What an Airedale can teach you about life
and the planting of spring promises
Suddenly there is gold everywhere I look. Across the valley there are patches of gold, rusts, oranges as the leaves turn. I walk home from work and golden leaves dance in front of me as I stroll through the gardens. There is a shimmer to it all. Parts of the garden at home start to reveal their bones as leaves fall and neighbours house start to appear in my eye line as I work. I will miss the cocoon feeling the garden provides in summer when all the trees are fully clothed. Birds return. I stand and watch a fantail do it’s dance of bamboozlement. It gets so close I jump back. Wax eyes flit in the background like chorus girls. Two wood pigeons are battling over the ownership of a tree near by. They are hilarious as they fight, it’s like watching a battle in slow motion. Earlier in the day I heard a bell bird calling. The birds presences is just as golden and magical as the turning of the season.
As the seasons change we start doing our dog runs. It is cool enough to do so. There is a small group of us who meet for a dog run and usually followed by a meal, either a breakfast or a dinner. The meal after the run has become just as important as getting the dogs out for some fun. The dog run involves harnessing the dogs to our bike and letting them go. They can run fast our two but as you can imagine with Airedales even if they can they don’t always do. We have clocked Atlas at 30 kms and when we took Eos out for her first run she took off like it was something she was born to do. Sunday evening we went for a run and Atlas was on form. I played rabbit, which involves me riding my bike in front so the pups have something to chase. The joy on their faces when I turned to look back was fantastic. I looked at my big dog (Atlas) and saw an 8 and 1/2 year old dog just going for it, ignoring his age and just having fun. My dogs have taught me many lessons over the years and watching Atlas run as fast as he could (despite his little sister not really pulling her weight) and loving it made me realise you should just enjoy doing what you want to do no matter how old you are.
I think there are 50 pages. Written words. Rambling words. Words with heart and of course many misspelt words. I’ve collected thoughts and images and stuck them to the wall. I’ve pulled them off, stared at them and then using them as prompts written word after word. They now sit printed in a pile and with a red pen in hand and I begin to read. Some words make sense and express what I feel others are struck through with the vibrant red pen. The next stage of the book writing journey begins.
Daffidol bulbs arrived in the post. Last spring I photographed daffidols adding blurr and distoration, creating beautiful almost ailen like images. I loved the idea of changing how we look at a flower, espeically a daffidol, morphing it into something else. My bulbs arrive from Emerden and Hadstock farm and have names like Pheasant eye, White Cheerfulness and Hungarian Rhapsody. I pot them up (17 and counting) and will leave them until spring where I shall hopefully be inspired after a winter’s hibernation to explore more these themes and ideas. Last year’s play I recently put out into the world. I submitted my first photo for publication and it can now, along with other treasured words and images, be found in the Spring of Humana Obserca. Digital copies are avaliable for free view here. Print copies can be purchased via Amazon. I am excited by this and it adds to my desire to explore these ideas more in the spring.
For the last few years learning for me has been largely confined to the online space so it is very exciting to be able to attend a workshop in person. Chloe Lodge who is based in Kurow will be holding a work shop on the 30th of April in Dunedin called Flow and Light Retreat. It looks like a real treat of a day and I’m looking forward to stimulating conversation and some in person creativity.