In the Northern Hemisphere you’re all thinking about harvesting and battening down for the coming winter. You have Halloween, with pumpkins hollowed out with cut-out faces and candles lit inside them. I believe you put these on your door step. You’re enjoying the color of autumn, the brisk winds spreading their colorful leaves over the ground and you’re making the most of every hot sunny day that sneaks its way into autumn’s progress, lulling you with memories of summer.
When your winter storms hit we hear about them on our news, in the midst of our summer days while we sit around in the long evenings, enjoying barbeques, and the benefits of daylight saving - except for the children who refuse to go to bed while the sun is up.
September and October in the Southern Hemisphere are a time of hope and growth. We hope for a nice wet spring, warm enough to make the trees blossom and the grass grow. Our palates are blessed with the crunch of freshly picked asparagus, lightly steamed, then drizzled with melted butter and garlic. We don’t enjoy the equinox winds that sometimes blow from September till December, drying the ground, bending the trees and blasting the residents with its sharp edges, because winter is inclined to lash it tail down here, Down Under.
While you are snuggling down to write this autumn, preparing to put into words all your ideas and themes that summer activities have stopped you from doing – think of us. September October is when we dash out into the garden, plant and nurture, dreaming of a bountiful harvest.
Halloween is not very exciting down under. An American custom, it’s still catching on. Children dress in costumes and knock on the door for treats. Don’t ask them for a trick, they have no idea what you mean. It’s like a begging trail. No pumpkins, but lots of witches and fearsome masks. Noses are turned up at homemade cookies, shop-bought sweets are the preferred treats. There is considerable parental resistance to this pseudo holiday.
Finding time to write in spring becomes a search for elusive minutes. Where have they gone? They’ve migrated north, to you. This is your opportunity to finish that novel, complete that poem, solve that plot hole and submit the romance you’ve rewritten three times. Grab the chance while your fellow authors, Down Under, are in the tight grasp of spring on the energy carousel.
I hope you enjoy your autumn and winter. I envy you, tucked up tight, snug inside, perhaps snowbound even, with all our spare minutes piled up in the hallway for you to use – until come April/May they wing their way south once more, for me to snaffle and devour.
Grab them, cherish them, use them well. I’ll be waiting for the leftovers!