It is a small compliment to my inventiveness that terra firma mysteriously affords me the advantage of doing more meaningful things – or should I say, doing things more meaningfully. The trait is especially noticeable because the scope of my general activity – wherever it occurs – is shamefully repetitive. That is, it isn’t so much what I do as where I do it. Furthermore the transition to this side of the border is purely natural, little more than the fulfillment of a creature returning to its nest. You no doubt perceive that the alleged novelty is thus intuitive – or as so many these days are inclined to say, “organic“.
Today for example I drove – as I have driven hundreds of times before – from the car wash in Stittsville to White Lake Road in Arnprior then back through the Villages of Waba and Pakenham. It is the classic “back roads” saunter. What makes it singular – and unlike drives abroad – is that I not only drive through the communities, I attempt to drive into them so to speak. I permit the setting to insinuate me – rather than preserve the cautious distance of a trespasser. It would be nothing to encounter someone whom I knew – even though they are, as I am, not from the immediate area. Many of the so-called “country folk” are succumbing to their preference for the rural venues instead of the urban ones. The country scenery is picturesque, the traffic is tolerable, there’s never a parking problem and the drive is a diverting mixture of up and down, round and about.
At this time of year the attraction of the surroundings is mesmerizing! The colour of the blue sky is peerless; the burgeoning water in rivers, lakes, streams, ponds and creeks is superlative; the promise of rebirth is as plain as a pikestaff. Each view portends its own story and uniqueness. How many times when driving through these changeable vistas have I wanted to stop to capture them on “film“! But like so many other raptures in life it is only the sensation which lingers! To attempt to isolate and codify the many different and agreeable sights is quite impractical. Yet it never fails to disappointment me that I have not somehow been able to incarcerate the beguiling images.
This identical possessiveness similarly corrupts the unparalleled interest I have in motor vehicles. An event which occurs annually on home territory is the purchase of a new automobile. Although there are communications back and forth with the dealer during our southern sojourns, the mercury rises in the thermometer upon our return. In the past several years it has proven a matter of weeks only after our return that the new vehicle materializes. I never tire of the performance of universal examination of the product. It is assured that for at least the first week after taking possession of the new machine I will unfailingly preoccupy myself with its features. The generic response is however most important. It is the overall feel of the contraption, how it maintains alignment, the level of noise and bump absorption, the facility of seeing to the back and sides, how well the doors, windows and landau roof open and close. I do not have any of that boyish inclination to accelerate – just a comfortable, measured and gradual speed. The critical elements of a sports car are understandably different.
The blend of these trite incidents makes for a relieving compound. It is partly artistic and partly pragmatic. As much as I enjoy fluffy white clouds on the horizon, I also relish the mild sense of achievement I get from doing some business.