It started in February. It was still warm here, with days spent enjoying the summer, windows wide open, late light evenings, the occasional complaint that our bedroom was too hot. But creeping into our collective psyche was the fear that it would soon be over. I wasn’t helped by the insidious reminders I received from friends on-line. Exhausted after a harsh winter, my people in the northern hemisphere were celebrating the appearance of new life – the green crocus tips the first photos that warmed their hearts, but put a shiver down my spine.
Then March arrived. The temperatures had dipped slightly and we had one or two cool days, though they went along with the southerly front that brought them, and the last week or so has been beautiful. In northern climes, they endured the last-ditch gasps of winter, further photos of snowfalls that must have frustrated my friends, but that secretly gave me hope that we had time. Though the crocuses grew.
The end is nigh. It is dark early in the mornings now, when we have been so used to the skies lightening at 5 am or earlier. From Sunday the light will arrive an hour earlier, but we will of course get a nasty shock when the sun sets at 6 pm.
The meteorologists tell us that it could still be a couple of months before we get cold, wintry weather. We have long springs and autumns here, in Wellington in particular. But it has begun. And even though I often quite like winter when it finally arrives, I don’t really enjoy the sense of foreboding we endure when it’s on its way.