It is the second evening of daylight saving. At this time every year I determine that I am going to use the extra hours of daylight wisely and well. Always it seems that when daylight saving returns in autumn, I am disappointed - I have not gardened or exercised as much as I had wanted to. Well tonight after dinner I thought I would take a quick trip up the mountain, the shorter organ pipe track. We estimated that it would still be light at about 8:30. I headed up the track at about 7:40. I got to the top at about 8:05 and sensed that it was getting darker quicker than I anticipated. So coming down I set into a jog, breaking into a run as my confidence grew. Bad idea! I put my right foot on the tip of a long flax leaf coming from the left hand side of the track. As I brought my left foot forward it got caught in the flax, and my feet stayed still while I rocketed forward on to the gravel on the track. I am not a silent sufferer so it is a wonder that the whole of Dunedin did not hear my scream. I stood up, with grazed elbows, hands and knees, hurting and indignant... I was going so well but it was just too dark to be confident enough to run. I settled then into a fast walk and when I hit enclosed bush, I turned on a head lamp to show me the way.
As I walked in the light of the head lamp I got to thinking about life. I could only see the few paces in front of me and not beyond. I had to walk those paces and gradually the next span of the path was lit up. Thinking of all the illness I have heard about recently, the Christchurch earthquake, and life in general, I decided life is a bit like that. You can plan and dream about the future, but you can only be certain of the next few steps along the way. There are always changes taking place and you have to adjust. You don't always know what your children are going to do. None of us can guarantee our health, particularly as we get older. Friendships change. Our financial circumstances can change. Recessions can hit. Technology changes dramatically. All we can do is see the next step or two, plan for the journey but recognise that we can only enjoy and see the next step or two. Adjustments from time to time are inevitable and always you can expect the unexpected to happen.
I always enjoy the moods of the mountain and it was fun being there at dusk and in the dark. As I tramped along I could hear and occasionally see the possums dashing further up the trees to get away from this mad human. I saw a rabbit make a run for it, thinking he had the mountain to himself. The red sky at night, the lights of the city and motorway, all these were a different experience at night. As were the moths flying in the light of my lamp. I went up and down in one and a quarter hours, which I did not think was bad for the conditions. In spite of my grazes, I had a good second night of daylight saving.