I love this time of year when an imperceptible change of the seasons begin. I was driving to my pottery class this past Saturday morning, and couldn’t help but notice that all was in shade on the road just about all the way. (It’s about a 15 min drive.) I’ve noticed the long shadows all over town and on my walks these last weeks as the solstice has approached.
Although it’s winter here in the southern hemisphere, it hardly feels like it in Plettenberg Bay, in the southern part of South Africa. The days are warm and sunny, the nights are cold. We’ve lit a wood fire on a few occasions, or used the gas heater. I’m sure we’ll still get the bite. There’s been snow on the Drakensberg mountains in the last little while (on the eastern side). Up north in eg Johannesburg, they’ve felt the bite of winter. Real shiver me timbers stuff.
We’re in the third wave of Covid. Some places in South Africa have been hard hit with the rapid uptick of it. Colds and flu are normal for this time of year, but along with Covid, things are not good. This government has been very slack in providing vaccines, much due to corruption, including our Minister of Health, so help me G-d. Many are not playing their part in social distancing, masking, sanitising. Unemployment is at an all time high, the population is frightened and angry, riots and protests are ongoing as is crime, GBV. We have restrictions in place, at the moment Level 3. I know many, family included, who’ve had Covid, and a few friends and acquaintances who have sadly died.
From tomorrow we’ll be in our 3rd week of painting the interior of the house. Last week the painters couldn’t come for 2 days because of riots and the blocking of the national road preventing MANY from getting to their place of work in Plettenberg Bay. There are no curtains in the house as they’ve been taken down. Thankfully, we are not woken in the early hours from sunlight streaming in. I can’t use my study, everything’s covered up. Hopefully, all will be completed by the end of the month – and then it’s July! I swear this year is going faster than previous years.
I asked Mike and Neil on our walk – does the sun rise in the east and set in the west. They looked at me as if I was crazy. Of course they said, surely you know that. I said no, the sun doesn’t rise and set, the earth moves. As the earth continues its tilting, I wish you Solstice blessings in the northern and southern hemispheres and fruitful changes.
Margaret Attwood: “This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year’s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath”.
Thank you for reading. May the Force be with you.