winter in South Africa post back in August and the festival itself on the 21st September. It had rained solidly for several days before and sharp showers continued through the day. The long dirt road to reach our farm was waterlogged and pot-holed: passable, but I was already thinking about starting work building a boat of some sorts, even if not an ark just yet.
Once again I left all the cooking to the last minute, not even getting my meringues done the night before for the pavlova and having to do the shopping in the morning too, probably the least prepared I’ve ever been. But of course it all came together in the end, quiches and potato salad, joined by roast chickens, other salads and potato bakes brought by friends, and the meringue cooled down just in time for the cream and berries to go on top.
There weren’t any elaborate water sculptures this year, most people arrived towards the end of the afternoon, so there was just time to make flower crowns,
decorate the archway,
for the younger boys (and dogs) to attempt an elaborate construction for the toboggan to go down.
and to create a river of light from candles in brown paper bags.
And with true serendipity there was a beautiful rainbow to bless the occasion.
Every festival has its own rhythm and I’ve gradually learned to go with the flow, not stressing about timing and details – it always works out perfectly in its own way.
Our flower crowns have changed and evolved over the years. When the kids were little we used to make tissue and crepe paper flowers fixed on to card crowns. Then we plaited raffia and now most of the children's crowns are made with real flowers, plaited into the raffia, which is a painstaking and very individual process.
Then there is the arch to decorate with flowers - pincushion proteas, bougainvillea and cable ties.
Because the theme is water, we have water bowls filled with flowers both in the circle and at the south end of the sand-pit. Amy thinks this is very convenient.
By the time we are all ready to carry our jugs of water and flower garlands into the circle the sun has set and it is dusk, but there is a glow in the sky still and a wonderful smell of fresh flowers and growing things in the air.
Blessings on the coming of spring!
More flowery spring festival posts for a little bit of nostalgia and seeing our kids growing up over all the years. 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, and our blessing from 2006.