First Month of Winter – Brrrr: June 1 – 30, 2012

Winter has set in early this year and it’s felt particularly cold and dreary here in Christchurch. It’s been especially hard to re-acclimate after spending a month in Vegas’ and Florida’s warm climate where shorts, tanks, and bathing suits were the norm.

As a result, we’ve been moving quite slowly, trying to slow down our normally quick paced lives, and tune in to what this wintry season dictates:  internal focus, nesting, more inside time, maintenance work, repairs, reading, movie watching, warming up by the fire, hanging out with friends.

We’re both having a hard time motivating and I suspect we’re both suffering a bit from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).   We haven’t had that many sunny days which makes it harder to want to get outside and tend to chores.

But we’re getting into our winter groove.  For me that means allowing myself to stay in bed until mid-morning, rising when the outside temperatures reach somewhat decent levels;  attending  to early morning emailing and paperwork, and then getting outside for a few hours from noon to about 3:00 or 4:00 pm.  By then, the daylight starts to wane, it’s time for the fire to light, and it’s inside for a bit of yoga and mediation, and then evening rest – internetting, reading, or movie watching.

We had our first snowstorm a week after returning back from the States which was a bit of a shocker.   Twenty-four hours of on and off flurries dumped a mere 3” in Wainui but wreaked havoc in Christchurch and the surrounding plains where 7” – 20” accumulated.  It took over a week for that to dissipate.   Evening temperatures are regularly dropping down to freezing (30F / 0C) or below, so getting the fire roaring is a high priority!

We’ve been quite social, catching up with many friends over the last few weeks and celebrating birthdays and other events.   The Temple for Christchurch project is ticking along, albeit slowly, as we’re still trying to find a proper site for the project.  Friend Briar held a Temple fundraiser party which had a lovely turnout and raised a wee bit of money for the project.

The highlight of the month was our citizenship ceremony!  We have finally qualified for NZ citizenship which was made complete by our attending of a Christchurch City Council ceremony presided by Mayor Bob Parker.  Eighty of us, representing 18 countries, pledged allegiance to the Queen, shook Mayor Bob’s hand, received a native tree in honor of the occasion, and were pronounced New Zealand Citizens.  It was quite a milestone to have reached this day as both Bruce and I can recall the conversations we had back in 2005 when we set out on this path.   I feel honored to become a Kiwi!

So we’re now past the solstice and the shortest day of the year. I can already see some early signs of the reach towards Spring even though we still have a bit of winter to weather– daffodil tendrils are slowly pushing up through the earth, the rose bushes are budding.   The garlic has been planted, the compost pile turned.  We’re ever so slowly tackling the myriad of small projects and repairs that have been neglected for so long.  Bit by bit, day by day, we move forward.  Slowly.