Every day the entire image before my eyes changes. On April 27th (when we arrived here) the springtime composition of the surrounding territory was only beginning. Yet how speedily it accelerates! In a matter of six weeks, by casually regarding the upriver prospect and the 25-acre parcels of agricultural lands stretching from the nearby country road to the shoreline, we have witnessed a bountiful transformation from seed to bloom. The carpet upon the fields has remodelled itself from satiny silk to lush woollen tapestry; the yellow blossoms of flowers in every nook and cranny punctuate their especial clamour; the shoreline, though still palpable, has been noticeably altered during the Spring Freshet; the trees are indescribably lush.
When I think back upon the inexpressible images I have seen throughout my lifetime, it is no wonder I quickly became stuck when attempting to qualify them. This is likely no more astonishing than the admission that we cannot by any effort recover what is in the past. As for the currency of images, that is where the ephemeral resource abounds. But because, until this precise moment, the vista had not blossomed as it now has (literally overnight), it remains only to idolize the panorama.
It shamefully occurs to me that there are many other resplendent images I now recall which are similarly beyond the grasp. Being outside the scope of the present is naturally no enormous discredit. But retaining a photographic image of someone or someplace doesn’t guarantee the strength of the original. And going back to anything already comes at an incredible cost. I mention this only to tranquilize the inherent threat of defeat in this oily business of idle reflection!
I have as a result muffled myself for the moment when addressing the sensitive topic of the past. Without limitation, what hereafter follows is resolution only to include all the ancient photographs in one drawer, ordered by date. Besides, there really isn’t much time for anything more. Nor has there ever been a visible standard by which to adjudge the superiority of one image over another.
In any event the images of the past are only the coattails upon which we scuttle from the past to the present, from one indescribable dominion to another. If we are fully to reclaim the colour and texture of the past it is is only by reliving the moment in situ; failing that, we must content ourselves with the image that confronts us. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve settled to sip a ballon de rouge, a round glass of cheap red wine. But the opportunity mustn’t be overlooked. From the uncharted depths of that commonality springs upon the face of the river a parade of new-born geese acquainting themselves with the nutrition of rapid water and the shoreline.
What was so inconceivable was the richness of the present environment. How sparingly we translate the past to the future. Improvement is seldom retailed with gusto. Yet with what welcome transition we overtake the past to adopt the present.