Wow, it's September already, and the first day of spring here in Australia. Not that spring counts for anything in the tropics. None of the conventional seasons do. We have two seasons in northern Australia: the dry season, and the wet season. Or, if you're a local, just The Wet. You have to give us points for brevity at least.
The dry season roughly corresponds to winter. It doesn't rain, and for about two weeks we all have to dig around in the back of our cupboards to find our warm clothes. And because we only use them for two weeks every year, they're at least a decade out of date and we all look like refugees from charity shops.
For a few days this winter I was wearing jeans, thick woollen socks with holes in the toes, the one long-sleeved t-shirt I could find, and a fleecy jacket I last wore when I was backpacking around Europe. I have mixed feelings about that jacket. While it's great in cold weather, when I first tried it on in a tropical summer, the zip got stuck and I almost died of heat exhaustion.
Spring means two things in the tropics.
The first is that it's time to clean the dust out of the air conditioner.
The second is that it's time to get ready for The Wet. This mostly means clearing up my yard in case of cyclones, but most of us have that down to a fine art. It all comes down to years of practice that you hope you'll never have to put into use. Except for that one time...
"Hello," I said to my neighbours. "I don't think we've met. I'm Lisa from next door. That's my tree on your roof."
I took this photo last wet season. It's my front yard. It doesn't really capture the luminescence, or the fact that my front path is actually raised.
There's been no rain yet this year, but when it comes it will stay for weeks on end. We won't see the sun, but we'll feel it every time there is a respite in the rain. The air will be heavy with humidity so thick that air conditioners can hardly touch it. There will be so much rain that the water won't have time to drain away between deluges. I won't be able to hear my television because of the barrage of rain on my tin roof. When it gets like that -- loud, monsoonal -- I'll take a glass of wine and go and sit on the veranda and watch it, because there's nothing else to do.
Except sometimes I'll dance in the rain. Everyone should dance in the rain, right?
What's your favourite season?
Tell me about snow! Snow is incredibly exotic to me!