There are some things that can’t be written with a poem. Or a story. Some things are so real and tangible that they beg to be described as something true and alive.
Has there ever been a time in your life where you have been able to view the passing of time from one place? There has for me. My desk is up against a large window, and for the past thirteen years of my life I have surveyed the seasons changing through its glass. Whenever I look through that window, it seems as though it is a whole new season every time, so fast the time goes by. As I observe the seasons, memories from each one come flooding back with an abundance of smells, sights, sounds, and feelings. So many they are, and so hard they have begged me to put into words, I decided I should sit down and write them.
Summer time brings recollections of hot December and January days, when the sounds of cicadas fill the air as though warning us of the impending thick, muggy heat that is to come. The house becomes a refuge of cool artificial air from the searing temperatures outside. The ground burns bare feet, grass dies, and every step raises a puff of dust. Working under the sun is a torture; sweat rolling down your face, hair sticking to the back of your neck under wide brimmed hats. Northerly and westerly winds are dreaded by all, blowing like a blast from a hot oven, turning every green thing to deadened brown. Thirst is a common companion, and water restrictions come into play. The swimming pool is a cool comfort; poised on the edge of it, you relish the moment you launch yourself and break through the surface with an explosive splash, entering a world of cool, blue bliss.
Yet some days, just before dusk, a fresh, cool breeze blows from the south. Someone will run into the house from outside hailing with cries of, “there’s a southerly blowing!” where everyone will leap from their languishing places to kill the AC, and throw open all the windows to catch a blessed breath of that sweet air. Everyone then pours out of the house where they have been couped up for so long to run, jump and play in the hours before dark.
Other times, afternoons grow heavier and heavier, the mugginess making the air hard to breathe, as though some giant has thrown a thick blanket over the earth. By lunch, everyone is looking eagerly to the west, hoping that the large white cumulous clouds will amount to something this time. Late afternoon, the sky to the west builds, growing darker, the shades of navy reveal tints of green, and lightening flickers ominously. The birds stop singing, the cicadas cease their chant; everything becoming still and silent, the sense of waiting fills the very air.
Till with a crash of thunder, the skies open, and rain pours like a torrent from heaven, hitting the dusty earth and turning the paddocks to mud. Every dip and hollow fills with rainwater, driveways become rivers, and mud runs like an avalanche. The sweet smell of rain hitting the dirt fills the house as once again the house is opened to receive the fresh new air.