Being a fan of re-use, re-purpose, re-vamp, re-cycle – newness is not something I usually aspire too. Today, feeling jaded and tired, I wandered down the road to my favourite bench-with-a-view. After sitting for just a moment, I climbed through the fence and walked down the hill to a place I have never, ever explored before. Odd really.
Dizzy (my not so new dog) loved the adventure, of course, and I must say it really put a spring in my step too. The newness of Spring in the Midlands is very appealing. Most of the grassland had been burnt during winter so it was easy to walk through the tufts of new growth with fresh flowers bursting from the dark earth.
There are so many delightful floral treasures in the fields at this time of year, I am always glad when I decide to cart my camera along with me.
The brand new, bright green leaves on the Canthium and Celtis trees never cease to delight me and the tiny blossoms on the Clausena anisata and Puttelickia are too precious for words. Nature is all about renewal, isn’t it? Well, cycles anyway.
There were lots of seeps, springs and tiny little streams on my walk today that, I guess, flow into the Petrus Stroom and then into the mighty uMngeni. This reminded me that my (newish) friend Penny discovered on her incredible walk all the way down the uMngeni River last year, that even the most degraded and polluted river is able to heal itself if given a breathing space. She is advocating buffer zones of pure nature after urban areas, to ensure that our water resources are in a healthy state.
By the time I got back up the hill, I was feeling completely refreshed and even inspired to write this blog! So that is definitely a plug for new stuff! When I complained yesterday of “not having any fun and feeling tired and bored”, Sarah (another newish friend) said “The problem is that we don’t get a winter shutdown with the way technology has advanced, and then Spring kicks in and everything speeds up another gear!” How right she is – it is exhausting. Relentless. We need to hibernate.
With global warming, we aren’t even having much winter anyway. I made only three fires this season – and two were more for atmosphere than warmth. I didn’t spend even one whole cold morning in bed just snuggling up with pots of tea and a book.
I wonder too, if the company I keep of wonderfully energetic young people with new smooth skin might make me feel a little weary? Although I have t-shirts older than they are, inspiring them to love flowers, good food and photography is pure joy. No, it can’t be the teenagers. It is just being way past 50 and working too much.
So Newness – new experiences are not all that much different from new stuff – it is still grasping, as Paul often reminds me. However, as this afternoon’s adventure did not involve emitting even one gram of carbon or any inconvenience to anyone, I’ve decided it is grasping of the best sort.
Did you know that making a new t-shirt generates between 4 and 6kgs of C02? I know that cheap t-shirts in the coolest colours are hard to resist (I battle myself), but this is definitely the sort of newness we should avoid.
Do you follow George Monbiot’s blog? If not, do read his recent post: http://www.monbiot.com/2013/09/23/apple-turnover/ and in particular, click on the link to the RESTART PROJECT – a truly inspiring initiative.
I still advocate careful consumption or the funkier sounding – frugal luxury. And New Friends. New food too – which is exactly why I might feast on just picked peas, fresh fennel and tiny spinach leaves for supper. I may just have a starlit walk afterwards… the moon is nearly new after all.