I Miss You, Winter

Australia 240

Time passes differently without seasons. There is nothing to mark its change. August… September… October… November… All marked by nothing but the rising and setting sun. In all that time, half a world away, the balmy winds of summer give way to arctic gales. The trees shiver and shed their tangerine leaves. The land suspends life in silence and icy snow.

I left Canada suddenly on the warm tail of August. Australia is all August. I’ve never been absent for a season in Canada. It feels strange, like missing a stage of your child’s life. I can look back on all my years and mark each memory by the season, but I’ll never have a memory of the fall of 2016, or winter… spring. My time in Australia has been surreal, because every memory is pinned to summer. I am suspended in August limbo, accumulating more memories than this calendar month can hold on its page. So I write things in slots that are already taken and they all start to blend together.

There is a sadness I feel because of all this. Because I am missing something I can never get back. Every year is composed of the same seasons, yet no same season is truly the same. All the winters I have lived have been remarkably unique. If I miss this one it is gone forever. But I need to let it go.

The timelessness I feel here is liberating in its own way. Slowly I am learning to exist in a way I have never been able to before. The monotony of tropical life is broken by the overabundance of life itself. Without insulation in my home I am exposed to every moment of the turning world. On a windy day the sea breeze blows through my windows and slams my doors. Their are ant soldiers marching around my house. They get into everything, especially the peanut butter. It is too warm at night to sleep with a blanket, and my legs have been a banquet for mosquitoes. A family of possums fights on my roof every night. I dream that it is my cats fighting upstairs in my old house. When I wake up I don’t know where I am. The turkeys can be heard just outside our door, which we leave open for the breeze. Sometimes they come inside and shit everywhere. The spiders like to set up webs in my wardrobe. I can never bring myself to destroy them. They are so intricate and beautiful, and I hope they’ll catch the other bugs. I had to spray some cockroaches with a bug spray that kills them. They rolled over on their backs and flailed their legs in the air, writhing in pain for over ten minutes. I felt like a monster. Our next-door neighbor’s house is getting eaten by plants. I’m not kidding. It looks like the house out of Jumanji when it gets swallowed by vines. I’m not even sure how they can get inside.

With all this life around me I feel more human. I feel like I am actually a person living in the world, not just on it. I am learning more about myself, and so much else every day. Yes I miss the seasons, but I’m still discovering the things here that one day I’ll miss.



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