In a word, family!

This morning’s invitational breakfast at the golf club distinguishes itself for having been a communion strictly of family; viz.,  my brother-in-law, his younger brother, my partner and I. We sat on the outside patio overlooking the 10th tee and the distant hole. The Mississippi River dreamily passed nearby with the shoreline trees languishing in the mounting heat. We were the first to champion the deck and thus luckily secured an ideal table in the shade sufficiently withdrawn from the limit of the overhang to escape even the angle of the glistening sunshine. We sat one at each end of the table, the other two looking directly upon the fairway.

When we completed our greetings on arrival and were seated at table, and before having settled upon our respective breakfast orders (which as always were an undisputed success), we immediately engaged in vibrant discussion. John, the youngest member of the tribe, wasted no time affording a spirited and decidedly amorous rendition of the past ten years. Barring funerals and hospitalizations it had been a while since we had caught up together. And, yes, the brawling waters of time had wrent a great deal about which to chatter. I especially appreciated John’s less than toxic manner of skipping from the brief of one casual relationship to another following the breakup of his marriage. It is all too easy in such circumstances to advance disparaging remarks which only end making an uncomfortable account. As it was the catalogue of encounters and relationships spoke more generously to the emotional capacity of the parties of differing ages without the unwelcome added slurs and innuendos. Naturally it was a reminder too that we’re all damaged goods to one degree or another, all seeking to unfold the prescription to the most adventitious association. The passage of time spares no one; and probably a good thing since otherwise I don’t know what we’d talk about if we were to preserve anything by way of palatable and ingenuous table talk!

But these social and romantic alliances did not overtake the sprightly conversation. Rather I was amused to hear John’s accounts in particular regarding the diverse and unforeseen manner in which he expresses himself, including podcasts, screen writing and humour. By his own report many of the undertakings are works-in-progress but seemingly the inspiration is by no means diluted or defeated. I was also interested to learn that John frequents venues in both Ottawa and Montréal (and possibly beyond) for the discovery of new bands. Curiously the allusion to music and sound somehow transitioned into a conjectured review of the allure of driving an automobile and its connection to vibrations and engine burbles generally.  I think I can assume carriage of that initial abstraction, the threads of which became laughingly inclusive of a trip to the Arctic Circle, a field in a fjord and a bathtub in a hotel in Oslo, Norway. Of course I supplanted that dialogue with a hastened and abbreviated summary of my personal diaries. Family is such a forgiving medium!

Though our collective ages are separated by fifteen years (I being the eldest) we are all retired and demonstrably directed towards many of the same issues. The brothers can however boast the achievement of the athletic pertinacity to attack the golf course on such an extraordinarily hot and humid day (31ºC). The weather today marks what I suspect will be the pinnacle of heat this month as we approach the longest day of the year.

After quitting the breakfast trough, the remainder of the day was characterized by domestic utility and my routine jaunt to Stittsville and back along the enduringly magical Appleton Side Road with its bounty of bucolic tapestry. The vista from the golf club to the upriver view from my writing desk is unadulterated farmland. There is no hiding our intention to celebrate life in the country with our urban relatives from Westboro and the Rideau Canal.