I have always relished an impromptu rally. I mean, who doesn’t! Unrehearsed and unscripted, the dalliance captures the wayfarer in us all. Though it seldom happens, today’s serendipity clashed with an earlier blueprint. It was a unique occasion on which we were reluctantly obliged to decline the snap invitation. When my erstwhile physician telephoned this morning to initiate the proposal for brunch at his country seat we were at that instant leaving the golf club having only recently breakfasted. My breakfast order – to be perfectly frank – shamefully shows on the caterer’s cash register as the “Chapman” breakfast consisting of three eggs, sliced tomatoes, American cheese, double-bacon, sausages and black coffee. Exhaustion of appetite is but one of several assured predictions of that particular formula! Nonetheless our host was not defeated. In a flash he regrouped and instead invited us for a late morning swim and lounge by the pool. The weather today while not as stifling as it has been in the past several days was however exceedingly pleasant with a hint of autumn in the fresh north wind.
By the time I had turned off the county highway onto the dusty roadway leading to my friend’s country estate the temperature had risen noticeably. The dazzling early afternoon sunshine soon rendered the swelter of a furnace. Ignited by the heat of the day and our uncommon liberty of communion our bafflegab soon descended to chatter of historical consequences. With the austerity of Mormons we reviewed the slips and falls of child-rearing; we briefly penetrated the legacy for grandchildren; we exposed the hitherto romantic adventures of certain of those no longer whinnying among us; and we summarized the global stock market perils. In short it was a fulfilling waddle in the pool. Though we didn’t specifically unfold the matter at the time, the event signals an evolution of unusual dimensions. The transition of our association for the past three decades or more has remarkably gone from egocentric to altruistic, a passage of epic proportion. Not once amid the succession of accounts and assertions today was the relevance any but another. We also broached the topic of autobiographic writing with a view to enlarging the past for the next generation.
Similarly by incremental measure I am daily reminded of the diminishing strength of my own future and the increasing nutrition of youth. In the blinding sunshine we reflected upon the other familial congregations which have lately characterized our respective social activity. Certainly there are yet those incidents of “adult” congress; but it is inescapable that the reins are gradually being handed from one to another. I confess to feeling somewhat resentful that my meter is running out of time. By contrast I am adjusting to the inevitable. The recapitulation of overall health is unnecessary; what can be achieved by such singularly indulgent preoccupation? As always the appropriate direction of the compass is forward. All else is redundant.