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June 15

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It's a couple of days to the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere so our evening draw in early and by 5.30pm we are dark. Tonight we have a half moon hovering in the sky. I know that in the northern hemisphere you are enjoying long evenings of light and dawn comes early too. We retreat inside with the sunset, turn on the gas heater and get the animals settled on their bed in front of it's warmth. Most of our evenings are spent quietly at home, making and sharing a meal, chatting about whatever, enjoying the peace of our own place, the warmth of our home with it's familiar things we have chosen over the years.

I don't envy the socialites who go out to glamorous events three or four nights a week, dressing up in outfits and jewels that would keep us for a year, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous who one day will not be famous any longer, air kissing and shallow chit chat while they eye each other's outfits and estimate how much they cost and where they were purchased or who the designer is.

It all seems terribly frivolous and empty from my cottage on the farm. How hard they all must work to keep 'on trend' and up to date with the latest gossip and scandal which inevitably will be about them at some point. How desperate to know that someone will come along, sooner, rather than later, who is younger, prettier, richer, better dressed, more successful. They will replace you seamlessly and your so-called friends will forget they ever knew you. They talk of 'living authentically', 'going green', 'preserving nature', 'doing something for the poor'.

At the same time they drive in great monster vehicles that guzzle gas, toss out last season's clothes and replace them with this season's clothes, redecorate once or twice a year, spend lavishly on the most expensive foods, send their children to the most expensive schools, thinking that they've 'made it'. They are the top of the tree. But, it seems to me, that tree or those trees are rather frail things to build your edifice of a life in and on. I lived on the fringes of that society as a schoolgirl and learned to look for something more meaningful than the next shopping trip to Sandton City, to enjoy the holiday in an old cottage on the beach rather than the skiing vacation in the Alps or the Greek Island cruise.

I would rather be like the Acacia tree that sends its roots deep. grows slow but tough, is able to survive drought and flood, be bent but not broken, be shaken but not stirred, lean with the wind and grow gnarled but full of character. "The evening of a well spent life brings its lamps with it."
Joseph Joubert

Credits: eQuilter, Batiks by Mira, Lunn Studios for Artisan Batiks from Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Hoffman Fabrics, Laurel Burch, Langa Lapu, Island Batiks
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