The long hot days are over, although some of our days are still very warm, the evenings are drawing in and this weekend has been so consistently wet that my dear husband has been out and gathered some mushrooms from our paddocks for dinner. Autumn is here and we are pleased, good farmers that we are.
Another reason for appreciating Autumn is that it brought us National Womens Day on the 10th March, and a storytelling event in Masterton. Women from China, Austria and Poland told stories of growing up in very different worlds to ours and I told the story Emma Dixon Adams who at the age of 14 walked across the mountains from Wellington with a small group of settlers, was married at 15 and had sixteen children. We took time to reflect how much life for women had changed and how much stays the same.
March also brought World Storytelling Day, last weekend. On Sunday, after a week’s holiday at the Beach, I drove into Carterton and hung balloons and a flag outside the small Senior Citizens Hall, before crossing the road to Wild Oats Cafe to meet with Linda Bremford, Caroline Welkin and Judith Jones, storytellers from Wellington to have lunch before sharing our stories for World Storytelling Day. Of course, we were pleased to know that here, at the bottom of the world we would be among the first to celebrate the day.
We were joined by Alice Robertson and a small audience for a great afternoon of stories. The theme for WSD was Water but because ours was a fairly spontaneous event we allowed ourselves to stray and tellers told folktales from around the world and some personal stories.
As we have recently experienced a major earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, with some loss of life, we are really feeling for Japan as they struggle to survive the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck this month. Our stories on Sunday were often tales of courage, hope, love and friendship. It was a satisfying day and evening as Linda returned home with me and we carried on telling stories into the night and resumed over breakfast next morning. I love the way we storytellers talk and talk and talk and talk when we get together.
It’s been a Summer of long, hot days but they have not been relaxed. Stories of death and miraculous escapes have existed side by side as we marvel at the resilience of our fellow citizens and grieve for those who are lost.
I have spent a lot of time sitting, reflecting and wishing for energy as I have recovered from some(not serious) surgery in January. We had two small holidays, one in Raumati with daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren and one in Cooks Beach, Coromandel with son and daughter-in-law and two grandsons. Just lovely to hang-out with family, chatter with children and see the next generation being wives and husbands, mothers and fathers. The future is in good hands I think.
I am still not hugely energetic although working hard on my exercises and swimming most days but I am seeking some new stories to tell as well as trying to get on with changes to my novel suggested by the publisher’s editor. Slowly, though, very slowly!