I had never realised just how much the seasons and the weather affect me until I went to Europe. I left Australia at the end of our winter last year and arrived in France in time for the last three weeks of their summer’s life, before it slid, inexorably, into winter again. Trooping around over there, at times wearing just about every item of clothing I had to my name at once, I missed spring. I missed it almost as much as I missed J, and it often felt like the constant, freezing drizzle of Late Autumn La Rochelle was just mirroring my feelings, not the other way round.
I arrived home in Australia just after summer here kicked its last. The week before I got home temperatures were in the high 30s/low 40s, but the day I arrived it was 27 degrees and Sydney was breathing a sigh of relief. And winter continued its march, and the days got colder and gloomier, and the rain came, and here we are, at the end of May, with the huge expanse of winter before us, and I hadn’t seen spring for 18 months.
Until last Friday.
Last Friday I woke up, looked at my stacks of textbooks and notes and felt gloomy. But for the first time in days it wasn’t raining so I dragged myself outside to check on my little garden. Oh what a wonderful surprise was waiting for me!
It seems my garden had noticed the decided lack of cheer in my step and together with with the sun and old Spring herself, it threw me a surprise party!
The first ripe snowpeas for this year were hanging out on their vines.
My little chillies were soaking up the sun, working on their tan.
The sky was even wearing its prettiest blue party dress for the occasion.
I know I heard somewhere that not getting enough sunlight is one of the things that makes people down in winter and so I was super excited that the sun was warm enough to hang out in the garden in a tank top. The sun on my skin felt amazing, and I loved the feeling of freedom that comes from not being tied up in three layers of fabric.
One of the best bits of all, the springiest little tidbit Spring sent my way, had less to do with cooking and more to do with, well, not-cooking. Munching on those fresh little snowpeas straight off the plant, I could taste new life. It was bright and clean and full of energy and exactly what I needed. Sure, five snowpeas aren’t much in the way of physical nutrition, but I could eat nothing but processed packaged food and get fairly decent physical nutrition (it’d be expensive but you could do it).
What those snowpeas were was a taste of Spring, a dose of vigour and vim standing in the garden, surrounded by life. And I was a part of it all. The sun was in my hair, the wind on my skin, I ate my snowpeas and I watched rainbow lorikeets in the trees. I even hung out on the warm driveway with the cat for a while.
He’s pretty chill.
Maybe I’m just feeling a little airy-fairy, it is exam period after all, but sometimes you need a visit from Spring. Sometimes you need to take a second and feel connected to the world, you eat and you give back, you know? Sometimes you need to get a bit of something fresh in you.