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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 )