The piece below is the third and final piece in a series prompted by ABC Open. (Here are the first and second parts.)
It picks up on an earlier post here because I liked the idea of shifting focus from the physical landscape to an emotional one, in part for the idea from the road movie genre of using travel as a metaphor for personal change; mostly as I'm seeing so much anxiety among friends at the moment. It's been fascinating to have the observation of my own state reaffirmed by those around me.
Anyway, here's the piece:
The days have started to shorten but the bite hasn’t softened in the sunshine.
As the sun lowers to the north and rises later, I can see the shadow of my car stretch out in front at times as I drive from Leeton to Griffith. Last week the light was at an angle that revealed a police car tucked away in the boree wattle by the side of the road. The red and blue of their slim rooftop lights twinkled from about a kilometre away.
In paddocks by the side of the road I see corn drying on stalks, as well as rice looking lush green, and lots of oranges on trees. The wine grapes have been picked early this year, and early in the day too. On those mornings there was a trail of grape leaves scattered along the road leading to the wineries like a bread crumb trail from a fairy tale.
My partner lamented last week how summer used to build to blazing heat, but now the cooking starts on the long weekend in October and eases around Easter. I hope she’s right as Easter is early this year.
As the light changes I notice internal changes. There’s an increased feeling of anxiousness. I start spending more time on shopping websites and remind myself that I observed this trend toward compulsive spending last year. I tell myself that I don’t really need another synthesiser that will accumulate dust under my bed.
It really is bizarre how the rituals transplanted from the northern hemisphere are inverted in the south. We antipodeans celebrate the resurrection of our son god as the sun diminishes. The winter solstice lacks the festivity of Christmas, a time when gathering and expressing good will would be a benefit. I realise my partners’ family must’ve come to this conclusion long ago, as I remember their annual winter bonfire and the friends who I often only see on that night each year.
I want to share these observations with friends on Facebook but reconsider. There are studies that suggest our emphatic natures will see people reflect on my feelings of morbidity and mild stress with their own.
And so, as I start reflecting on how disconnected I feel from the seasons, I also start to feel disconnected from many of my people. It’s further reminder of the physical distances between us and the way that, over the years, our lives have grown in different directions.
Then, as if to pinch myself, I remember the term seasonal attitude disorder. It’s cute the way the acronym encapsulates a sense of its effect. I also think of that term I’m seeing more often among my friends with a New Age bent, and that’s ‘light worker’.