In my column for the February edition of the Hawkesbury Parish News, I’m trying to persuade myself of the virtue of living in a climate with four seasons – and wishing winter away.
Apparently, at the equator, the sun rises at 6am and sets at 6pm every day, all year round.
Though stunningly beautiful, equatorial sunrises and sunsets last only a few minutes, with none of the long, languid transformations that we see on Hawkesbury’s horizons.
The climate in equatorial countries varies so little, they have only two seasons: wet and dry.
That lack of seasonal variation must limit conversation about the weather: “Turned out nice again. And again. And again.”
Ex-pats living on the equator must miss hearing the phrases that drive me nuts each British winter: “The nights are really drawing in” and then “The days are getting longer”.
These are just some of the things I’ve been telling myself to make the long dark nights of winter seem more tolerable.
On short dull days post-Christmas, when it’s often felt like the sun hasn’t risen at all, if it had been possible to teleport myself to the equator for a twelve-hour day of sunshine, I would have done.
But now a scattering of cheerful blackbirds – my favourite British garden bird – has started paying daily visits to the bare-branched apple tree outside my study window, their sunny yellow beaks a little brighter each time they stop by. This natural change in their marking shows they’re gearing up for their spring mating season. That thought cheers me up almost as much as it must them, even though I suspect this is the closest I’m going to get to seeing sunshine until March.
They don’t have blackbirds at the equator. That’s another reason added to my list. I’ll convince myself eventually.
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