Winter’s Silver Lining

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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.

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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.

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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.

Autumn Leaves

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I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with autumn.

As Children we are, for some reason, required to choose favourites; favourite subject, favourite colour, favourite number, season, month, friend. So, when presented with four seemingly equitable seasons, I chose autumn. I liked the wind, I thought the colours were pretty, I liked the sound of the name and it wasn’t cliché. (Most girls liked spring because of the flowers and butterflies and bunnies.) So I chose autumn.

But that was as a kid. Since then, experience has taught me that I do have a favourite season: Summer. And autumn not only marks the end of summer, but heralds the dreaded winter with its ever increasing plunges into dark frigidity.

Despite this melancholy, one thing remains. Autumn is beautiful. I love that as a crisp, fresh chill descends onto the hills, the leaves change, almost overnight, to the most vibrant shades of red and orange. And then, almost more than ever, God is a painter.