Fresh air

I would be remiss were I not to record my soaring delight this morning during our routine bicycle ride about the neighbourhood and along the Ottawa Valley Trail with the exceptionally fresh air that greeted us. The atmosphere was for the time of year uncommonly cool, crisp and clear. The fresh air was strangely rich almost syrupy. It was in short a singularly fresh air, invigorating and cleansing. I was thankful to have worn a light jacket to escape the early morning briskness.

At the start of our bicycle ride I briefly chatted in the parking lot with a fellow resident of the building whom I had not before met as he was about to load stuff into his car. I was curious to know whether it was he whom I had seen yesterday focussing an exotic looking camera upon the flora and fauna In the backyard patio garden. It was indeed he. He was initiating a new electronic camera. He posts the floral shots onto a public website devoted to a collection and scientific tracking of species in local ecosystems worldwide. Though I won’t pretend to have an agricultural interest of any description I was however captured by the impressive camera he was handling; and by the ordinary though pertinent photographic subject. I am similarly interested in purely aesthetic views of nature but I limit my camera (and editing) to my iPhone. The hobby is thus part of my deliberate choice for simplified living.

When I apologized for not already knowing the chap (for the reason that we’re customarily away for the winter and are therefore generally out of touch) he explained that he and his wife are by contrast away for the summer at their cottage on Prince Edward Island. This intelligence instantly inspired further favourable discussion of PEI in particular and the Maritimes in general.  Seemingly both he and I attended Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia about the same time. His education was in physics at the time though he subsequently switched to engineering in Ontario (I am presuming at either University of Toronto or Queen’s University in Kingston).

Enlivened by this chance encounter and the flavourful nature of our discussion I pushed off on my bicycle feeling buoyed. Soon I was going by the open air market across from the Elizabeth Kelly Library. I no longer know anyone who exhibits there; we’ve all become too ancient to undertake such energetic Saturday morning function. Instead now – as I did only days ago – we renew acquaintance in the waiting room of the local hospital where we have entitlement to confide with uninhibited vigour our list of medical decline.

I surpassed the market congregation and directed myself onto the fine gravel pathway of the erstwhile railway line running through the middle of town past the Old Town Hall and Little Bridge Street where I practiced law, over the underpass on the distinguishing bridge thence across the River by the Old Flour Mill (now luxury riparian apartments) into the verdant shaded alleyway towards the Village of Blakeney. Along the pathway I passed other cyclists, people walking their dogs; and young families holding hands or bound in perambulators.  It is Almonte’s “Peacock Alley”. The fresh air continued to impress and improve. At Carss Street I turned around and headed back home, admiring as I leisurely cycled the exuberant trailside flowers in the slanted yellow morning sunshine.

So enthused was I by the fresh air that I prolonged my normal tour by wending further about the neighbourhood. This afternoon I shall punctuate today’s airy epiphany by driving my car en plein air with the windows and landau roof wide open!