“Alright, your reminder is set for 5 this afternoon.”
That’s a sentence I never thought I’d hear in my life. Five pm has always been evening for me. In India, it’s tea time. It’s that wonderful part of the day everyone waits for all day, shuffling in their seats, under the sweltering pressure of workload in an air-conditioned office. It’s the time to crack those knuckles, stretch those calves, and walk up to the canteen for some piping chai and samosas. And gossip. Or in my case, people watching.
Soon after that break, some would go straight home at 5:30 while some others would go back to their seats, to Facebook or YouTube before heading out.
Five o’clock was a magical time.
When I arrived in Canberra just before winter, it was almost the same. Except, as we stepped deeper into the icy dryness or the cold, five became something of a warning time—for me, in particular. It was still magical, but instead of it signalling the end of the work day, it felt more like the end of the day itself. Darkness would arrive not long after and I didn’t want to wander the still-unfamiliar streets. By seven, although not tired, I was drained of all mental energy. Lethargy wrapped itself round my shoulders, an extra layer over my blanket, comforting, cocooning me in its warm embrace. It wouldn’t leave until 10 the next morning.
Productivity stooped. It didn’t help that I was working from home. Two hours of continuous work felt like an achievement.
Then came spring.
Today, I’ve done more things in a day than I thought was possible. And it’s still afternoon. It’s my first experience with the season, and even though I whined to a friend how hot it is during the day, I’m still pleased that I have enough time to do things I’ve always meant to do.
I’m enjoying the daylight and all up for making the most of it—although, on the first day of Daylight Savings, I caught the massive clock in the city (like Big Ben, but smaller and in Canberra) an hour behind my automatic smartphone’s time, and had a small panic attack.
All that aside, it’s warm and beautiful now. Super hot during the late-morning or early-afternoon hours, but as the day wanes, light shines through spaces between trees, refracting through the window panes, and ricocheting off my specs.