The splendour of life!

“The south-western part of Kerry is now well known as the most beautiful tract in the British isles. The mountains, the glens, the capes stretching far into the Atlantic, the crags on which the eagles build, the rivulets brawling down rocky passes, the lakes overhung by groves in which the wild deer find covert, attract every summer crowds of wanderers sated with the business and the pleasures of great cities. The beauties of that country are indeed too often hidden in the mist and rain which the west wind brings up from a boundless ocean. But, on the rare days when the sun shines out in all his glory, the landscape has a freshness and a warmth of colouring seldom found in our latitude. The myrtle loves the soil. The arbutus thrives better than even on the sunny shore of Calabria. The turf is of livelier hue than elsewhere: the hills glow with a richer purple: the varnish of the holly and ivy is more glossy; and berries of a brighter red peep through foliage of a brighter green.”

Excerpt From
The History of England, from the Accession of James II — Volume 3
Thomas Babington Macaulay

Insufficiency proclaims itself when the likes of me attempt to overshadow the literary fervency of Thomas Babington Macaulay. He does not however pare down my avidity for the present circumstance on Key Largo.  As I remarked to His Lordship only this morning I continue to pinch myself whenever absorbing (as I so often do) the fortuity of having made it this far towards the exhaustion of what I imagine to be (rightly or wrongly) my unfinished agenda!  Within the past two years – during the COVID pandemic –  I yearned to complete this hitherto anticipated long-term journey to Key Largo, what for me was the final frontier of winter travel. It may sound to those of you who are broadly-scoped vagabonds to be a trifling sense of purpose; but for one such as I who is satisfied with the atmospheric elevation of proximity, Key Largo represented a signal pinnacle. Nor has it disappointed in that regard.

This is not however a Pollyanna intimation that there hasn’t been some accommodation. Certainly there has.  The bicycle ride on the laneway about Buttonwood Bay for example.  The small arched bridge over the inland boat slip adjacent the townhouses imposes a brutal elevation of 2 m which I own sounds imperceptible to those of you who preserve athleticism; but to me, with my bone-on-bone knees, it is a taxing impediment. The repercussion is not immediate but I can tell you it subsequently reports unhesitatingly! A similar coincidence prevails when approaching the Gulf extremity of the laneway as it rises to overlook the normally placid sea. In fairness I attribute this issue of eminence partly to the fact that my new tricycle is one-dimensional only; that is, a single gear, neither above or below the singular cadence which naturally inhibits useful transitions.

Another congestion is the occasional frequency of children; albeit one which I predict is limited as it has been so far to the annual seasonal festivity and perhaps to the upcoming New Year and March break. I accept their intermittent entitlement to overtake the pools (there are three) and the picnic bench by the sea but the austerity doesn’t diminish the deprivation of tranquillity we otherwise regularly have enjoyed. And their parents at times further pervert the atmosphere with such astonishing  audio renditions as cowboy music. But I restrain myself. After all the transitory advents are reflective of both limited vacation and grandparental obligation and amusement.

I could go on with other abuses we’ve had to endure – like the isolated white caps on the sea and the associated waves (a startling disturbance when floating upwards on one’s back); or how sunscreen sometimes gets into one’s eyes; or the necessity to keep the air conditioner on all the time (except that is lately when the temperature has plummeted to 63°F); or how Publix appears to have devoted my cherished chopped chicken liver to the Hanukkah cycle only.  But I shall relent!  Reminiscence is but another atrocity!  As an abatement of these punishing and enduring infringements it is of no small consequence that we have unwittingly discovered at Key Largo Fisheries the paradigm of Key Lime pie! The nec plus ultra!

Meanwhile I quell any lingering despondency by immersing myself instead in the happier resolve of family and friends, an occasion fortuitously arising as it customarily does at the season. The communications serve as a potent reminder that in spite of the complications of life, in the end it is family and friends that matter most!