There are moments in life that are small mercies in a world that has little sentimentality. Time surges forward and takes great, selfish bites out of our lives as we try to outrun the demands of jobs, families, chores; but there are those hairline fissures in time. Those moments that barely register on the clock, but insinuate themselves into our memories when all else blurs.
We recently had a pond built in the backyard. It started out as a small project, but as our imaginings materialized we found ourselves fine-tuning those initial ideas until, of course, the project grew. But it's done now. The pond has plants and fish. The fish have disappeared somewhere deep and dark and secret. The waterfall is noisy, but we're getting used to it. And, today, the smallish patch of flagstone grew 4 Muskoka chairs, courtesy of of the fine folks at Canadian Tire. One chair for each of us. This evening was the unofficial christening of our small oasis and we four sat by the pond, in the dark, listening to the rushing water, sharing a bag of Fritos, and looking, in vain, for some evidence of the Perseid meteor shower. Quiet conversation made time stand still for a little while. I must remember this.
I've started to read in bed again. Usually I'm far too exhausted for this, and it's far too convenient to thumb the remote and surf the tube until my lids grow heavy. But I decided to spend some time with Neil Gaiman. In the past 2 weeks I've devoured 'Neverwhere' and 'American Gods'. The latter is one of the novels that made me wish (desperately) that I could write. The moment.... coming home from a pub at 12:30am and staying up 'til 2am finishing that book. Just me, the quiet dark, and a novel that left me wanting more.
Speaking of Canadian Tire... An employee there - a young fellow who was obviously a part-timer - was actually helpful today. Maybe our expectations are low in a world filled with Bog Box stores staffed with people who know little about what their selling. While the shelves were devoid of stock, this fellow cared enough to 'check in the back'. He found what we wanted, he helped us through the checkout, and he helped load our purchases in the van. Afterwards I mustered all my reserves of earnestness and sincerity - difficult for a hardened cynic like me - and thanked this fellow for all his help. And the best reward; he was surprised. For a short moment in a busy parking lot on a Saturday afternoon, I think we both felt human.
Right now. It's late, I'm tired, but I'm here because I want to be. I've poured myself some Bacardi's with a splash of Coke. This is unusual because I typically self-medicate with either red wine (Wolf Blatz or Quai du Vin) or a slightly-chilled Corona. But tonight it's rum because I re-discovered that we actually have a liquour cabinet filled with....liquor. So here I am in the quite house working on a mild buzz and tapping on these buttons that form words, and the words form thoughts, and they're my thoughts. So screw the fact that the a/c in the van is dying, forget that I have to be up early (horse show....don't ask...), and nevermind that a dozen emergencies await me at work on Monday morning. Right here, I've made time stand still with very little effort.