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Friday, 22 June 2012

Reflection by Firelight

Winter 2012, our fourth here at World’s end and I have begun to realise a number of things. This year the winter is the warmest one we have experienced here. Yes we have acclimatised at last, something I did not believe possible the first year here. Our wardrobe now contains winter gear suitable for the season and we sigh with pure delight as we sink rather ungracefully onto our toasty warm electric blankets. We also invested in a tumble dryer, nothing better than drying off after a shower with a toasty warm and dry towel. We had three cubic metres of wood delivered to fuel our fireplace and we have developed a system that keeps the house warm throughout the day and yes that does mean that I have mastered the art of making fire! (If this were SKYPE or my Facebook page I would insert a large smiley face here!) We have all had the inevitable sniffs, coughs and sneezes and for the first time since we meet the Mauritian and I are both suffering from a serious case of flu at the same time. Which means that I am far too busy feeling sorry for myself to spare any sympathy for him and we are constantly fighting over the tissue box.

With my resolve to look at life more with the eyes of my children autumn was a colourful time, oranges and browns don’t seem so dull anymore. I discovered that jumping in soggy dead leaves did constitute having fun and getting soaked up to your knees from jumping in ice cold rain puddles made drying off in front of the fire exciting. Winter is a time for cuddling under blankets and watching old Disney movies and drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows. It’s also when bath time is around lunch time and mum puts a heater in the toilet to warm up the bathroom, which amused the Butterfly immensely and now she won’t bath without it. Winter is also a time for rainbows; lots of them, sometimes even double rainbows! One afternoon on our way home from “Kindy” we even found the end of a rainbow. The Butterfly nearly popped with excitement as there at the top of our road was the end of the rainbow we had been admiring as we left the Kindy grounds. It was with sheer delight that she begged me to take her into the road so she could touch it. This was followed by fascination as the rainbow moved as she moved; we spent some time moving back and forth across the road as well as up and down watching how the rainbow changed position. Unfortunately I also discovered that in actual fact there isn’t a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I’m assuming those pesky Leprechauns got there first.

Winter is also a time for funky knee high boots and ponchos, wearing mum’s is a lot more fun than wearing ones made to fit a Butterfly. Beanies are an essential in your cupboard because they really keep your head warm and they also make awesome “peek-a-boo” toys when playing with the Lollipop. Winter is a time of retreat, when people stick close to the warmth and light of their homes, when visits and gatherings are rare.  It is a time when you learn to appreciate your friends more because they’ve braved the cold and ventured out to join you for lunch in your home. Winter is a time when you learn to appreciate the sun.  There is nothing more satisfying then basking in the winter sun on a clear winter day. For me there is little else that is as inspiring as the sight of snow covered Mt. Taranaki sparkling in the sunlight against a background of true blue sky. Winter is a time of closeness, wrapped up in your winter woollies packed closely together on the couch watching the flames dance in the fireplace listening to the wind howling through the trees while the rain beats incessantly against the windows.  Winter is family time!

I think I like winter the best!