Temperatures are soaring again and the landscape is harsh. By now, Autumn's gentle ways should be lulling us into a time of inward renewal and hibernation. Evenings should be cool enough for a cardi but Summer refuses to leave. Bogged down in humidity we are all tired, cranky and stagnating in a season that has long overstayed it's welcome. So we head to water.
Cool water on hands and feet provide a tonic to prickly, sweaty skin and a welcome excuse to strip off. Tetchy little ones are soothed with a handful of animals and timber bowls; a backyard savannah of sorts. And frequent drinks of slightly chilled water with slices of lemon and cucumber help to hydrate and calm.
Tonight I will set out small tapas plates of hard boiled eggs, olives, cherry tomatoes, hummus and sourdough bread with chilled slices of orange for afters. I will draw myself a cool bath come evening and wallow by candlelight, willing Autumn to show itself. Tomorrow we'll pack our fossicking baskets with flasks of iced peppermint tea and head to the creek. And if I forget the calendar and just accept the weather for what it is, I might just convince myself that this extended Summer is indeed a gift.
Has Autumn shown itself to you yet? What are your weekend plans?
Lately I've been taking my tea outside on the back deck; it's cool and quiet there. Usually English Breakfast with honey or mint fresh from the garden. And perhaps a little something sweet to eat. It's that small window of time with both my youngest babes sleeping that I'm enforcing some self care on myself.
Neglecting the nappy folding, the lunch (and sometimes breakfast) dishes I'm choosing these quiet few moments first. Propelled by some unforeseen notion of domestic duty I would usually soldier on until all the tasks were done. Wouldn't the list of to do's with jaunty ticks leave me feeling accomplished? Surely I'd savour the serenity all the more. But inevitably someone would wake the second I placed the kettle on the stove and the daily dance would resume, the precious moments of alone time gone.
So now, with my eyes resting on green, growing things and my ears filled with not much more than birdsong, I'm putting my tea break at the top of the list. A few solitary moments in a day to recharge and regroup...or to simply sit down. A small act of mindfulness where I lower and relax my shoulders, gently direct my attention to the taste and warmth of the tea and gaze at nature's colour palette. The rules are simple - no phone and no computer, just tea and stillness.