I really don’t like winter. I think there might be a slight international misconception that Australians don’t have winter. I can assure you that we do. While our whole country may not get entirely shrouded in snow, we get plenty of it in some areas.
Just last week we had a rare snowfall just outside my city, and the chilly days that followed have reminded me that the next stop south from where I live is Antarctica.
I dread this time of year, but there is one great blessing amongst all this. We get to see the sky. Unlike some countries, we are not subjected to a months-on-end existence under an oppressive blanket of cloud.
Yesterday morning I drove to work beneath a cobalt blue sky with the sun shining through my windscreen. It might be cold, but blue sky is not uncommon here in winter, and it really lifts my spirits.
Sometimes the sunshine confuses the jonquils and lilacs, and they bloom early; fragrant beacons of hope reminding us that spring will come.
Living in the driest state of the driest continent, where we tend to believe we’re drowning if we get three days straight of rain, I’m reminded of how blessed we are to still have dry sunny days, even in the middle of winter.
I usually don’t travel during the school year because my health is too fragile to risk anything that could interfere with work. But this year, seeing photos of friends travelling through sunny Europe as I was sitting in South Australia feeling cold, I was itching to find somewhere warm to relax.
So I booked my trip to Cairns, imagining posting my own enviable facebook pics of blue skies, sun and ocean.
When we arrived it was raining and it hardly stopped. I think I got more rain in three days of Cairns’ ‘dry season’, than I’ve had all year in SA. We didn’t see a single beach and thoughts of going out to the Great Barrier Reef were squelched due to ‘unseasonably bad weather.’ On top of that, my body reminded me continually that I’m exhausted from the end of term and that CFS has stolen my right to be a good traveler.
I felt like a fool having bragged that I’d be posting photos of a gloriously enviable summer, and to rub salt in the wound, SA had unseasonably warm weather this week. While I was sitting in a wet cloud, they were having days of sunshine and blue skies, and some of my facebook friends actually posted pictures of themselves at the beach! In July!
As I sat on my bed on our final night, listening to the thunderous pelting of the rain on the tin roof, my phone chimed. I looked at the weather notification. “Warning: Cairns. Chance of showers.”