January 8 2014

After a day of light rain, the garden is beautiful. No heartbreaking wilting, no dry earth. Purple-blue chicory flowers, the same shape but more intense than cornflowers; vibrant green silverbeet; springy okra plants and sprawling tomatoes. I never noticed weather, or the seasons, in the city. Maybe to see if I needed to take an umbrella, or if it was too hot for an afternoon walk, but it never really mattered. The city is there to change all that. Built shelters to walk beneath, food in the shops, water in the taps. At the farm, weather is everything. It determines what we do, what we eat now and in the future, whether we can have a long shower or a short wash.

I went to the garage on Monday. The air-conditioning had broken down. The mechanic asked me a few questions about the car, then asked what I was doing in this area. ‘I live here’, I said. ‘Ah.’ he said. ‘We could do with some rain.’ I’d passed the test. I knew the importance of weather.