It’s been an amazing Summer hot and dry. We have the worst drought in seventy years. The sunrises and sunsets have been amazing but oh, the animals are suffering. In rural districts rain is essential to survival long before the cities feel a shortage.
We have all wished so hard for rain that today it has rained for much of the day… hooray. But I believe it will be fine again tomorrow.
But the Summer news… well, I officiated at a lot of weddings this Summer and in my efficient way I didn’t arrange for anyone to take photos for me. Suffice to say that I have married people in Marquees on their properties, on beaches among gloriously burgundy hydrangea flowers arranged on stands to make an aisle, outside in splendidly formal arrangements with tables and garden full of flowers and all the guests seated under shelter. I’ve told some wonderful love stories and met interesting and exciting couples whose future looked very rosy.
And I’ve told a story or two on small occasions and large- again without taking any photos. Darn it. But never again, I’ll be glueing the camera to my arm in future.
As part of my new resolution, I took my camera and went out on a small bike journey around West Taratahi where I live. Unremarkable, you might think? Well, that’s because you don’t know my story.
Once there was a Crone who lived way out in the country. She had everything a Crone could wish for. A nice house to live in, water tanks full of water, a stream full of eels and other aquatic life, from which to draw water for her animals and chickens. She had a luscious husband who played the ukulele and made her laugh. She had friends and wonderful children and grandchildren whom she loved dearly. She should have been happy but…
In the eighteen months since she had a third operation on her hip she had been afraid to ride her bicycle. She had loved to ride and it irked her the way FEAR was ruling her. It filled her mind with images of falling and other horrors.
Well, fortunately, there came a day when this Crone spoke firmly to herself. “Fear was never conquered by avoiding it,” she said, “you know better than this,” and with that, she packed her lunch, and filled her water bottle, jumped on her bike and went out into the world.She rode through the drought-parched countryside, past paddocks dried to a crisp filled with miserable animals waiting for their owners to feed them. The smell of silage filled her nostrils and she loved the way Kingfishers sat on the power lines above her head. She talked to people outside their gates and waved to farmers on their big machines.
On and on she went, past the local cemetery, and down the hill to the main road and the Devine Cafe where she sat and drank a wonderful Soy latte before riding home again. Eighteen kilometers. “Take that, Fear.” She muttered as she put her bike back into the garage.