The month/year started well enough. Having got through Christmas without the usual stresses, I gave myself time to think about, and write down, some goals and plans. Against the backdrop of a troubled world, they are very modest and focused on how to live simply and gently. My strategy, I decided, would be summed up as proactive hopefulness.
With Auckland emptied out for the holidays, the Big T and I made an effort to enjoy the city’s parks and beaches.
We were doing so well …
Then on January 5th smoke from the Australian bush-fires combined with atmosphere conditions to turn Auckland’s mid-afternoon’s skies orange. By 5pm it was impossible to see without artificial lighting. It seemed the future had arrived and it was apocalyptic.
Since then, the smoke has moved on — across the Pacific to Chile and beyond. Life has continued, and as holiday-makers have returned to fill the city with noise and traffic congestion, I’ve spent more time at home, much of it in my garden.
In the end, January has been a month of small things — both joys and disappointments.
I’ve managed to keep the gifted hydrangeas alive, and indeed they are thriving. Sadly, lack of water has killed some of my kowhai seedlings, and none of the latest batch of seeds has germinated yet. But the fruit trees and herb gardens are abundant, so my challenge is to put the harvest to good use.
An almost total absence of rain means we are being even more careful with water. Interestingly, it doesn’t feel like a hardship and I’m actually rather proud of my conservation efforts.
A chance meeting with an old friend who is developing an off-grid organic farm proved inspiring; giving us a chance to see what can be done — and how much work is involved. Our search for rural land has intensified.
As I write this, The Big T is texting me from Adelaide (South Australia) where the plane he arrived on has been sitting on the tarmac for almost an hour while heavily masked and suited medical personnel attend to several apparently unwell passengers who may be suffering from the coronavirus. He assures me that the authorities are just being “super vigilant” but it is hard not to worry.
Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away. — Marcus Aurelius
About The Changing Seasons
The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.
If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:
The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):
- Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
- Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
- Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them
The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):
- Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
- Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
- Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.
If you do a ping-back to this post, I can update it with links to all of yours.
Please visit these bloggers to see what January 2020 was like for them.
Pauline at Living in Paradise
Lani at Life, the Universe and Lani
Darren, The Arty Plantsman
Sarah at Art Expedition
Brian at Bushboys World
Ruth at Ruth’s Arc
Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful
Joining us for the first time, Wanderlust and Wonderment