I long for summer.
I wish for the seemingly endless days of blue skies. I miss walking into a wall of thick heat that forces you to blink from the glare.
I walk along cold, dark November streets trying to grasp the memories of southern summers to warm my chilled bones. Hunkering down in my heavy coat, muffled in my scarf, hands covered in purple leather and ears protected with red fur, I laugh. I have never needed to own such a heavy coat in the past, let alone three different weights and lengths for different levels of cold.
I long for summer. For the simple choice of t-shirt and skirt or trousers. Sandals or shoes. I wish to giggle at the ridiculousness of wearing all black in blazing sunshine and the vanity that compels me to don a PVC corset for Christmas functions and sweat, a lot.
I miss the bite of the sun to let you know you are in danger of burning. I wish for the stickiness and chemical smell of sunscreen with a glue-like thickness and the scrape of a hair brush against an unprotected scalp that reminds you to wear a hat next time.
The smell of minced pies and mulled wine whip across a cobble market square bathed in the light of Christmas decorations. I hanker for crisp white wine with turkey eaten on a 30 degree day. To complain about the mosquito bites while watching the sunset through BBQ smoke.
I reminisce about cars becoming ovens, steering wheels too hot touch and seat belt clasps that almost burn at a touch. I long to get into the car and drive endless highways, never catching the heat haze and being concerned about the low dams and dust bowls paddocks. Having to watch for Kangaroos at dusk as they move from the shade to feed, taking no heed of the racing traffic, bounding in front of you causing your life to flash before your eyes.
I want to hear the screech of children running under sprinklers not the whiz, fizz and bang
of fire crackers.
I need to smell the fresh smell of summer rain on the breeze, the acrid stench of a BBQ or bushfire, the scent of sunshine in freshly dried washing. All I smell is the closed smell of too many bodies in damp wool overcoats jammed into carriages that rattle in dark tunnels.
I love the greenness of a damp countryside but am listless for the khaki and olive greens of the gum trees
. The crack of dry sticks and the scratchiness of dry bracken, the call of the whipbird and keeping a wary eye out for snakes
and other things that bite.
I long for clear skies, especially the night sky. To see the Southern Cross even through orange city haze. To be able to leave the city easily and see the glittery heavens in all their glory.
I wish to wilt in days of high temperatures and sticky nights. Sleeping with all windows open hoping to catch a breeze, the buzz of a fan soothing you into slumber, having an excuse to not dry off from a shower and leap into bed damp to escape the heat. Trying escape days of searing heat by retreating to the air conditioned dark of the movie theatres. To watch with relief as a cold front comes through, plummeting temperatures and some times rain, in big fat soaking drops with the crack of thunder. Being unable to sleep due to the heat seems to be more appealing than overcoat days and continual drizzle.
I long for a summer that is months long. Not mere weeks, where any brief appearance of the sun seems to spur English men to remove their shirts. I wish for a summer that is so long I am heartily sick the heat, flies, water restrictions, sunburn and bushfires.
I long for summer of old.