I am writing this article from England where I am visiting a friend and completing some education consulting work.
All previous trips have taken place during the English summer and I have fond memories of green rolling fields, picking big fresh blackberries from the roadside hedges, warm days and beautiful tree-filled landscapes. This time I have arrived here in winter and everything is very different. The beautiful landscape, roadside hedges and green rolling hills are all covered in snow.
In some quirky way, the snow-covered landscape actually looks better. The plain ordinary summer trees have turned into majestic pieces of nature. Everything seems new covered in white and the landscape has been transformed from beautiful to picturesque.
Seeing the difference the snow has made to the English environment got me thinking about seasonal things that happen in my life and the differences they bring.
In summer, I chop and store firewood for the winter fireplace to keep our house warm. I make the most of the longer summer hours and spend more time outside gardening, landscaping, walking, swimming, fishing, playing golf or socialising with friends and whanau.
With winter comes the cover of darkness, rather than snow, and everything seems to slow down with stews, hot soup and roasts replacing summer salads and freshly picked fruit.
So how does the change of seasons affect you and your whanau? What do you do in summer to prepare for winter and how do you enjoy your long summer hours? Do you stop to smell the roses?
I do hope you are enjoying the summer days because I have been away from New Zealand for over two weeks now and all I keep hearing about is how awesome the summer weather is back there.
I can't wait to get home to enjoy the rest of our summer because the snow here in England may be beautiful, but it also brings cold temperatures, icy roads, short daylight hours and slippery footpaths.
Hopefully, one of those slippery footpaths will lead me to home next week. Ka kite ano.
-Ngahihi o te ra is from Te Arawa and is an international speaker, author and consultant. His book is available at Mcleods book store and the Lakeside cafe in Rotorua. His website can be viewed at www.ngahibidois.com