The meadow by the river

Unquestionably it has become an unabated engrossment of mine as I sit by my desk to stare at the meadow by the river. And for reasons of accident, fortuity and the consequences of the natural expiration of time (all of which I shall spare you), the situation in which I now find myself is by my standard highly brookable and one for which I am smugly grateful. I suspect all my life I’ve been rather smug, succeeding as I regularly do to calibrate without qualification my inconsequential performance. And why not?  One cannot rely upon others to buoy the passage through life. And what value might there be in outright condemnation of a failed attempt? It’s merely the bluster of the effort!  Stirring the wind! Making a mess!

A more felicitous approach to the subject of the meadow by the river arose last evening in casual telephone conversation with my long-standing friend JCH.  She inveigled me to examine the meadow by the river with a view to exploiting the vista for purposes of a fictional narrative perhaps involving something among the bushes and weeds, like a snake or something. My vision – both optically and intellectually – is farsighted. I may even overlook (so to speak) an initial obstruction in the foreground. I am driven by the objective.  And until I’ve exhausted all sources I am hesitant to subdue my original ambition. So while I may overlook the immediacy of the country flowers and bushes, it is not because I haven’t sufficient insight to dwell upon what is perhaps hidden yet at hand. Ultimately it’s a matter of detail. Instead I pursue the objects in the distance. The trees, the shoreline of the river, the meandering flow of water and the glorious sight of boaters on the river. There is both vision and insight to be gained by stepping back for the full (often magical and artistic) picture.

As luck would have it, we’ve in fact seen in the meadow what confused us at the start. We imagined having seen a hawk or other bird of prey pilot its way into the bountiful flowers, weeds and shrubbery. It was clearly attending to an unseen nest.  The first bird was joined by another.  It landed in the same spot.  It was afterwards, when one of the large birds began to fly, that I noticed its similarity to a duck.  Its feathers seemed to be dark brown (but my vision late in the day when I customarily sit on the balcony is hampered by the setting sun). The characterization as a duck does however explain the nest on the ground. The only other matter of note was some white mushrooms which we initially mistook for golf balls. Typical, I know!

I regret that I am at this time unable to expound further upon the meadow by the river. If by chance I should encounter a snake in the grass, then by all means I shall immediately publish a notice thereof. But until that metaphorical day I shall persist in my ritual approbation of the meadow by the river. And its view in the distance. It is to me such an idyllic vision that I cannot imagine an improvement.