Thursday, June 14, 2007

Adapt To Change. Count The Seasons.

When adapting to change the future may lay in the past.
Let's count the seasons and compare.

At last we have winter again in Melbourne. The last time we had winter it was 2000. So all we need to do really is to count 2 Olympics and presto. In 7-8 years we have winter again. And what winter. We used to have 4 European seasons in a day during winter. And if that wasn't enough, we now have a great deal more.

But in face of the projected drastic and perpetual changes it also begs the question: - Weren't things like this before?

As hot midland air pushes precious rain more and more southward we see a dry and cold winter as a growing menace. But how about thinking in not just more seasons but also different ones. How about looking to many old seasons in the face of a formidably new weather system forming around us as we speak?

Aboriginal people living in the same land had their calendar written for them by the native plants and animals - all superbly adopted their lives to the harsh climate. They were the Wurundjeri people and they observed 6 seasons at least. Now, I look to the flowers and birds, and I take some solace in that they still read weather with familiar accuracy.

Winter for them is actually two seasons. Early winter lasts from late March to mid May. This is the time when fungus grows and birds migrate north. Then comes late Winter from late May to July and the Antarctic birds arrive to our shores. July brings the flowering of flax lillies and geraniums. August is when the silver wattle is blooming. In early November tea tree blooms and snappers arrive to Port Phillip Bay. But there is an unerring overlap also: from April to June our beautiful and prized banksia begins to flower and low and behold, brushtail possums get into the groove - the mating season is upon them.

At least in Melbourne Australia, plants and animals still read the weather as they would for tens of thousands of years before. They do it the old, flexible way. And as we follow their clockwork regularity we end up with a handful of seasons - a great deal more than we thought we had.

Much like to old days, when Aboriginal people counted and followed just as many seasons.

No comments: