New Year – it is what it is

I delayed sending out my Happy New Year message.  I wanted to take the perfect picture to go with it.  However the New Years Day dawn didn’t have the same glorious magic as the Boxing Day morning did.  There was a storm brewing.  But the summer dodgy bit of weather is normally over before you know it, so I waited.  But this was something more than a spot of dodgy weather – it actually is a storm and for once the boffins got it spot on.

Happy New Year
The butternut squash are positively bedraggled

I shouldn’t really be surprised – it happens every year.  In the precious 10 days between Christmas, New Year and a little beyond, most of the country pack up their tents, new toys and left over ham and head to the beach, or to the bush by a river and go camping. It is the traditional time for the big summer holiday.  It is almost like clockwork that within these treasured work free, family time days that a patch of dodgy weather will come by and not quite wreck things, but make it miserable for a day or two for those living under a soggy tent.

Happy New Year
Just the other day I was admiring how boofy and lush my chickpeas were looking. Now they are just flat like a bad hair day.

Fortunately for me, I’m still in my garden.  Circumstance has found us liberated from the traditional ‘squeeze all the holidays into one ten day window’, and I am able to tend my garden at a time I would ordinarily only dream (and worry) about it.  And yet here I am unable to get out there in it and can only watch in horror as the winds whip it about.  The dodgy bad patch is more than a dodgy bad patch this year- it’s a proper storm and is now in its second day.   I’m not going to get my perfect picture to welcome in the New Year.

Happy New Year
The garden is soggy and windswept, but if you look on the bright side the plants (and weeds and the grass) are loving the rain and are growing before my very eyes

Then I started to think about it.  The only thing that makes it new is the date on a calendar.  The solstice that marks a notable change in nature was weeks ago and would make for a more logical new year.  But there is nothing new about being in the middle of something – especially a growing season.   The last day of the year is no different from the first day of the year in the way it is presented to us.  The sun rises and sets again in the way it has since time began.  We just add a few celebratory bubbles – and don’t get me wrong I’m all for having an excuse for celebratory bubbles, especially if you can pop a drop of elderflower cordial in there!  So very good.

Happy New Year
Even the lavender is lackluster

The storm as it howled around the house making sounds that would indicate it was keen to come in, I realised “it is what it is.”  This statement is frequently heard at our place – it is what we utter when things are beyond our control.  There is no point worrying about things.    A garden is never a perfect place, it is never done.  It is a thing on a journey to somewhere at the whim of the gardener with many ups and downs along the way.  A bit like life really.

Happy New Year
Happy New Year

This is the reality of my New Year.  My garden is being hammered by a storm.  But it is not a mystical indication for the state of my entire year.  The garden still has life in it, and there is a great harvest waiting to happen.    As for the year itself – despite its unwelcome dramatic start it is still full of the hope and promise like that of a garden in the early days of spring.    2016 is going to be a fabulous year, because I am choosing to let it be one, whatever the weather.

Come again soon – it will stop raining and summer will return.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

20 thoughts on “New Year – it is what it is

    1. Thanks Lucinda, that means a lot. I always try to find something good in all situations – because it is always there if you look hard enough.
      Happy New Year to you and your family.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  1. Do not worry about the perfect photo this time. You have given us many last year. I am looking to many this year. Happy New Year to you and family. Gene

  2. Sarah, what a beautiful piece of writing. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been hammered with heavy storms when it should be hot and sunny. I imagine too, with your open piece of land that the wind really whips on through, without buildings or mountains to stop it. Your garden always looks amazing too me, so lush and green and cared for.

    We on the other hand are excited to greet a series of storms this coming week after so many years of drought (we’re entering year five). I hope it comes in waves and not all at once. Everyone here has forgotten how to drive in the rain.

    Wishing you a year full of dirt under your nails, remission from MS and a bountiful harvest. xox

    1. Hi Alys. Happy New Year. This kind of weather happens every year – I just don’t normally see it in the garden as we’re normally away. It can get quite windswept, but I’m torn between windbreak trees and blocking the view. What a terrible problem to have! We are blessed enough where we are to stay quite green as we are on the swamp. Many places further afield are looking quite brown.
      Thank you for you kind words – I’m cautiously stepping back into the garden, trying to balance getting things done with not overdoing things and so far so good.
      I hope your rain is everything you want and need it to be.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

      1. Windbreak trees and blocking the view are both good problems to have. I wonder if there is a happy medium, like shrubs that would help but not get too tall? Hmmm.

        I’m glad you are doing better, Sarah.

        Our rain has been lovely. We’re getting a lot of small storms, and today it’s dry so it will help with potential flooding and possible mudslides. A lot of land was severely damaged by fires last summer, and those areas are at the biggest risk for the slides.

        Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Linda. For us February normally has more settled summer weather – just when the kids go back to school. I guess we always forget that January can be quite wet at times.
      Cheers Sarah : o)

  3. Hey, reality is reality. I didn’t want to post a picture of my scrawny sugar snaps, but if I only posted pictures of huge harvests it would not be true to my gardening. I think everyone’s garden has bad hair days, and sometimes we even have bad hair seasons. On a different note, you called those who predict the weather “boffins”, is that a typical name for them, or is it a derogatory term? The only word that I can think of close to it that I might use is ” buffoon ” which is used for someone foolish. I love seeing your garden updates!

    1. Hi Sarah. Boffin is a British endearing slang word for scientists. Sort of like nerd or geek but nicer. The thing is the weather boffins never seem to get it right and are always changing their minds. But the day you don’t check what they have to say is the day the get it right and you miss a storm or a frost. It is hard to take them too seriously so I imagine them being all cute and sciency.
      Enjoy your sugar snaps – even scrawny is fabulous when you’ve grown it yourself!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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