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It’s August already. My, the year seems to have flown by, or is it I am just getting older? Well yes, I am sadly. A lifetime seems so short. When you are young, you think that it is a long time but life has a habit of creeping up on you ever so fast.
The thought of summer approaching puts a spring in my step though. I am most definitely not a winter person. In fact, I tend to get a bit grumpy in the winter I think, my husband probably agrees!
As we get older, a lot of us have to face arthritis and our creaky, aging bones. I take all sorts of potions to help stop my aging process. My body really does not like the cold and my aches and pains definitely seem to be more prevalent in the colder months.
However, this morning while walking around the garden, I noticed the first sign of tiny new leaves forming on the rose bushes. My heart gladdened as spring is definitely coming. The roses were only pruned in July so it seems to have happened quite quickly.
Every spring I look for the early signs of change in the garden. I can’t wait to see blossoms and leaves forming on the trees. The early leaves seem to be such a lovely shade of lime green and they look so soft and gentle.
The streets around our home are lined with pale pink cherry blossom trees. They look simply stunning when they are in full bloom. They remind me of delicate pink lace, so pretty, sweet and fresh.
Yesterday I bought myself some daffodils and irises. What a lovely burst of colour they have added to the lounge. It really cheered me up, as well as the house.
I do marvel at little delicate flowers like daffodils, crocuses, and irises that seem to thrive so well in the cooler weather. It really is a marvel of nature. When I lived in the South Island, I loved Lily of the Valley, my Nana’s favourite flower. How this beautiful-smelling little flower could survive the cold weather was indeed a mystery to me.
As a young person I lived in Mid-Canterbury; the winters were harsh but I did love to scrape the ice that was formed in amazing little patterns on my bedroom windows. I would scratch my name and do little drawings in the frost. I also loved to walk on the ice puddles. Some were not as thick as I thought they were, hence I ended up with wet shoes and socks - much to my mothers displeasure. Often I recall our car would ice up and it would take my father forever to get it going. Sometimes my brother and I would have to push the car down the road to get it started.
One thing I did enjoy was the big open fire in our lounge. I loved looking at the embers and quite often at weekends we would go in search of pinecones. They would crackle and pop in the fireplace, which was always comforting especially when you could hear the wind blowing or the patter of rain on our tin roof.
I think generally, unless you are a mad-keen snow person who heads off to the mountains for skiing etc, winter does tend to make you feel a bit blue.
The days are shorter, colder and we tend to become more housebound. We watch more television, read books, or just dream of far-away places that are nice and warm and wish we were there. Lying on the beach in Hawaii with a Maitai sounds very appealing in the dead of winter!
I absolutely love long summer days; the evening BBQs, sitting on the deck watching the sun go down and enjoying a nice glass of wine. The white gazebo sitting up at the end of the deck looks so nice framed against the evening light.
When I look out over the edge of the deck, my mind floats off over the rooftops to happy places. It is quiet, peaceful, and magical - especially watching the sunset.
I love letting my mind drift off to some happy place and let the cares of the day just float off into the sunset. My husband often drags out his camera. He likes trying to get interesting shots of sunsets, and unusual cloud formations.
So next month is officially spring and I cannot wait!
By Kay Rayner