Is Eternal Summer A Good Thing?

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I was preparing to leave Brisbane this week for the cooler climates of South Australia and Victoria. I had my last coffee with my Brisbane friend before getting the train to the airport. The day before I had finally divested my luggage of shorts, tee shirts and shortie pyjamas and acquired a few polo necks  and skivvies for the journey south. Into autumn and then winter.

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It will be the first time I will experience cooler if not colder temperatures since returning from a crisp and beautiful autumn in Canada in October last year. When I returned then to the heat of Canberra I rejoiced at ridding myself of my collection of winter clothes.All of course, apart from the special woollens my Canadian friend Beth had given me. The thick sweaters bore  the label “Handmade by Mother” and had been knitted in the Kowatchan design, so were classical Canadian knits. They had been a special gift to keep me warm as I travelled to the cold interior of British Columbia. And I did enjoy wearing them.
My Brisbane friend lamented the lack of seasons in sub tropical Brisbane and our discussion started me thinking about the need to experience seasonal change-as much for us humans as plants and animals.

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I have to declare that I am a summer person. I love the freedom of  wearing fewer clothes and experiencing the full blossoming of life in all its divergent colour, smell and form. Of course in summer, I like to be close to the sea-a beach for swimming or if not a beach then certainly a pool.
Last year I achieved my goal. Yes, I managed to skip winter by taking a three month house sit in Geraldton, where in summer it can get excruciatingly hot, but in winter, enjoys temperate and pleasant days. The house was situated directly opposite the Indian ocean from where soft breezes would enter my bedroom windows at night. Sure, there were some blustery days but overall, the place lived up to its promise and I went swimming a couple of times when the sea temperature was in the low twenties and air temperature approaching 30 degrees Celsius.

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I felt like I had cheated the seasons, the natural order of things and attracted some jealousy of friends, trudging through frosty dark days of winter. After all, shouldn’t we follow the natural rhythm of life? Well after fourteen years of living in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, I wanted to have just one year when I could experience summer in July and August.

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Nature does best with seasonal change, allowing for a balance of fallow and blossoming but do we humans have a need for this ebb and flow in life? People who seek eternal summer can be  seen to be feckless or superficial but are they? Summer is so often associated with ease and flow and winter, contraction and limitation. Both have an important purpose in nature but do both serve an important purpose in human life?
I recall that Jim Carey movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. The plot revolves around a man who decides to have a treatment to remove what he thinks are the painful memories of his ex, only to discover that he wants to hang on to the bad as well as the good memories because he is still in love. I think we do need both light and shadow , summer and winter, love and pain, because it is only by having the contrast that we can truly appreciate both states. So this year I’ll be celebrating my birthday in July in the heart of a Canberra winter. Still I’ll be warmed by sharing it with family. And I’ll remember fondly, my year of eternal summer

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10 thoughts on “Is Eternal Summer A Good Thing?

  1. Likewise, we missed the winter by spending all of those months in SE Asia and then hitting New Zealand in their summer. We’re a bit cool now with Fall coming to Sydney but never fear – we fly up to Queensland on Monday for the next few weeks. We know just how you feel!

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  2. Speaking from a literal as well as a metaphorical sense, I miss the seasons. We need the seasons played out by Mother Nature as well as the seasons that play out in our daily lives. For me at least, it is the dichotomy between winter and summer, happiness and sadness, that gives meaning and significance to both. It is the change, the stimulus between varying edges of the spectrum that jump-starts our senses and helps us to recognize, appreciate, and understand the world around us better.

    I speak from experience 😉 I live in Florida, the sunshine state, where seasons are fleeting, if existent at all. When I have the opportunity to travel, see the world, and experience the seasons (both from a meteorological sense as well as a societal sense), I find my energy levels elevated, my soul just a bit lighter, able to experience in a small sense a little more of what this great big world has to offer.

    Great post, thank you for sharing and best wishes for an inspired day!

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    1. Hi Dave
      Sounds as though Florida is similar to Brisbane.Yes, I’ll have to be more appreciative of winter this year. Normally I see it as something to be endured or avoided. Thanks for your thoughtful comment
      Kate

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  3. Singapore too lacks seasons so i sometimes like to travel during winter just to get the feel of it. Not sweating buckets is a major plus when i get to these places. Singapore can be so humid sometimes that i just want to soak myself in cold water the whole day. Haha! 🙂

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    1. Yes, that Is the other side to summer isn’t it ? Extreme heat and humidity. I wonder why I downplay the negatives of summer and highlight the ill effects of winter? Will have to think on that. Still, I hope I get to Singapore in my travels. Thanks for your post, Sha

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  4. I found your site because of your guest post on Daily (w)rite. What a treat. I’m a great fan of seasons, but then, being British I have a lot of experience of them. Long hot summer days are fine for holidays, but give me a nice frosty morning when the air sparkles and the breath steams from your nostrils, the grass crunches under your feet, and you wrap an extra scarf round your neck. But only for a few months of the year… 😀

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    1. Thanks Jemima, As I’ve gotten older Ive realised that Im definitely a summer person. At the moment Im in Queensland where its 24 degrees celsius each day. Its means that I can take the dogs for a walk along the beach each morning. Bliss! But it is great that we are all differentand can appreciate the different seasons. Thanks for your comments

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