I’m no scientist, but I can always relate to Einstein’s concept that time is relative. For me and I’m guessing for most people, time is relative to age. You know we’ve all heard that saying; “the older you get, the faster time seems to pass”. For me, it has never been truer, time passes at such speed that the seasons seem to blend one into another, as the years speed by, marking my short sojourn on this planet. As we, in the Northern Hemisphere mark the passing of Summer and the start of Fall, or Autumn, as we call it where I grew up, way down south in New Zealand, I used to begin to slow down from the frenetic pace of Summer “fun”, relax and enjoy the calmness, the crispness and most of all the beauty of the russet colours that define the season for us.
Fall, it seems to me, is that time where we take an enormous deep breath, suck in the slightly cooler and more refreshing air, before we gird our loins for the adventures still to come for us in the final part of the year. It is a time of stillness, of mist hanging low over the lake, of slightly frosty, breathy air – a time to recharge our batteries for the momentous events of October, November and December (Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas – or its non-Christian equivalents).
As an expatriate New Zealander, now living in a place where there are only two seasons each year (Wet and Dry), I do sometimes nostalgically look back (through rose-tinted glasses, no doubt) at the time when I lived somewhere where there were four very distinct seasons and I do miss them. I often joke with people who ask about the climate here in The Philippines, that there are three seasons here: hot, bloody hot, and unbearably hot. Often is the time I’ve sat out the front of our modest little abode here in Manila, the sweat dripping unheeded down my forehead and wistfully longed for one of those Antarctic southerlies that would sweep up the length of New Zealand and deluge us with icy wind, freezing rain and the early promise of snow.
My old hometown of Dunedin was one of those rare places, in the world, where you could experience all four seasons in a single day or where the temperature could go from a balmy thirty-two degrees Celsius on a beautiful summer’s day to three degrees, with a wind-chill factor of minus five, in less than an hour. The thought of curling up inside with a rug, a warm fire, and a hot cup of cocoa, still tugs longingly at my subconscious. Yet, I can vividly remember sitting in the depths of one particularly bitter southern winter and turning to my shivering son, saying; “why on God’s green earth, would anyone ever choose to live in such a Godforsaken, freezing place such as this?” ( I may have used slightly stronger language than that – but you get the point, right?)
The answer my friend is simple – it was home.
My uptake from all this reminiscing is fairly straightforward – wherever you are, whatever your circumstances, you are exactly where you are supposed to be at the exact time you are supposed to be there – so make the very best of what you have today. It’s okay to reminisce, but not for too long – live in the moment and enjoy everything your current world has to offer.
Grant Leishman is a fifty-nine-year-old full-time author and editor, domiciled in the beautiful islands of The Philippines. After careers in finance and journalism, Grant finally found his true bliss in life – writing. He his happily married to Thess and they have two daughters, Rose and Angeline. You can discover more about Grant here: www.amazon.com/Grant-Leishman/e/B012ATB9N0