Sunday, March 18, 2007

March of Darkness

I’m sitting in my living room writing and behind me smoke rises - better – blows across the horizon. The Wither Hills are alive with the sound of wildfire, and I’m content to sit and watch them burn from a long way away. It’s been a crazy week, and after a double-celebration weekend, I need the rest.

On Wednesday it poured rain in the valley. However, 20 miles south of the winery, high in the hills, there was snow. The view from work on Thursday as the clouds finally cleared revealed the beginning of autumn in New Zealand – the first real snow of the year. It was beautiful, and it made me want to go skiing.

Snow on the highest peaks, people in the ocean. Perfect?

On Friday after work, we went to White’s Bay for a pre-harvest bar-be-que. We ate and drank and swam in the ocean below (distant) snow-covered mountains. We played rugby on the beach as the sun set on the tranquil part of our lives. The winemakers told us that on Wednesday we’ll receive the first fruits of the harvest. A few days after that, we’ll probably begin our shift work, and life becomes busy until June.

Plans changed a bit from what we were first told. Instead of switching day and night shifts halfway through the harvest, we’ll remain in the same place for the duration. Also, instead of one day off each week, it’s one day off each fortnight. I’ll become a creature of the night, working the 7pm – 7am shift. I don’t mind because I’ll actually get to spend some time outside of work in the daylight. As the nights become longer, the day-shifters will come to and leave work in the dark, and that doesn’t much interest me.

Enjoying sunset, girl kicking air

St Patty’s Day came quickly after a late Friday night, but the crew from work rallied well with the knowledge that this was likely our last free weekend ‘till June. The skies cleared and we bar-be-qued together as the sun set, revealing the Southern Cross and Milky Way on a near-perfect late-summer evening.

1 comment:

Brett said...

Girl kicking air looks like she could be cute.

You should give her my number.

Fitzy, I'm in Colorado, and I miss ya.

Have fun in New Zealand.