culture & community travel

Wait For It…

by Cheney — November 14, 2014

I suppose, in the most literal sense, winter is coming here too. Not for about seven months, mind you, but we will eventually have winter again if we wait long enough. But, generally speaking, November is a different sort of beast for us southern-hemisphere dwellers.

There's something coming into view on the horizon... (illustration by Alice Carroll -

There’s something coming into view on the horizon…
(illustration by Alice Carroll –

It’s true though, that there is a sort of neither-here-nor-there quality to this particular month. Here, it is not quite summer, and you’re never sure whether you’re going to regret not taking a jacket when you leave the house, or if you’re going spend all day sweating and cursing the thought process that lead you to wear tights. Occasionally, depending on the sort of November, I might not have even packed my winter coat away by now. But this morning I woke up to a weather prediction of 95 degrees (I went and looked up the fahrenheit especially for you all), and the woollen layers have been untouched for the last two months. It’s going to be a hot one, as they say.

It’s also not quite Christmas. People start talking about organising cocktail parties, or making shopping lists and I think to myself that it all can wait, that it’s so impossibly early to be talking about any of it and can we not just calm down and wait until December? But then I was told yesterday that it’s only six weeks until Christmas (something I did not want to hear, thankyouverymuch), so I suppose these organised types may have a point, and I need to start checking if I have enough wrapping paper and preparing to run the gauntlet of the mall.

Something I like about November though, is that it’s full of little beginnings. It may be uncertain, and tentative, but there’s plenty of surprises to be had. Like that first day when you step outside of the office in the early evening and brace for a chill, but there isn’t one and the air is like a warm bath with a pleasant breeze. Or dragging yourself out of bed early enough to be rewarded with the cool of the just-past-sunrise hours before the sun gets too high and the day becomes a scorcher. There are picnics, longer lunches, sunny Sundays for making iced tea, and those days where I walk home before dinner getting high on big lungfuls of fragrant air from blooming gardens and backyard BBQs. And I can even get excited about the holidays, so long as I skirt around the Hallmark stuff and watch a proper Christmas movie, like Monty Python’s Life Of Brian, or Die Hard.

At times in November, it seems I am just waiting. But other days, in these moments, I am filled with anticipation. Sometimes the best part is being in that moment just before it all changes. Great things are about to happen.

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