that the winding down of one’s clock gathers speed with its amortization. It is an adage that reflects the urgency of our impending ruin and one which besides has the authority of science.
The dwindling of time sparks a greed for the commodity or at least an earnestness to pack as much as possible into what remains. The disposition compels me for example to address my more intimate (though admittedly frivolous) goals before the precious resource is exhausted. It requires of me but a hurried glance backwards to reveal what have been my simmering though much neglected innermost aspirations. There are only a few dreams I hope yet to accomplish and none of them is especially exalted. There isn’t for example any insistence to travel the world, to write a book or climb a mountain. Indeed apart from one remaining ambition (the detail of which is too impossibly trite to bear repetition) I am perfectly satisfied to indulge myself in the comparatively unimaginative liberties of getting out of bed after eight o’clock in the morning, lingering over breakfast while writing my endless codswallop, going for a bicycle ride along a country road on a balmy summer morn, getting the car washed, visiting family and friends for a cup of coffee, reading an improving book and going to bed with a unobstructed conscience. Clearly those preoccupations are worthy of any man or woman and are ones which anyone should be happy to confess. The placated condition is further evidence of my conviction that life owes me nothing. This stark admission does however only serve to heighten the significance of appeasing my remaining appetite. I don’t want even the smallest grain of sand to slip through my fingers. In my haste to quell the particles of remnant temptation I have succeeded to swell what was once mere whimsical hope into manifest enterprise.
There remains in particular the fulfillment of one fanciful notion which I have nurtured over the years. Its incubation was in my undergraduate days in Toronto when I regularly flew down Avenue Road from the Glendon Hall. It was a time of my life when nothing but adventure and promise figured. As with so many hopes its realization was at the time out of bounds but I never relinquished this one ideal. It has lingered like the memory of a favourite line of poetry, haunting me to this day. Paradoxically its mundaneness is the author of both its neglect and its attraction, no doubt more of that business about squeezing the last drop of liquor from the fruit of life.
While the anticipated accomplishment of this pesky purpose hardly qualifies as a journey’s end, it will nonetheless stand as one more thing off my bucket list. Once again nature teaches us how to die. Until then I rejoice in being able at last to translate the ambition into fruition.