Published in The Green Issue 201

Life on a Better Ridge Seasonal States

There’s no doubt that on a day-to-day basis, the weather affects what we do and how we feel, but there are also long-term seasonal impacts that have a more subtle effect on us.

In parts of the world that experience extremes in light levels, such as the midnight sun of summer and the 20 hours of darkness in winter in the far Northern and Southern hemispheres, people’s moods (and therefore their behaviour) can be severely affected. The documented effects of “mango madness” that distress residents living in the constant high temperatures nearer the equator are well known. But these afflictions are not just limited to the extremes. People living in Britain and Canada have been shown to have a decrease in mood and an onset of depression with the long, dark, cold seasons.

Aptly named SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), this disorder has been extreme enough to be responsible, in some cases, for suicide. While here on the Sunshine Coast, we are blessed not to have such extremes, we still feel the cycles of our seasonal weather patterns.

On The Ridge, it’s not just the creeping mercury that hints at change. The last couple of weeks have been a hive of activity – all of which looks to future growth and productivity. Neighbours are building dams, clearing paddocks and dangerous dead trees are being tackled before August’s wild winds sneak up.

Everyone I speak to lately seems to share that they too have been compelled to change along with the season and agree it feels good to open up the house and air out their cupboards. Oppressive chores suddenly feel cleansing, and there is such a feeling of preparation and anticipation in the air.

Having solid reminders of the beautiful environment we live in and opportunities to make the most of our experiences certainly makes me glad to be living here and excited to participate in the bounty this groundwork will no doubt provide.