The First Day of Autumn 2020

For as long as I can recall I have attached import to the phases of the moon and their affect upon the seasons. It is an obsession likely rooted in my paternal grandfather’s zeal for time pieces. When he died he owned about forty watches, three of which (including an enormous antique sterling silver pocket watch) were bequeathed to me from his estate.

The equinox will arrive on September 22, 2020, at 13:31 UTC. That’s when the sun will be exactly above Earth’s equator, moving from north to south. … Around the time of an equinox, Earth’s Northern and Southern Hemispheres are receiving the sun’s rays equally.

In 1974 during the earliest period of my law practice while articling with Macdonald, Affleck at 100 Sparks Street in Ottawa, I visited an as yet unknown jeweller, Robert Alyea and his creative associate Bob Hutchings at 99 Bank Street, Ottawa in the same building where the Rideau Club now is. Alyea Jewellers formerly operated on Sparks Street near Bank Street.  My mother had purchased items there for me in the past. For reasons I cannot recollect I found myself seated before Bob Hutchings examining a Rolex 14K-gold watch with a crocodile strap.  If my memory serves me the cost was about $5,000.  I bought it. For many years thereafter I never bought another watch.  I always maintained my preference for mechanical watches and therefore strictly avoided the battery operated models. When I subsequently began to contract an intolerance for the leather strap I switched to another Rolex but this time with a matching gold bracelet. Sometime later (I honestly cannot recall why or when) I bought a 44 mm Breitling, then a Cartier Santos 100 and finally back to Rolex “Yachtmaster“. Just to complete this cycle I need add that when I retired I auctioned all my jewellery and watches. I have since succumbed to my relentless spendthrift habit by purchasing several automatic watches made by Bulova – which parenthetically never suffer their pins popping out as happened with both the Breitling and the Cartier.

The pandemic has patently fried nutritious society. Consequently this year the changing season is less about recording time and more about filling time. The truly painful corollary to the project is the accompanying uncertainty and annoying protraction. Having one’s sense of thrills frazzled is no help either.

My effort to quell this inertia has inspired – or should I say forced – new perspectives. Granted the achievement is a decidedly calculated assessment. There was never a more clear necessity to pause and consider. There are no events or dinners or travels or outings to inspire absorption or thought; instead I am bound to uncover my own stimulation.  And frankly my own tranquillization.

it appears I have unwittingly discovered the very trying effort associated with my past; namely, the necessity for productivity. At least I have the honour to impose an ingredient of work in the virtue. For the rest it’s a balmy late summer day. We’re meeting friends at the golf club tomorrow for breakfast. The leaves are beginning to change. The US election is coming soon!