Approaching the end of February

Not that I imagine the sun in our solar system distinguishes one month from another, it nonetheless seems serendipitous that the urgency of February (being the shortest month of the year) conveniently echoes the pressing awakening of springtime that is everywhere present. Even here on Key Largo (where the coolest daytime temperature for the past four months has been about 69°F) we are now treated to floral blooms throughout the island (including white, pink and yellow orchids magically growing from roots twirled like snakes about the robust trees that miraculously survive upon the predominantly coral soil and crushed seashells beneath).

The approaching end of February is therefore both a temporal and sylvan event.  I am quite certain too that the colour of the leaves of the trees and fronds of the palms are a richer green though the pigment transition from November to now has been fractionally incremental only.

Yet the publication of change is afoot. Coincidentally this morning as I restocked my daily supply of pills (which render my body a toxic waste site), I was as well obliged to replace my shampoo bottle, body lotion and shaving razor.  Call it chance. I promote it as more poetic than mere fortuity though it is perhaps but a handful of dust in the waning evolution of my life. More poignantly this morning while fiddling at my laptop computer, there arrived an email obituary of an erstwhile undergraduate confrère. The intelligence was from my long-standing friend Michael Tweedie lately of the most expedient and least esoteric judicial benches of first instance of the law courts of the Province of Ontario. And springing from that doleful news an email address of another colleague Jane Bow with whom I haven’t communicated since 1970 when we both graduated from Glendon Hall.

Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth when the evil days come not nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say “I have no pleasure in them”.
Ecclesiastes 12:1

The admonition is a bit late. The days of my youth have long ago expired.  My focus must of necessity be upon something less prophetic if I am to abstract from it anything of value while time still remains. I fear Solomon’s reflections upon the vanity of life are for me at this stage little short of gratuitous. I have by way of example proposed that upon the advent of my upcoming 75th birthday, instead of saving it for the funeral, I treat myself to a plate of Prince Edward Island oysters on the half-shell (with a gin martini and small olive à côté), Osso Buco with Lagavulin neat in a heavy crystal tumbler and a fine panatella cigar afterwards nursed by a VSOP Cognac in a large snifter. Oh, those are the days of my youth I can yet recall!  Seated beside a blazing hearth on a windy autumn day in the By Ward Market at our city seat. I have every expectation that our new digs along the Mississippi River would adequately deliver a similarly memorable texture. But naturally the ambition is a figment only. Next year we shall be again reposing in whatever fashion then prevails upon Key Largo, predictably sans fireplace. And I fully suspect sans booze and cigar.  But for the moment the conjecture alone is sufficient restoration of the days of my youth before the evil days indisputably overtake me!