When I arrived in Vancouver a fortnight ago, the weather was pretty much the same as when I left Melbourne. I’d been traveling for a whole day and even the date and time hadn’t changed much! Surprisingly, the ocean temperatures were warmer around Bowen’s shores than at home. I am starting to think that winter surfing on our coast requires the same bravery and thick skin as it does in Tofino’s summer on Vancouver Island.
Arriving home on Tuesday morning was a shock to the system! Melbourne was basking in sunny skies but the temperature was only 6°C! The wind chill was way below zero and it hasn’t stopped raining in the past 2 days. The season has shifted and our true, 38°S winter has arrived.
I now rely on the booties and a hood to stay alive when surfing and our wood stove has been on 24-7. The winter greens are flourishing in the vege garden and the soil is cold and wet. It’s time to plant garlic and onions and the fruit trees are bare and in need of a winter prune.
We are staging the annual Lantern Parade at the local school tonight – in celebration of the Winter Solstice. Mulled Wine, hot chocolates and warm food will accompany singing and storytelling. The shortest day of the year has been celebrated for centuries across many cultures. It marks a key shift in the year. For me it has more meaning and resonance than even the New Year.
My recent trip across the equator and time zones to Canada has revitalized my desire to learn and experiment even more. I learned so much from working and playing with Steven and Chris. As the days grow longer I’ll be writing and sharing more on this so stay tuned.
To close … here’s a place I really want to visit – Tofino on Vancouver Island.