Thursday, January 28, 2010

Summer in January

When you've spent most of your life in the Northern Hemisphere, January means Winter. Even if it is a 50-70 degree Farenheit Winter in Southern California, where they say it never rains. (Don't let them fool you. It rains and can rain quite hard. It used to be, afterall, a desert.) One of the things that seems to always remain odd for someone from the Northern Hemisphere, is that seasons are opposite when you live in New Zealand. Even the lovely couple from Switzerland that I shared a dinner table with last night commented about it.

In Queenstown, everyone is always anxiously awaiting Summer. It's gorgeous here in Summer. Besides the extremes that can occur - stinking hot days or pouring rain - and the fact that Summer appears to be hay fever season (and it has been horrible this year by many accounts, including my own as I'm now on my last antibiotic from the sinus infection that my hay fever turned into) - Summer brings so much joy. The sun is up by 7am-ish, and it doesn't get dark till after 10pm-ish. Long days for plenty of outdoor play.

And Summer is never long enough in Queenstown. It is supposed to start in December and start turning to Autumn around mid-to-late March. This Summer, some people are saying that it has just arrived.

I've always had this strange knack for being able to smell Summer's departure and Autumn's arrival. I mean literally smell it. It occurs when I wake up early in the morning. I sense a feeling, look outside, and can smell the coming change in the fresh air. So you can imagine how disturbing it was for me to smell this familiar smell this morning when I rolled out of bed.

I mean, come on! I'm just now finally starting to come right after that big weekend (and a friend's milestone birthday party) in early January. Summer can't be over yet! I haven't even gone out to play yet! I guess I'd better get out there. Break out the tramping shoes, the running shoes, the mountain bike, the kayaks ... and hope that my nose is just thrown off from the change in hemispheres or the sinus issues.

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