Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Seasons on the lifestyle block

No writing in 6 months. Since we took the property it has been busy. But I had a plan. We took over the property at the beginning of summer.
Summer and autumn are busy times on a lifestyle property. Everything is growing, ripening and requires processing. So time is at a premium.
Summer is the time for outside work. In winter the growth quietens down, the days are shorter and the weather is not so good for being outside.
Winter is the time for writing. 
Joel Salatin in the book I have read, but no doubt the others as well, talks about the importance of seasons. I think John Seymour in "The Fat of the Land" also discussed the seasons. Part of our reason for doing this was getting back in sync with nature. We are beings of nature and we have spent many thousands of years working with these seasons. It means there are still times for holidays and it means the work varies. It is not the same every day, there is a cycle to go through during the year.
I am intrigued that many of our older traditions fit with these seasons. Matariki, the Maori new year, is at a time of entering the coldest period of the year. It is a fun event of coming together as whanau, remembering those that have gone before and looking forward to the new year. It is the shortest days, it is time to plan for the coming year of growth.
If you look at the older church traditions such as the Anglican church, these also follow the rhythm of life for the majority of the people of their time. It makes no sense to us in the southern hemisphere but the northern hemisphere, where the traditions started, you can see how the church weaved in the narrative to the daily life of its followers.
There is the Christmas celebration in the middle of winter when it is cold and miserable. Coming up to Easter and the start of spring we have Lent, a time of fasting. This fits in with the time of least food, the last of the winter stores is running out and the spring new season's food has not come in yet. Instead of being a trial it is turned into a ‘thing’, a conscious activity. A time to reflect on the run up to Easter. Easter is at the start of spring. The church’s message of new life fits in well with the new life all around. Then the church calendar has about six months of ordinary time. In the northern hemisphere, this would have been the busy time of growing, harvesting and preserving so less time for thinking and church activities. 

We are living a little in each camp, enjoying the seasons of the land while still being part of the every day is the same office work world. Now about that chainsaw buying.

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5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.