For years in Sydney the weather and the seasons just didn't seem to sink up. Hot Christmas! So wrong, until the beach on Boxing day with a box of hot chips and a bag of fresh cherries just seemed like the most perfect thing.
The weather here in Houston has finally transitioned from steam room to sweaters. Instinctively, I begin to anticipate the Easter holidays, and dream of hot cross buns, only to remember that the onset of autumn here in North America does not coincide with Easter.
With the arrival of November, I look around for the magical Jacaranda blooms, and readjust to meager autumn foliage instead.
The approach to Christmas in Australia indicates a final frenzy of school activities and end of school year performances that should bottom out into the long summer and Christmas holidays, except that here in North America it doesn't. Instead, we wave the flag at the halfway point of the school year, pat each other on the back and say "we're going to make it."
Christmas has exploded like a ticker tape parade in all the local shops. Heck, Hobby Lobby has had Christmas going strong for months now. Halloween has passed and Thanksgiving is around the corner. This year we won't be up north with sawhorse board tables supporting the plates of 50+ cousins. Nor will we gather under twinkle lights in my friend's Sydney backyard, drinking wine with a table of friends that hail from all over the globe.
This year our little family will be gathered around our little table doing something new.
This is the life of a person straddling two continents, or hop scotching back and forth between them. The jarring disconnect fades into a new normal, and then that normal changes again. The weather doesn't match the seasons, doesn't match the holidays, doesn't match the school schedule...
But it's okay. November is the promise of summer and stone fruit in Sydney. Here in Houston persimmons hang like heavy jewels on my neighbors' trees. Here it is hot cider and cinnamon doughnuts. I've circled the day after Thanksgiving on the calendar, the date that I allow myself to get our Christmas tree. I practice delayed gratification in Houston and Australia. Some things stay the same, no matter where I am.