In one week, the clocks here will change, officially heralding autumn. When I arrived here, we were in the full throws of autumn, although all I remember are dazzling blue skies and the force of the sun in my eyes every day. I felt some dismay when I realised this. A part of that is knowing that those sweltering days, day after day of the late 30s, watching the huge orange stone of the sun dropping into the ocean at Arpoador, only to see the same thing happen again the next day, and the next day… all that is going to be over soon.
Someone told me last year that winter in Rio de Janeiro is beautiful, and it is – not even the occasional grey sky will take away the drama of the mountains or the lushness of the vegetation on them. At that time, everything was new for me. Now, I am going to be following the inevitable pattern I am already familiar with. The pattern of the seasons that shrinks time, so it is impossible to forget what happened this time last year, what usually happens at winter, what’s been lost and how long you will have to wait for that state to change. It’s like the boat in The Great Gatsby, pulling you back into the past (even the recent past).
I think that’s what makes me anxious about it, more than just the loss of the hot beach days. Everything was new when I arrived, an unending horizon. Now, I am a slave to routine again without perceiving when that change took place.
On the upside, that means I am no longer on the treadmill I was on when I first arrived. I know where to get nice food for less money, I can get around and I’ve got friends, all the things that I didn’t have during the exhilirating (and sometimes really difficult) first six months.
Many’s the time I’ve missed things in life even when I knew full well they were actually awful at the time. The approach of a year here, and the reverting of the seasons back to the one I arrived in, has made me realise just how long it’s been. A certain type of person will always look back at the past like this and I definitely am one of those. I think today I realised I was just content, it’s home here now, and I didn’t even notice that happening. Bye bye summer, roll on autumn.