Ah… summer’s end.
Okay. Not really. In fact, February has the reputation of being the hottest month around here. After the kids go back to school. So, in reality, we’re still looking at another month, or maybe two, with the potential to really heat up.
Not that this has been a hot summer, so far. Despite a couple of days back in November that were real scorchers, promises of things to come, it’s actually been quite mild.
We’ve celebrated a pleasantly warm and sunny Australia Day today, here at Seventy Seven Acres, but the clouds have rolled in on a cold breeze and there are hints of rain on the air again.
Such has been summer so far.
For me, however, this is it.
I’m back into work tomorrow, driving into school for the first day of a week of preparation and professional development before the students arrive next Tuesday.
It’s come as a bit of a shock. The weeks have flown by, as I’ve struggled against the weeds, got back into the swing of a regular walking habit (often in the rain), realigned my eating after a decadent Christmas, caught up on masses of reading for pleasure (and self development), and spent some time working on a couple of writing projects.
Last week I took a couple of days to sort out my school stuff and do a bit of a clean out, then did some serious reading, and here I am, (almost) ready to rock.
I’m looking forward to catching up with my colleagues and getting ready to welcome the children, and, as ever, I feel so privileged to be a teacher, but, somehow, this year it feels harder than ever to make the transition back from our bush paradise to the day job in the city.
I know that as I drive away tomorrow, waving goodbye to Matt and Will, there’ll be a twinge of regret to be leaving the gentle paced days that I’ve enjoyed since school broke up in December.
It’s been a pretty special summer break, with lots of visitors, from our regular ‘roo family to a sighting of a very laid back monitor that we are pretty certain has put paid to our mouse population, a leveret (baby hare) that played possum long enough for me to get a picture on my phone, an Australian shell duck that has taken up semi-permanent residence in our garden (but moves too quickly to get a decent picture of), and the maddening common koel who has at least not been as manic this year! Oh, and lots of beetles. Lots.
It’s still remarkably green and lush in the Valley (all our veggies bolted and the weeds have had a ball) and the air is redolent with the scent of eucalypt and damp earth. I’ll be sad to drive away.
The title quote this time is from Shakespeare’s well known Sonnet 18:
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.