(Early evening, early autumn view from our house).
In January I wrote: I trust you will forgive me as over the next few days / weeks ... however long it takes ... I slowly unspool wound memories of our holiday.
Well ... it took months, not weeks. But I have finally recaptured all I want of our holiday. (There is certainly more, but it is time to move on - the memories will continue to buoy me for a time yet, so I don't regret the letting go of the hard copy version).
(blackbird? and strawberry tree berries.)
Right now, Autumn will soon be over. We have been enjoying the benefits of a warm and mild one this year (after an average summer).
Butterflies such as this one perching on pittosporum leaves just outside the window, are a sign of mild autumn conditions.
Recent mornings have brought mists and / or frosts ... the cold is edging in closer.
Just to recap the last few months: Michael and Kate flew away to the North Island. Fresh fields, new horizons and opportunities for them. After they left, the house certainly felt quiet ... I really missed their company.
I wrote this poem at the time.
(Happy to say, it was published in yesterday's newspaper as Monday's Poem).
St Clair Hot Salt-Water Pool
As I swim, you are both flying.
Air and water, none of us
on solid ground. I swim through
bright, warm salt-water, you two
through cold cloud. I reach out,
my fingers touching blue tile.
I swivel then slowly push through
to the other side. We are all viewing
new ways of seeing, through blue
-tinted goggles, through dull portholes,
into a world held together by its own weight.
“Excuse me but are you getting out soon
just I need to know for the showers”,
another swimmer butts into my thoughts.
She is a stranger taking liberties.
Mid-morning rules apply apparently
we are all in this fraying summer together.
I agree to have the briefest of showers
and glance at the clock to check
my progress. I decide, one more lap.
Soon you will be landing,
without surfboards, forced to leave
them behind. All of us then
travelling on, travelling light.
Then our son Chris who had been overseas for two years, arrived back ...
There was a family wedding to go to.
And at last we met Chris' lovely girlfriend, Jenny ...
As well, Philip from California came and stayed with us - our first couch surfer! We really enjoyed his visit. He is still travelling New Zealand and going by his FB status accounts and blog posts, thoroughly enjoying himself.
(a bunch of wild flowers Jenny brought back from one of their outings)
The weather was still being kind, Chris and Jenny were able to make the most of it and explore Dunedin and its many beaches and nature walks.
Before they left us to also travel around New Zealand, they made us a herb garden. (Grommet the cat as usual right in the middle of the action).
Once again the house is empty. Walks ... picnics ...
... and a try out at curling (unfortunately it's held on the wrong night for us, so we can't go regularly).
Today was our 36th wedding anniversary. Our celebration was low key - not even a dinner out. Instead, a night in by the fire, watching TV after dinner (pork chops, potatoes, kumara, and stir-fried vegetables with added fresh herbs from our lovely herb garden - coriander and rocket).