At 2:30 a.m. this morning I was sitting alone in the living room in the dark in my smalls staring at my iPhone, reading something, I cannot recall what, email or the local on-line newspaper. Doesn’t matter, I was just killing time hoping I’d somehow put myself to sleep.
By six o’clock, back in bed for over three hours, I was awakening to another day, cursing the damaged tendons of my left shoulder. I must have slept on it the wrong way. Again. There apparently isn’t a right way to sleep on that blasted shoulder! I could tell, though barely, from the light seeping through the curtains that it was likely to be a nice day. And it turned out that it was. More than nice in fact, very nice, bright, clear and warm, a high of 13ºC. Energized by black coffee and a substantial (now ritual) breakfast, we got ourselves together and went for a bike ride. It was an undeniable pleasure on a day like this!
Uncommonly numerous people were walking, running or cycling alongside the country roads, indulging themselves in what has become a national holiday, Remembrance Day. I stopped to chat with one walker whom I knew, an acquaintance, a clever chap. We swapped intelligence about a local corporation with which we are both connected, one of the dubious privileges of getting old. I drew upon historical professional knowledge, reminding myself of the exacting experience which had taught me so well. It was such a long time ago that I wrestled with those esoteric details, now here I was sharing them as though they were second nature. Which I suppose they are. Eventually it’s all old hat no matter what you’ve done for forty years.
I returned home, leisurely absorbing the lovely air and sunshine. Ablutions accomplished I directed myself to the City. On the highway I passed one of those new signs powered by a solar panel. On it was displayed “Lest We Forget”. I was listening to lugubrious music and in an instant I was choking up and weeping. Music can do that to me, I’m a sucker for music and sentimental stuff. I thought briefly of my father, how young he was when the German submarine shot him and his men out of the sky over the North Atlantic.