Woke before dawn to a thunderstorm crashing through the mountains, sheet lightning and a torrential downpour just before dawn. Joy, because we are facing water restrictions and the garden is dry as a bone.
Made coffee and sat watching streaming news updates on the bombing of Libya. My continent, more violence, more tragedy, more casualties. Possibly an end to tyranny, but at a price. Scenes of desolation in Japan, broken toys in a field of grey mud, restraint and dignity despite the overwhelming grief..
A local farmer called and asked if I want crates of drumhead cabbages at a discount. I quailed at the prospect of salting and pickling jars full of cabbage, but we may be in for a tough winter and I need to plan ahead. Out here many people are poor and hungry and although produce is plentiful at times, there are months of getting by on lentils and brown rice with a little bacon. The plus factor is that out here the Xhosa people live well into their 90s unless they are stricken with TB or Aids. No heart disease, no food allergies, no proliferating cancers, no obesity or diabetes, no urban pollution or stress. A simple diet and hard exercise beats Western uxoriousness hands down.
The plectranthus is in flower, lilac and mauve spires everywhere. Black elderberries tumbling down from neighbouring trees, rosehips and the olive trees thickening with glossy green olives that will blacken and ripen by the end of May. A friend has had a miscarriage and stays indoors weeping and looking at hand-knitted booties. Another friend with family in Italy is starting a local garden nursery to be filled with herbs and fruit trees and old roses that grew on Corsica when Napoleon was a boy. Life in all its heartbreak and abundance.