Farewell to Summer….Finally!
I’ve had my last swim, donated my shorts and sandals to an op-shop and bought my last tube of sunscreen.I’m heading to the Northern Hemisphere where the earth is just awakening to Spring. When I reflect on the last six months-summer started for me in September on a return visit to Perth-I can say that I have truly made the most of the season. I’ve swum in two oceans, the Indian and Pacific, some rivers, done laps in backyard pools of every length and variety, heated, saltwater and even the old fashioned chlorine.
I’ve learnt to do a backwash, that is releasing water from a pool in danger of overflowing when the rain pounded down in Brisbane in December. And through all this something has changed in my appreciation of this dominant season in Australia.
Of course it could have to do with the fact that this last blistering season of heat has broken records (http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-09/unusually-hot-weather-breaking-records-around-australia/7231896) climate change is certainly creating furnace like conditions, so hot in some places that the birds are known to fall from the sky in mid flight, unable to breathe.
Since my Sydney childhood when we spent each summer at nearby Balmoral, a harbour beach, I have loved the turning of the season from tentative spring to full blown summer. I loved wearing little, walking- sometimes running if the sand was hot- along the beach and throwing myself into the sea where I stayed for hours. To me summer always represented freedom- at first from school and later from the restrictions and responsibilities of adult life.
But all that has changed and here in Canberra, where a change of seasons is quite dramatic unlike in Sydney, I can finally appreciate that first wisp of coolness and colour of the trees whose leaves put on a spectacular show of dying beauty each day.