Spring has always been my favourite time. Despite all the inconsistencies of the weather, I always feel it is a time of hope and promise, with new life all around you, and the promise of summer just around the corner.
Winter is snuggling up by the fire, good food and wine and laughter with family and friends. It’s when I get most of my writing done, while outside the winter storms arrive with cold and rain. The ground remains dormant, waiting for the arrival of spring.
Autumn though, had always seemed to me when I was younger, a sad time. The leaves falling from the trees, and the last crops of fruit and produce being picked before winter comes. There used to be the smell of smoke lingering in the air, from the burn-offs of the last corn planted, or the clearance of scrub. Now I’m older, I find it a more restful time of the year, when the garden is waiting for its winter rest.
I am off to the Coromandel for a week, and hopefully the good weather will stay. I will indulge in several of my pleasurable activities, which my children used to moan about.
I love blackberry picking and mushrooming, while catching the tuatuas, and a few other varieties of fish, always goes down well. Invariably, whenever I spotted a clump of blackberry patches, the kids and I were never dressed for it. We were usually in shorts, flimsy shirts, jandals, etc, and we would end up getting scratched, bitten, sunburned, and prickles in our feet and hands. Ah, but the blackberry pie that night! And the jam! All worth it in my book, but I’m not quite so sure my children saw it that way.
Mushrooming was much easier, though the find was not always so plentiful. Teaching them the good ones from the poisonous ones was always tricky, but in time the message got through. Does anyone else ever go mushrooming any more? Luckily I have a friend with a farm, so…
So, despite the loss of life that we have to endure as life rolls go on, sometimes the simplest things in life can still bring a smile to our lips, as we get on with the business of living, while the seasons roll around.
Evan G Andrew