Saturday, September 02, 2017

I Swam Beneath a Gibbous Moon 


waxing gibbous
“Dry your chlorine bleached hair and stretch your sun ripened arms”

Hawksley gets it - the author requests you play this while reading this entry.

This week there’s been a chill in Toronto, beautifully illustrated by the appearance of socks, sweaters and jackets. I actually closed a window yesterday and last night I slept without my humming rambling air conditioning. We’ve been swept into Labour Day weekend like an unsuspecting child ushered into a car after falling asleep at a party of peers. The Air Show is here which is essentially the fork you stick in summer to announce it is officially done. From my office window I watched a rehearsing jet fold and tumble and rocket itself over the harbour like a bird playing in an updraft. I’ve felt an urgent need to stretch out my summer but it already feels like a compression rather than an extension. I was one of only five people at work on the Friday of the long weekend and even though I didn’t leave until 6:30-ish my phone buzzed over an hour later when a colleague updated a shared folder. What’s wrong with us?

When I got home I left my bike on the deck with the hope it would urge me to ride to Summerville Pool but I still flopped on the bed for an after work nap. When I roused I still had time to go for that swim. Should I go? I did the calculations that left me with five minutes to decide whether it would be worth it - it’s a 7 KM ride and by the time I got there I could squeeze in a 30-minute swim, but only if I left immediately.

It was cold for an outdoor swim, 17°C in fact, but the ride would warm me up. By the time I walked out on the deck of the pool dusk was settling in and it was even colder. Something I overlooked was that the pool is heated, but this is the first time I can remember the water feeling warmer than the air. As the sky darkened a waxing moon was glowing overhead. In the western sky someone spotted a drone hovering over the pool and adjacent Woodbine Beach. It’s blinking light and unsure flight suggested a dragonfly. The last embers of the sun glowed above the rooftops as I rode home. I’d hoped to go to a late movie but I still hadn’t eaten and that became the priority.

Another cold plate special for supper that used the last of the basil from my herb pot. The mint has already withered and withdrawn so I had to buy some to make a pre-meal Mojito. Not only was I out of mint, but the mix finished my rum. That was the last of it. If that’s not an omen to summer’s end I don’t know what is. The season of stout beer and scotch is upon us. Don’t despair, autumn is also a season for baking pies, bread, making hardy stews, chilli and cozy afternoons lit by a low hanging sun. Dry your chlorine bleached hair and stretch your sun ripened arms into a sweater. Autumn’s here, it’s okay if you want to cry.

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