A cold, windy night turns to a bright morning. The brisk air gives me a tip and after meditation I walk up to the reserve to look out across the bay to the mountains. They're spectacular with a fresh fall of snow, quite low and topping the hills behind the city as well. As I walk back home a woman with a dog is also enjoying the sight. I draw level with my neighbour across the road. She has a brush and dustpan and is gathering up the windblown debris from the gutter in front of her berm. I comment sympathetically that the weather left a mess and mention that I've been up to look at the snow which is beautiful. She replies, 'Hmm...' and bends to sweep up an almost invisible scrap. Not everyone shares my enthusiasm.
I have a coffee and knitting call with my friend who says she has some more wool for me. Perhaps I'll start a rug, although I'm a little intimidated by the wonderful rugs she has made for all her grandchildren and eventually for herself. Perhaps a little knee rug... I put aside the beanie I'm working on because I don't think I can talk and do the decreasing without messing up the ribbed pattern. I finish it later.
My writing group tackles our first Zoom meeting with about six members joining in and a reasonable degree of success – even the one who can see and hear but not be seen or heard himself is enthusiastic by chat in the sidebar. We have already shared our stories and received some feedback by email so mostly we talk about our experiences of the rahui and whether or not we find it conducive to writing. For most of us, it's hard to settle. As always, it's pleasing to see my friends even electronically, but we miss Jackie's amazing baking which usually graces the library table when we meet in person.
I set out for my walk while the sun's warm. I need to move after all this sitting and it's good to get out even though the wind is cool. My circuit takes just under an hour and the time seems to fly by.
When I get back I make a hot drink and call my daughter. Our news is limited but I can hear my grand-daughter who begins to chat with gusto once she's changed and given some toys. At just 12 weeks she's discovered she can grab things and put them in her mouth, as well as make a range of sounds to communicate. Her mother, understandably, is charmed and so am I. Again, it's not quite as good as being there but it is good.
This whole day has gone by quickly. Perhaps I've adapted to the conditions. I wonder how it will be to start coming out again. I recall a family in the eastern suburbs of Auckland who I visited a long time ago when my work involved occasional home visits. They were been living in a converted garage with everything in the one room, the children's bunks at one end and the parents' double bed at the other with a makeshift kitchen and living-room in between. The children ranged widely in the scrubby section and they kept chickens. The mother joked that, as she did when she brought home a new chook, she would have to lock the children in one room of the new house and release them slowly until they were comfortable with a whole new four bedroom home.
I might not want to take on all my former activities, but just release myself into the world slowly.