This July the 2 folk, dog and their tractor spent much of their time indoors.
Despite the odd day of dead quiet fog, our winter days are usually cold, clear blue skies with the nights turning a bone-chilling cold. Hooray! Huge open fires just ’cause we can.
The stillness that creates the frosty night is riveting. If you happen to look up, the Milky Way seems so close you could dip your hand into its depths and extract one of its shiny stones to hold twinkling in your hand. It’s all awe and humility at the SCALE of it all, just hanging there. (Roman ruins just don’t compare – see Junes’ blog).
Then the cold starts to seep in and the lovely deep moment is clocked, tagged with the comment, “wear a coat next time!” as you rush indoors.
I’m learning that out here, apart from dressing more appropriately, the dark has a different feel to it than in the city. For me, it’s not so menacing. In summer the night is a cool respite from the glaring sun, and in winter it’s a chance to notice a very deep quiet and have (oddly) rather clear night vision.
Now I take a moment. To not feel the tyranny of the cold and the urgency coming from the warm house. I enjoy the long walk back from the gate after seeing a friend off home, I take my time, look up, draw deep breaths and marvel at the universe and our very small, wee dot of a place within.
The discovery of a new tree is always exciting. Let alone when you find trees alive and thriving presumed dead. We’ve always struggled with getting native trees to thrive at our place. Open grassy woodland is the proper term for our part of the world, open suggesting there were trees here once that created the structure for the space to exist. We have the ‘open’ part sorted – to the point of ‘exposed’.
To help with the rehabilitation of our land, we planted several red and yellow box (Eucalyptus polyanthemos and Eucalyptus melliodora respectively), on ridgelines and down low. Several times. We now have 4, where once there was 1, and to my utter surprise, we have another 4, where once there were none. This last group was undeniably neglected by me as I was loathed to stomp through tall grass in the middle of summer looking for tiny seedlings to water. Our only, and severely limited, claim to success is that we planted them in autumn 2014, watered them a few times and gave them some cover. Then left them alone. Having found these little beauties it’s all I can do to not start fussing over them.
Progress crawls millimetre by millimetre on the house. An offhand comment of, “If we painted the walls maybe they won’t look so bad next to the wood paneling”, became my priority. Sly work my friend. Give me a task and I’m locked on and can’t let the beastie go until the task is delivered. Have you ever seen Terrier dogs snap their heads to attention when some little fury thing flings past – yea it’s like that. It used to be shoes once upon a time…
July Book List
I learned quite a bit from the Stephen King book. I’ve not read or watched his work before now and this book is personable, helpful, and irreverent. Oh to have a scintilla of his skill.
You would have thought that with the weather forcing our focus indoors I might have managed a greater reading list this month. Instead, I’ve been using the time to learn about taking photos, using Instagram and building websites for ‘longview garlic’. My most creative and inspiring achievement was to translate an image I’ve had in my head for months now into my logo – which is so dead simple you might well ask, creative achievement of worth? I love it and I did it all by myself #progressnotperfection
Lots of photograph practice produced these pics which will get some use in the next few months, more so on my Instagram site, @longview_garlic.
We all need warm happy rays at this time of year.
As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness — just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.
Laura Ingalls Wilder, Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder: On Wisdom and Virtues