« La joie ne dure qu’un printemps ! »
– François Cheng
Some of my very best memories from my time in UWA and Perth are from spring of last year in this quiet city.
Australian summers — at least in Perth from what I know — can be extremely hot and dry, and last year there was even a record-breaking heat wave with the temperature averaging at 39.3 degrees Celsius in the last week of December. This was said to be the hottest week Perth has ever had in 80 years.
I miraculously survived through this heat wave without ever turning a single fan on in our house (not that I kept one in my room anyway), but I remember the dry mornings and the heat slowly turning up as the day progresses. I thought to myself, This must be what living in an oven feels like. During the day the sun was bright and blinding — I finally understood the Aussies’ obsession with wearing sunnies — but nights, though still very warm, were blissful without the heat. I avoided going out, even to the nearby Broadway IGA, because five minutes under the sun were enough to roast my already tanned skin. No — the house, my room, my bed, served as my refuge. I thought of the short winter I spent back in France eagerly seeking out the sun every time I woke up in the morning, yet here I was, trying to hide from it at that very moment.
But spring? Oh, spring was heavenly! One could find sunny days in spring, yet still feel that slight chill in the air, leftover from the brief winter previously. I stopped caring about getting hay fever every time the weather changes; the sun and the flowers in bloom were enough to lift my spirits and keep me out of bed.
Last spring was particularly blissful for me because I’d handed in my thesis and finished my assignments just in time to welcome the new season. I remember going to bed every night feeling so content because I’d successfully fulfilled all my academic duties — which, to put it simply, were my sole purpose of being in Perth — and waking up in the morning looking forward to a brand new day filled with social obligations now — catching up with friends and rekindling old friendships that just somehow got half-buried underneath my thesis, assignments, and meetings with professors.
One weekend my housemates and I decided to go to Fremantle (fondly known as ‘Freo’ by Perthians) to check out the Fremantle Summer Arts Festival. We waited by the side of Market Street for the march to pass by. The wait at that time seemed never-ending, but just being there in that festive atmosphere was enough to keep me bubbling with excitement inside — kids (and adults too) were getting creative with chalks as they were given the license to use the road as their canvas, and there were lots of chattering and laughter in the air. This is what spring is all about.
In my slightly unorthodox interpretation of Daily Post’s ‘From Lines to Patterns’ Weekly Photo Challenge this week, I want to show a snapshot in time where we could simply unwind and let the joy of life take over for a while.