a friend rang me yesterday,
were we meeting or not?
me in pyjamas , a hacking cough walking and him, a plane to catch .
it was a relief really feeling the way I did.
how are you? I ask.
a long pause and then one word ‘down’.
the feeling transmitted itself along the wires and lodged at my front gate.
is it a winter thing like winter blues? I inquired.
I could hear him thinking,
he is not a guy that rushes into response
he is a wordsmith .
maybe he says.
the holidays are over and it is time to send his daughter back to Queensland
for another term
a cherished project he and his partner have been working on has been cancelled.
I am learning that I cannot fix anyones pain.
I am learning to witness and feel with them .
we did the silence thing companionably.
sometimes, when things don’t work out
it is because there is another option available
in a way that we can’t even imagine.
part of the magic and mystery of a divine creative universe.
no matter that we love the frosty morns ,the gloves beanie and jumpers,
the fireside and the hwb in our beds
there comes a point when we seem to ‘get over it’.
John broke his favourite blue cup the other day
the Bacchus cup given to him by Aghiah Sowelu when she was resident here
in the shack that she renamed Abracadabra.
his coffee cup .
an hour or so later he fell off the ladder in the shed where he is doing renos.
he jarred his arm and shoulder and took to the couch for the rest of the day,
I’m over winter he said.
My sister squeals over the phone what is he doing up a ladder Sandra?
well that stumped me for a bit.
um that is what we do here.
a power point flashed past my mind’s eye of our ladder activities
changing light bulbs, reaching for jars in the pantry, placing curtains back on track,
accessing storage cupboards, resetting solar panels on the roof and then our numerous building works.
indeed leave a ladder out and Kingston is up it like a shot
up down up again with a very pleased look on his face and a few bangs on the top rung.
Kay continues, tell him he shouldnt be doing that.
uh I don’t think so ,but I can promise not to tell you that I go up ladders all the time.
she is over winter too because the frost has taken out her garden
her pride and joy leaving her with a black sludge look .
I am thinking about this sitting coughing on the east verandah the sun warm on my body.
the frost beating a slow retreat
the iron roof dripping .
spindly legged blue wrens skip about my feet picking up minute crumbs,
we shake the bread board out for them
and then sit back and observe
the flying under the coffee table
under our chairs
busy always busy.
what are they thinking about winter?
the yellow robin flies to the verandah post and perches sideways
cocks its head assessing options.
am I going into the garden today?
any activity in the garden and they are there with us
a pip pip for us to stop so they can dive in and pick up the worm.
but it is the kookaburra that amazes me ,
it sits on a branch
swaying a little as if it is on a see saw
tilting its head
for a long time
and then pow before my eye to brain can see
it has landed, thrust its beak in and pulled out a white wriggly creature
one gulp ,swallowed and off it flies.
I look and cannot determine how it knows dinner is under the ground there.
nature is such an awesome teaching
and I am trying to pay attention,
but I am the foreigner here and don’t yet know the language.
does the wren the yellow robin the kookaburra get the winter blues?
do they despair of the iced over water and the short days in which to fill their bellies?
and when a wind takes out their building project do they become devastated ?
could I ever know?
a pair of swallows have returned to camp outside the kitchen door
the grey thrush has been heard to sing
and goodness knows what the wombats are up to but it is all dig scratch and turnover
with a lot of deposits of poo.
I am heartened by the activity in the forest around me
from dawn to dusk
the going about lives with meaning .
I think I envy that.
perhaps the winter blues come about because we try to live outside the rhythm of nature
because we impose our timetable and ignore the seasons.
or then again maybe some days we have had enough
we just in that moment are over it
and then we notice the daphne beginning to flower…
the faerie embassy is my home space,a beautiful mudbrick castle in a richly diverse forest. which means I am very passionate about wallabies and pythons and mist spiders and twisted angophoras and the sound of the wind and the feel of the rain . we are an ark ,an island of light, a beacon of common sense in a crazy out of control consumption mad world.we have a composting toilet for goddess sake.