I’m surrounded by constant reminders this week about how fragile life is. It’s clung to rather than embraced. There is no ‘summertime, and the living is easy’ happening here yet .
As another southerly front approaches you can almost hear us collectively draw breath and hold it. As it passes we exhale again.
I’m looking forward to a time of constant breathing when life and death isn’t quite so ‘all or nothing’; when adverse conditions may create a set-back, but not instantaneous death.
Of course we try and cheat the system as much as we can. We frost fight like our lives depend on it, and certainly our livelihood does. We don’t sleep quite as easily, quite as deeply on cloudless, still nights.
Not that still nights have been a concern this week. The Nor’Wester; the great North Canterbury wind has delivered a reminder of our own insignificance & fragility. A wind storm being compared to the great blow of 1975 has left us reeling. At full noise winds close to 200km per hour slammed into us. Associated lightning started fires around us and we all watched helplessly as 200 hectares of forest burned on our beloved Mt Grey.
The district now resonates to the sound of chainsaws as fallen trees are dealt to. Frustration grows as many wineries and businesses are still without power.
And yet last night, as the winds died away, The Vine Tender kept lonely vigil in front of a computer screen at the kitchen table, unable to use power to reset frost alarms, he watched as temperatures dipped to .6 of a degree.
Stillness threatening as much damage as gale force winds.
The irony is not lost. Bring on summer.