A part of my brain knows that it is December, but another part has tricked me into believing it is July. It turned to summer yesterday and the temperature outside confirms it. Surely, Christmas can’t be days away.
In an area known as Sydney’s northern beaches, I took an early morning walk along Narabeen lagoon and on to a nearby shopping centre. Inside, a small area was reserved for Santa Claus. He wasn’t there, and so I imagined they had simply left Santa’s house up all year, because in my shorts, t-shirt and sandals it must be July.
For 46 years my brain has been conditioned to know what December looks and feels like, and this isn’t it. In the part of the world I live, December is dark and cool and typically punctuated with dreary, gray skies filled with rain, and sometimes snow. People hibernate under blankets in front of the fireplace with a warm cup of cocoa or spiced apple cider.
Migrating south of the equator for three weeks has tricked my brain. Here, on my patio I seek shelter from the sun, which arrives early each day and lingers late into the day. The palms and Norfolk pines move lazily in the warm breeze. Colourful birds sing and jump from tree to tree.
I suppose when you’re on vacation days and months mean little, so while I know the calendar says December, it’s July to me.
I just hope Santa will still come.