Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Solstice, Procrastination, and Good intentions

Today it actually feels like summer at last. It is also the solstice, so it's about time it felt like summer!

Yesterday I went and collected 40 kumera tupu from Liz, our local permaculture guru, who lives just a few minutes away. The season is late here: last year I planted them in November. They grew well and now I know how to do it, they stored well too, and we are eating the last of them now.

I have not done well with producing food this year. I have been focused on getting healthier, on what I can and can't eat now I am diabetic, and have been fairly dispirited about growing food as a consequence. I am so disappointed that our fruit trees are not bearing much fruit this year, the ones that I can eat, anyway. I had planned on bottling lots of apples and pears, but we have no pears on our three trees, and not many apples.
I only recently decided to grow kumera again. Potatoes are definitely out for me, so haven't grown any, much to Mac's disappointment. However, I have found that I can take kumera in moderation. Of course, being both an impulse buyer (Hey I think I'll grow kumera again, I'll go get some tupu now,) and a procrastinator (I don't know what to grow in that garden so I won't prepare it for anything,) I got up this morning and knew I had to work hard in the hottest day of 'summer' so far (26C)
Of course, like all procrastinators, I am easily distracred. On the way to the kumera garden, I realised that the basket willows were lost in weeds so stopped to clean that mess up, 'pruning' some with the scythe in the process. I took this before I'd finished just so I could see what a mammoth task it was!

 My vege gardens have been similarly neglected, but the bees are loving it. There are actually young pea plants in there somewhere.
Anyway, I did manage to get the bed dug and weeded, but needed Mac's help after work to hit the warratahs in for the extended windbreak - not just to guard against the wind, but also in the hopes of keeping the pukeko out. I have only about a quarter of the shallots and garlic that I originally planted left, after the wretched birds kept pulling in out. They didn't like it, but had to keep trying, just in case the next one was different!
It was very hot, and hard work. I'm tired and my joints in my hands are throbbing from all the pulling of over-size weeds, but still, I feel incredibly privileged to live and work in this beautiful place.
It's been a funny week. I've spent time thinking about my parents, as my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer 28 years ago yesterday, and died just 11 days later, following on from my father's death 8 months earlier. I've been thinking about my sons who have been through some hard times this year, but also some good times. I've been thinking of my personal difficulties with diabetes and depression this year - I've managed not to succumb to depression, but it's been a struggle nonetheless. But I've also been looking forward to seeing all my sons on the 25th, and to various 'happenings' coming up next year.

From my health problems has arisen a deep gut knowledge that I am going to die. I always knew it intellectually, but now I know it. This coming year I want to tell people if I love them. And what I love about them. Actually tell them, rather than wait and say it at their funerals. In the last week two people have said kind things about me, to me, and it felt so good. But it is also important to express the bad things if it is important to you and if the person is / has been important in your life. I never told my father anything other than I loved him. I tried to talk to my mother about the issues that have taken me the 28 years since her death to almost come to terms with - she refused to discuss or listen. I did tell her that I loved her, and thanked her for some of the positive things she had done - but only as she lay on her death bed. As I finished, she took one last breath and died. I don't remember her ever saying she loved me, or that approving of anything about me. I wish she had been able to talk to me, and to hear me.

I hope that people, my sons, friends, whoever, don't procrastinate, and will talk to me about what they need to say to me before I die, rather than saying the good things at my funeral, and the bad things to their therapists.
Today, in the garden, on this summer solstice day, I worked hard and didn't think much at all, just sat with the present. And it was good.

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