I absolutely adore autumn; the crisp leaves, the smell of a nearby fireplace wafting on the breeze, cool and blustery days. I strongly identify with this time of year as my birthday falls smack in the middle of it. Preparations beginning for Thanksgiving and even Christmas–it’s MY time of year.
If you ask my kids what their favourite time of year is, they too would respond with the season that correlates with their birth month. I suppose it has to do with the festivities and joy that comes with these anniversaries and celebrating with the people we love.
So what happens when you move to the opposite hemisphere and everything you know and expect to be, isn’t? My birthday is now celebrated in spring. The flowers are peeking up from the ground, the leaves are fuller and greener and the days are gradually longer and much warmer. Thanksgiving doesn’t exist at all except in our household where I have to crank up the a/c to even tolerate the oven temperature.
We’ve been living as ex-pats for years, but previously in the same hemisphere. I thought I understood all the odd and unique “new” country quirks to expect until now. Unanticipated, it has been the most intense feeling of displacement I have ever experienced. Never appreciating just how synced we all are to the seasons and the weather. Everything is upside down.
As Christmas approaches and shopping malls and streets are decorated with garland and baubles galore, festive music is piped out of every shop enticing us all to join in the holiday spirit. We talk with our children about their wish lists and our plans to see Santa as we also discuss the “summer” holiday rapidly approaching. Plans for beach days, picnics and hikes in the baking summer heat conflict with my inner clock. Yes, to summer and all its glory. No, no, no to this mixed up time of year. Again, feeling like Alice tossing and tumbling through the rabbit hole.
* Just to clarify, this is not me complaining. It’s a traveller’s discovery and I thought this seasonal connection was worthy of a mention. I find the whole experience an interesting research study of sorts.