The turning

On Facebook the other day, a friend posted “Feeling a general air of melancholy … Not sure if it’s a general sadness … or whether It is just the witching hour and I need to go to One Penny and get a coffee.” In the end I think he went for coffee, and everything turned out just fine. But I know the feeling he described. Maybe it’s the turning of the seasons, which always creates in those of us who have reached the “more yesterdays than tomorrows” stage a moment’s reflection.

The creek has turned the seasonal corner. My Styx Creek bird list is well into the 70s now, with a royal spoonbill sighted down by the TAFE weir and a sacred kingfisher (whose ki-ki-ki I’d been hearing for some time but never actually spotted) seen flitting between branches by the Chaucer Street drain.

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There’s a lovely sense of renewal. The bamboo is beginning to collapse under the weight of its new growth and the lantana is alive with blossom. The fuchsias in the gasworks have sprung up, showing the ghostly pathways and flower beds of the now long-gone manager’s residence.

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The Chaucer Street drain (the original Styx) is almost clogged up with reeds and lilies and a thick, cress-like plant that ducks thrive on.

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The time around dusk is particularly beautiful at the moment, but also triggers that sense of melancholy my friend wrote about.

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Strangely, I don’t mind this feeling. There’s something in the disquietude of melancholy that keeps me alive to the natural world. Perhaps it’s the realisation of how fleeting it all is (“it” being life, Nature, the world, whatever). It’s certainly something that coffee won’t cure.

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