We have passed on the traditional Christmas tree this year, after a prolonged conversation in the car regarding the focus of the holiday. My daughter was working her way through the symbolism, and my contention was that the mid-winter holidays, in general, were about feasting in defiance of the prolonged period of cold to come, the lighting of fires to call a return of light, and the enduring nature of life despite the grey, damp, and/or freezing weather. She was perplexed by the idea of going out and killing a tree to celebrate life, so suggested a living tree. (First she suggested bringing in a dead tree, but I suggested that, although I applaud the motivation, it might not exactly be in the spirit of the thing.) A Norfolk Pine was duly obtained and added to the growing collection of greenery, creating what we are calling the Christmas conservatory.
Gifts will be added among the plants. No doubt more decorations will be added as the children realize that there is still half a box of various objects available.
Meanwhile, it rains. And rains, and rains. We had sun on Sunday (four days ago), and prior to that on Wednesday, but we have another five days of rain in the forecast. As a result, the river has come back through the culvert and is slowly working its way up the creek next to our house. The high water mark in front of the neighbour’s house is already on the road.
We are holding our breaths (between cookies) and hoping that we don’t have to empty the basement, as that is where the bedrooms are in our house. This involves a significant amount of packing, and carrying… if the water doesn’t start advancing faster, in which case it involves a significant amount of abandoning, and weeping. It is a wide and placid river, though, and I am assured that we will have warning if it comes a-callin’. The number one problem is that to get to our basement, it has to come through the septic bed. Let us not think on that too closely. Many of our in-town neighbours have already suffered flooded basements, so there will be many a wet Christmas in Sydney. [Update: It has stopped raining since last night, when I took the video. The river has started to recede, but there is still rain in the forecast. We might get away with this river-side living, yet. For now.]
Hope you and yours are having a pleasant week, and that it is less wet where you are. Unless you are suffering from drought, in which case, I hope you are soon blessed with just a fraction of the good, clean water that is falling on us.