Saturday, June 12, 2010

When the seasons change

It’s getting cold in Sydney now; the warmer Autumn days are making way for the colder mornings of Winter. The leaves seemed to have stopped falling from the trees and the bright yellow, red and brown colours are fading as they disintegrate into the ground.

Our walks to school the past couple of weeks have been punctuated with comments about the crackly sounds of the leaves, the bare trees and why some trees don’t ever lose leaves. I have been digging back deep into my primary school brain, trying to explain terms such as ‘evergreen’ and ‘deciduous’ and hoping I sound convincing enough for my six-year-old and four-year-old. The detailed information they want is ridiculous. I will need to Google soon.

I never really thought Sydney had much of an Autumn and while it doesn’t compare to other parts of the country and most definitely other countries in the world, there is certainly a time of change between Summer and Winter. It’s amazing how children open your eyes to the most basic elements.

In my mid-20s I worked for a very corporate company in a very tall office tower in the middle of the city. One of my colleagues had returned from maternity leave and when I saw her in the office kitchen, I asked what she’d enjoyed most about having the time at home.

'Watching the seasons change’, she answered straight away. I nodded politely, thought her a bit odd, and busied myself by making a cup of tea. The only time I felt aware of the seasons was when I came home from work in the dark during Winter and in daylight during Summer.

I have often thought of that woman since leaving that office tower and staying home with small children. If someone asked me today what I enjoyed most about being home with children I would also have to say ‘watching the seasons change’.

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