As we move into the very early stages of freeing up of Lockdown, I’ve had pause to reflect on what this time has meant for me.
In typical Pollyanna fashion, I’m looking for the prism of light.
To be honest, it’s been all of that.
Once upon a time…
… we downsized to a small house with a tiny garden. The garden, once established, had to give us (and the dog) joy. And an escape from the city outside the gates, because we’re not city folk.
It also had to promise to care for itself for large tracts of time.
So not a lot to ask really…
This is my favourite part of the year in terms of garden work.
Autumn is energetic, with lots of cutting back, raking leaves, planting bulbs, feeding, watching for growth, and a really subtle feeling of faith and hope – the knowledge that the seasons keep spinning into perpetuity.
Unless I’m swimming in the ocean or in an air-conditioned house, I’m done like a dinner!
I used to lie under the trees with the dog but at 30+ Celsius every day, forget it.
So what does one do when one doesn’t want to be outside?
There’s always writing. Always. Annie sneaks in at odd hours when the muse tickles my fancy. I write at the beach, on the window seat, in the chair in the sunroom under the air-conditioning and in bed at night.
In addition, a writer’s office work is never done – I must update my tax information!
There’s also reading.
I bought English gardening magazines today because it’s too hot for me to play in my own garden and I can lust after frost-rimed and snow-trimmed gardens. I can feel the chill, revel in it!
Maybe not the Arctic Vortex that’s hitting America at the moment. That’s a step too far. But a cool change would be rather nice.
I noticed today that some of the poplars on the highway are a limp smoky amber. Way too early for autumn but there has been no rain since Oct-Nov and weeks of super-hot days, so it’s no wonder. Even our garden willows are shedding and some branches are turning a sickly yellow. The sky is tinged with the ever-present smoke, so everything looks like a prequel to Dante’s Inferno.
But back inside – there’s always embroidery.
A needle, some woollen or silk thread, some linen fabric.
Always something challenging and fascinating to stitch. New stitches, different designs. Spreading the wings a little.
Tomorrow it’s supposed to be 32 degrees. A swim is de rigeur. And then, when I’m moderately cooler, I’m going to sit and chat with Annie. Who knows where that will take us?
As summer continues to bake our garden, it becomes more difficult to find anything to talk about. One can bemoan the cost of the water with which we irrigate the garden on a heavy daily basis. One can whinge about the dry thunderstorms and the humidity immediately after. Or whine about the longing for an autumnal-styled day so one can work happily in the garden.
Another Saturday, time flies!
We had to spend time in the city this week and so had three days messing about in the Matchbox garden. We trimmed the hedge that separates our townhouse from the row behind. It’s about 3 metres high and 25 metres long – made of awful shrubs that grow in weed proportions here. Things like the Cotoneaster Glaucophyllis and the New Zealand Mirror Bush which seed horrendously and choke our native species in the wild and our own gardens.