This is a quick blog with few pictures, but a landmark one nonetheless.
Monday’s hard frost led on to the clear blue skies and over-enthusiastic sunshine of the classic Canterbury Plains winter day, although the view from the goat’s paddock made sense of the nip in the air.
Down the road, the deer have been brought in to strip graze the paddock of brassica Colin and I have been watching grow over the last few months of our evening walks.
Colin is always surprised when the deer take to their heels on our approach. They retreat, but only so far; half a paddock is deemed a safe distance from the snuffly Labrador, apparently.
It seemed only right to attempt to photograph the Super Flower Blood Moon, rising as I put the goats to bed – but my efforts were pretty meagre. The display by moon and eclipse were awe inspiring: gorgeously coloured, clear, and so close you felt you could reach out and touch it, but don’t look to me for evidence. It was way beyond the capabilities of both me and my phone.
And now we are in the beginning stages of an extreme weather event,; “a significant period of a lot of rain,” according to a meteorologist important enough to be quoted (I wonder about his turn of phrase but find it frighteningly easy to understand) . We’ve been told to prepare for at least 200mm between now and Monday – that’s indeed a lot of rain for us. As I type this, it’s not hard to imagine; it’s hammering.
But everything has taken a bit of a back seat this week as we Homesteaders find ourselves juggling feelings of joy, relief, bonetiredness, and other stuff we still have to work out. After four years on guard, watching everything we say, how we act, how we interact with the world, we can now be ourselves again. Of course, after four years of thinking twice before every utterance and movement, having our words, intentions, and actions warped and twisted into the kind of ugly that I didn’t believe existed outside fairytales, it’s going to take a while before we remember who we actually are – but the relief is huge. Yes, legal proceedings brought against us by one we counted as our own have now reached a settlement and we didn’t lose our lifestyle or, more importantly, each other. There is to be a major change: Farm Girl will be starting conventional school in late July. We are looking at the positives – all those potential new friends, the extra curricular opportunities, the sense of belonging donning a uniform gives you – secure in the knowledge she is so totally academically, socially, and emotionally prepared for this move even if it wasn’t our first choice.
There’s a C S Lewis quote that goes (I’m working from memory here), “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind”.
Here on the Homestead, we’re embracing Lewis’ sentiment but feel we really need to look behind a little to thank some folk: you know, those who stood beside us, laughed with us even when it really wasn’t funny, sheltered us both figuratively and literally, talked us down, talked us up, and generally wanted to be around us. To The Cat Burglar and family and The Royal Family of Melton (West): there are no words without getting mushy and maudlin and let’s not do that. To all who read this blog and comment faithfully, even when it’s a bit dire, especially sailorssmallfarm, tootlepedal, susanpoozan, and asufflolklane: thank you for allowing me to believe I could still do one thing reasonably well.
So, enough of looking back. I’m looking forward to telling you exactly how things are, in my own words, without examining them for shadows.