This is not the end of 2Summers the blog. But it is the end of 2Summers the season.
I named my blog 2Summers because I moved here in August, as summer was ending in D.C. and about to begin in Joburg. I’ve essentially lived one 10-month-long summer, although summer here wasn’t really like summer back home. (It was much cooler in Joburg.)
I’m baffled by South African seasons. In the U.S., the first day of fall is on the autumnal equinox, usually September 20 or 21. The first day of a new season is a big deal — recognized by local news anchors, weathermen, and the like. The first day of the season may have nothing whatsoever to do with the actual weather, and it often doesn’t, especially in these climatically tumultuous times we’re living in. But at least there’s a date to look forward to, or dread.
In South Africa, the delineation between seasons is murkier. September 1, “Spring Day,” is considered to be the first day of spring, but there seems to be no official day for the start of any other season. It can be freezing in December, which is the middle of “summer” and pleasantly warm in July, at the height of “winter.”
Plus, South Africa is overrun with plants brought by European settlers from northern climates. These plants have no idea how to behave in the Southern Hemisphere. The magnolia tree outside our window is in full bloom right now. It was also blooming when I arrived in August. So you can’t always depend on Mother Nature to tell you what season it is.
None of this matters much to me anyway, as I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to program my brain to think of December as summer or July as winter. It’s more difficult than driving on the left side of the road.
But there’s a serious chill in the Jozi air this week, and the leaves on the plane trees that line Melville’s streets are changing, albeit with little fanfare — they just turn brown and fall on the ground. I even saw a guy sweeping (brooms reign supreme over rakes here) the leaves into piles the other day. So I think it’s safe to say that summer is pretty much over.
Three days ago marked the eight-month anniversary of my arrival in South Africa. And once I hit the “publish” button for this entry, I will have written 100 posts as 2Summers. I’ve gained a loyal following of readers and lots of wonderful things have happened to me because of this blog. 2Summers has become a part of my identity. So even though the name doesn’t really make sense anymore, I’ll keep it.
I still don’t know exactly what I’m doing here or where I’ll be in another eight months. But I’ll just keep typing and clicking away until I figure it out. I can’t wait to see what winter brings.