I love the change of seasons. Do you have a favourite?
Nature is clever the way we are ready for the different weather zones, or at least I am. I personally love Autumn, although each season has merit and I enjoy them all. I am especially grateful and lucky to be living in a temperate climate zone. I know I would feel differently if I resided in countries which suffer incredibly freezing conditions in winter and searingly hot temperatures in summer. I have visited countries and experienced both extremes.
Why is Autumn my favourite season?
To me, I love the first trace of crispness in the air which heralds the seasonal change.
I welcome the promise of cooler nights and fresher days offering relief from the heat of a Queensland summer.
Autumn colours are not prevalent on the Gold Coast, but I was born and raised in Deniliquin in south-western NSW where there was a definite change in season. I have vivid memories of the orange, yellow, red, auburn, rust coloured leaves falling and leaving a vibrant carpet at the base of the trees. My mother was raised at Mount Irvine in the Blue Mountains out of Sydney, I have never experienced such seasonal beauty as the majestic trees in Autumn glittering like sparkling gold with the sunlight behind.
Then there is the whiff of a smoking fireplace, enticing you inside to imbibe in freshly brewed coffee or hearty soup and home-made bread, or maybe mulled wine.
I am energised in the cooler weather to work in the garden doing maintenance jobs, preparing the plants and garden beds for the oncoming winter months. Fallen leaves make wonderful mulch, the grass needs less mowing, and the days are shorter which I enjoy in my twilight years.
Seasons are interesting and weather patterns even more so. I have experienced beautiful, frightening, and unique occasions over the years. When I lived in North Queensland as a raw beginner to the world of the tropics and cattle mustering, it happened. It was daylight. We were mounted on our horses and moving out of the horse yards when an enormous cigar shaped cloud which stretched from one horizon to the other, whistled at great speed, directly above our heads. I was mesmerised and frightened at the same time. It was eerie. This was the famous ‘Morning Glory’ phenomenon which only occurs in the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Gulf of Mexico. It was gone before I could register what I had experienced. How lucky was I?
In my time living in this amazing cattle country, I experienced fire, flood, cyclones and drought. (Refer to my book ‘Back of Beyond’) The most destructive event was Cyclone Ted in December 1976. This angry monster destroyed many of our buildings and infrastructure and created havoc throughout the region. This was the cyclone season and we experienced several, but Ted was our worst.
As a young nurse travelling overseas in 1968 in the good ship Fairstar, we hit a massive storm out of Capetown. I was nervous watching the heaving ocean throwing the ship around. Observing the angry sea from the safety of the ship I vowed never to be at sea in a small vessel… EVER! (Refer to my second book ‘Innocent Nurses Abroad’)
From the severe weather patterns to the soft season of Spring when gardens erupt in colour, new buds appear on trees, the birds sing their hearts out as their chicks emerge from their nests. It’s a blissful season with perfect weather, colour abounds and people’s mood lifts as we shake off the winter blues.
Actually, I enjoy winter. I love to snuggle under a doona and sleep soundly. The slow cooker delivers delicious curries, casseroles, and soups. It’s easy to exercise in the cool temperatures and the lawn doesn’t need mowing.
Having lived on the land, I never tire of rain. I love the sound of it on the roof, the smell of the first drops on parched earth and the resulting fresh growth after the life-giving precipitation.
At the moment we are being inundated with rain on the Gold Coast and I think it’s time to turn it off!!
How lucky I am to live where I live and be able to enjoy the four seasons in their mildness.
Living my life with gratitude.
Jenny Old AUTHOR
‘Innocent Nurses Abroad’
‘Back of Beyond’ Facebook