The ivory tower

The 9′ floor-to-ceiling windows in our drawing room afford an endlessly dynamic and prodigious view across the adjoining meadow and upriver to the Village of Appleton.  Witnessing the occasional flat-bottomed watercraft on the river is like glimpsing a dazzling gemstone on a casual finger at table. Indeed during these summer months the colours are spectacular; viz., green, blue, yellow, white. It is evidence of the splendour that awaits in the autumn. And similarly prepares us for the bland recovery that is winter.

We are re-adapting to our erstwhile pattern of living.  This may sound rather high-spirited for what one would equitably presume to be an easy passage. But the hardened truth is that over the past 27 years of our journey together one-third of it has been “off the grid” so-to-speak as we cloistered our Canadian digs and headed south for the winter. It represented a curiosity for me to overhear a carefree remark by the pool as someone intimidated they could endure no more than three months au sud. I then dismissed the comment as flippant, a logical absurdity – other than the closeted preference for one’s grandchildren, a promotion whose legitimacy I readily acknowledge. When it comes to overwhelming entertainment and unparalleled reward there is nothing to compete with children.  Their mental acuity is always astounding. Interrogation and sharing are incomparable ingredients of youthful society.

But our stimulus was not related to matters of bloodline (although I am quick to add that nothing exceeds the love and adoration we have for our respective nieces and nephews whose collective progress we regularly follow). No, the stimulus arousing our particular evolution, while equally common, is more technical, less humanitarian (though of course with humanitarian affects). We’ve succeeded to station ourselves very comfortably in what I believe to be the best place in the world. The serendipity of this punctuation is for me the coincidence with my natural decomposition.

Getting older brings with it a much unanticipated element of hitherto unsurpassed accommodation.  Even were the magic only in one’s mind, approaching almost any project of any latitude is a challenge. The corollary of that is immobility.  It is however an obstruction we are working our way around. This fortunately entails little more than altering one’s view of the world. I actually prefer to see it merely as changing the needle on the compass – that is, going in a new direction.  Let this be one of those changes!