As much as this person loves the winter and winter’s light and all the solitude and silence that befalls the outdoors, time passes and Papatuanuku comes alive in Spring’s vibrancy of birth, full of the colour that we last sighted in autumn, buds of yellows, oranges and reds when backlit becomes alive more so.

The first flowers bud, showing the snowy snow whites that shall, in turn, become plump plums, and only a week later the softest of softly soft green leaves appear. As a contrast to autumn that lived long, and yet summer’s olde leaves remain on some trees yet, like a great story that refuses to end.

Turn around, then suddenly, between the riverside willows and poplars, the softest green baby leaves, fluffy flower buds appear, the leaves now growing so fast with the cladding now encasing the tree’s beautiful structure.

Any surface, be it flat or curved, solid or liquid, shades of gold, yellow/green dust, the pollen winds and tides have again arrived.

Spring, as the season of change, like the weather, this person struggles as this damaged body is being exacerbated/aggravated constantly, having to adjust continually, concurrent with the everchanging barometric pressure, the aches that refuse to leave.

All this while maintaining a punishing pre-dawn to dusk working day that now involves a daily commute of up to four hours on top of the shift. The best time is while enjoying the commute is listening to the radio, locked onto 70’s – 80s, rocking the kilometres away.

The seasonal aches are a reminder of time, mortality, and how our past can bite us later in life. No regrets, or, at least a few, but having lived a full and active life, and shall continue to do so to the best of this person’s abilities. Yes, it’s gonna hurt, but the lifetime’s memory banks shall remain topped up with new experiences, sights, scenes, scents, textural and aural delights.

Reality strikes occasionally, and self-limiting to shortened bushwalks with downhill sections that may be less steep than historically. A smaller day pack now replaces the megapacks of the past; yet, with the hand carrying load somewhat heavier than as a hunter.

Some dreams of places yet unvisited always remain unfulfilled, and; all being well, shall be attempted as soon as practical in due course. Got to have those future locations, with associated planning to look forward to.

Hoping you all enjoy your time this weekend and upcoming. May you find your solutions forthcoming in whatever form you need.

Arthritis New Zealand

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