It was all about balance. In 2020 I was determined to find a better balance in my life. It began well when I found this balanced rock sculpture.
The weather was warm. We enjoyed the ‘Music in the Mountains’ rally immensely. Lots of rock music to dance to, jam sessions amongst the vans, friendly fellow campers (650 caravans and motor homes) and a swimming pool to cool off in.
March started off so well. I celebrated my 70th birthday with my NZ family and friends and was almost overwhelmed by an extra special unexpected surprise visit from my Swedish son. He travelled 4 days to stay only 6 days before rushing back to Sweden before Covid closed borders. Birthday celebrations were wonderful surrounded by family and friends. And the very next day, I captured my WWM – world wide minute at 5.47pm “Smile and the world smiles with you”
10 days later, on 25th March, NZ went into Level 4 lockdown. That was a shock to us all. Was this the beginning of the end of the world as we knew it? 2 days later, It was a very quiet 49th wedding anniversary celebration for us. Up early the very next day we drove the quiet roads to the pharmacy to queue for our flu vaccines. Our first experience of masks and hand sanitiser.
Time passed slowly in lockdown however that was not such a bad thing. It gave me spare time to think about and work on my dream to start a blog. Photographing the light, creative writing and life stories – it was about time to get started and stop procrastinating.
Lightwritelife was underway – in my mind at least. It was to take a few more months to publish my first post. Many evenings were spent researching, discovering blogs to follow, practicing some writing exercises, and searching my photo archives.
In the meantime, I played around with a variety of photography techniques. Light painting has often intrigued me and I have tried a few methods. This time I enlisted my friendly neighbour and her daughter as the twilight descended. Social distancing between our respective bubbles was a bit tricky at times as the excitement grew.
Still life flashlight painting whilst still moving back down through Covid-19 levels. As part of my life stories writing preparation, I had found some family treasures so I used them as still-life light painting subjects.
Winter was suddenly upon us so with just one last cloudy, moody sunset, it was time to head indoors – besides which our home renovations began in earnest – no time or energy to use my camera so I took the opportunity to edit some of my photo archives in the evenings instead.
I also launched my blog – exciting and nervous times.
Composite editing. My first writing prompt “The page where the heart speaks words” fitted so well with my first attempts at composite editing.
"When the heart starts beating rapidly it is time. Don’t think about what others might think, just speak. Believe that the words will come.”
At last we could take a break from the hard work this building project had become and we headed off to Christchurch to celebrate the 1st birthday for our 7th grandchild. It was such a joy to be part of his dinosaur party celebrations. His sister had missed her 4th birthday party due to lockdown so it was a double celebration.
Forever grateful to the ‘team of five million’ led so ably by Jacinda Adern’s government. It was time to start our delayed trip down South.
My cousin celebrated their 50th Golden wedding anniversary – I was humbled yet elated to be asked to take photos.
A week of dinner parties with (my) girl cousins and their partners followed. Such fun to be part of their extended families too.
We were intent on exploring in our own beautiful country – well the South Island at least. Re-discovering Aoraki/Mt Cook, Tasman glacier icebergs, Milky way, astrophotography, caravanning and salmon fishing in the Ohau canals with (his) cousins. I was back in my happy place – camera in hand.
After an awesome 6 weeks away, we returned to find the renovation pixies had not completed our home renovations in our absence – oh well it was back to the building tools and daily struggles.
Our friends invited us to Golden Bay for a few days – it was so awesome to revisit some of our favourite places, camera in hand once again. Golden Bay really is Golden and Green – and every colour in between.
Nearing completion of the total transformation, it was down to the wire as we were still cleaning up the newly glued vinyl tiles as our family arrived on Christmas Eve.
More family arrived as did their in-laws and friends – it was tent and caravan city at ours! It seemed by each meal-time the numbers multiplied – starting at 4 adults and 2 grandkids for Christmas dinner, until suddenly we had 14 adults and 12 kids by News Year’s Eve.
After a tumultuous year it was a good omen to witness a full moon arising at 11.30pm, News Year’s Eve – and fireworks!
And so we farewelled 2020 and welcomed 2021.
My 2021 pledge to myself:
Capture the light – every. single. day…..
Write some words – every. single. day…..
Life’s for living – every.single.day…..