The shift.

What a wonderful time to be alive!

Audible gasps aside, in these hideously stressful (for those whose businesses are strapped), tragically sad (for those who have lost dear ones), scarily scary (for those living with compromised health conditions), thoroughly confusing (for those who cannot make sense of the lack of common sense), I am obviously not referring to the global pandemic crisis. Instead, I am referring to the seasons and this particular “mid season” is indeed a wonderful time to be alive!

Here in sunny South Africa, having got through one of the hottest summers that I can recall, that summer heat has ripened delightfully into the less scorching, gentler autumn. The days are growing shorter, the light is shifting, the colours of the vegetation are glowing and the heat does not hold the same fire as in the middle of these gloriously stinking hot recent summer days, thankfully! 

I’m more of a summer person than a winter one, so the delights of the long, hot, sunny days are a joy to me but, perhaps its age…menopause… that has given me a new appreciation for these “mid season” temperatures – they are gentler with 34C in March being a very different 34C in January.

Whilst I am fortunate to be enjoying these champagne days of the southern hemisphere, my heart is drawn north to the flip season – sensational spring! There is something beyond description about the Dutch spring season: the eye-watering colours of the bulb fields. Not only are those fields of colour-drenched tulips the iconic promotional postcard for The Netherlands but it is on every traffic circle, village road verge, window box and shop pot plant that attests to this nations affinity with the beauty of flowers.

We may have missed the earliest bulbs, those of the crocuses who peek their colourful heads out of the frozen ground, giving the Northerners a glimmer of hope, after a long, dark, bitter winter. We may even have missed the next phase of yellow, so bright as to be dazzling, in the daffodils. Following on from these bright beauties, come the fabulously fragrant hyacinths whose heady scent makes one stop one’s bike to stand, eyes closed (which is why it’s necessary to get off the bicycle!) and drink in the sensational smell.

But we hope to fly in over what can only be described as “God’s paintbox” – the patchwork quilt of glorious blocks of colour that are the Dutch bulbfields in all their glorious spring splendour!

So, the “mid season” may be short lived but it’s this shift of anticipation that heralds the awaiting summer with her long, light, sunny warm days.

The same has come to pass with our short/long return to our home country, South Africa: there has been a shift in the way in which this beautiful country, with so much potential and opportunity, has been “hijacked” by corruption so as to have shifted up a gear, rendering it dysfunctional to the point of collapse.

The complete moral bankruptcy of those in power have decimated the lives of the poor who, in turn, destroy the life-sustaining earth upon which they live by literally choking it with litter and filth. The overwhelming helplessness has become hopelessness, for me, and I am in even more awe and wonder at the works of selflessness, conducted by those who continue to battle the tide of poverty, in the community work that they do to uplift the poorest and most disenfranchised in the country – you angels know who you are so take a deep bow please!

Call me a “swallow Pollyanna” if you like, I’ll take the title, as I gather myself to swoop north, following the tilt of the globe and path of the sun where I shall continue to be thankful for the various bubbles of bliss that I am fortunate to find myself in and seek the positive in every every-day adventure that I embark on – there is ALWAYS much to be grateful for!

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