Cloistered as we are by force of COVID restrictions, the bleak mild winter nonetheless sanctioned our ritual bicycle ride again this morning. Every day this serendipity occurs we predict it will be our last. But the “depths of winter” have yet to overtake. Accordingly we layered ourselves in cotton and sheepskin and headed out. Our venture today was along Country Street across Hwy#29 onto the Rae Road then winding back through town and home. Whether by ineluctability, acquiescence or fact it doesn’t seem to matter that the view of the snowy fields is distinct from the view of a sandy beach. Indeed there’s something captivating about the complexity of a field as opposed to the banality of an ocean.
As a celebration of our athletic achievement I buttered my toast generously this morning – an outright violation of dietary control but a welcome appeasement. I even extended the lapse to include a swath or two of organic crunchy peanut butter! All flooded down the hatch by Twinings® of London loose black tea. Though by comparison to the tea, my strong espresso yesterday morning in the waiting room of the car dealership was far more consequential. I have otherwise temporarily suspended the commonly believed diuretic effect of coffee – especially in the monstrous proportions which normally attend my addiction.
Inevitably – whether bicycling along a remote rural road or driving into the frontier of Renfrew County or drifting to sleep at night – I reflect upon the people I know, assessing our relationships and the alterations which have transpired. Apart from my diminished cherished possessions – the Perthshire millefiori, the brass engraved paperweight, the 20 oz troy Johnson Matthey & Mallory Canadian 999 silver bar (which I disguise as a paperweight as well), the pewter sealing wax stamp, the books, the paintings, the furnishings, the clocks and the bling – the magnification of erstwhile human encounter is by far the most engaging extract of wool-gathering. By universal agreement among those with whom I regularly commune, the totality of friendship and involvement is on perpetual wane, an incremental decline. This convenience of number doesn’t contaminate the former acquaintances but it certainly narrows the focus. I remain intrigued to comprehend what object, motive or intention – including once a now crowning lascivious allure – enthralled those alliances. Each is in turn an historic echo of commercial, political, lustful or emotional convention. Naturally the ambitions were two-sided; and likewise not all lingered beyond the consummation.
It is wasteful to project the hardness of rearview vision onto any of the confederacies. The accounts are by any standard a reflection of time and place, particles of being which seamlessly drift from one predominance to another insignificance, from volatility to tranquillity, from swirl to haze. How tempting it is to allow the percolation of satire and regret into the musical meandering of the Moldau River that is our life! For what possible consequence? Nothing can be reversed – though pointedly the opportunity remains to the very end to say what should have been related. Though do we dare? It is perhaps this subsiding strength which preserves the memory from being eclipsed by the past. Not that it matters…