Friday, 11 April 2014

Four Autumns

I didn't have much of a concept of Autumn before I moved to Melbourne. In Brisbane, autumn just means you don't need a fan on anymore and you don't need a jumper yet. Deciduous trees are negligible. I'm sure they exist but I think they are terribly confused and probably just have their leaves blown off in August, ready or not, when the westerlies terrorise the Ekka-goers (Brissy slang for the exhibition/ Royal Brisbane Show).

There is a special feeling in the air in early March, but whether that is Autumn making his presence known or just the anticipation of my birthday, I'll never know.

What I do know is that Brisbane certainly doesn't have a 'fall'.

Melbourne has got autumn DOWN. Everywhere you look the foliage is changing colour, the ground is gradually becoming blanketed by leaves; and it rains (and rains, and rains), refreshing the toasted grass back to greenness.

My first Autumn was: stress-filled rehearsals, walking to work in the rain, rationing wine because we were so poor (in a relative sense) and wondering if the move had been the right thing to do- a thought that alternated with delighting in the words "I live in Melbourne".

The second autumn was waiting for work to come, wanted to study wine, walking home from work in the early hours of the morning in the rain and beginning to feel like I belonged again.

Autumn number three gave me consistent work, too too much work, but also the money that goes with it. Dinners out and nice wine dulled the ache left by lack of passion about my path but the uncertainty regarding what would come next was comforting. Comforted by uncertainty? Me?
I was evolving.

This year means supporting the Bookworm as his first assignments get conquered; walking Ted in the rain and loving that there is a Ted in my life; driving to work in the rain but enjoying my flirtation with nature when I arrive; passionate conversations about grapes and wine, and the realisation that I think differently about the weather now- a little part of me is learning what it must be like to live on the land. There is frustration with technology, and pride when it does not defeat me. I have sore muscles from 'pumping over' the fermenting wine but I do not let on because I refuse to let my petiteness get in the way.

A delicious uncertainty about what will come next lingers. For the first time in a long time I feel like I am moving in the right direction. I don't know what direction that is but I am on a path of exploration and courage and it is wonderful.

There is a breadth in my life that I haven't had for a long time; a sensation of sending out tendrils into the world instead of clinging to the foundations. I have had my fall... a couple of falls, and have learned to pick myself up, dust off the leaves and keep preparing for the spring.


  1. Lovely words. Autumn being my favourite season, I'm constantly reminded of how much of a non-event it is in Queensland :(, it's still so hot here this year!

  2. Canberra is exactly the same and it is one of the reasons I love it - four distint seasons has a somewhat magical feel.


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