On autumness and unpredictability

On autumness and unpredictability

Autumn in Stellenbosch has been unpredictable, as usual. Golden days of sunshine and
autumn colours have competed with bleak windy spells and umbrella-testing rainy days.
As soon as you think of packing away your summer clothes and getting out the gumboots,
Mother Nature surprises you once again by sending beautifully sunny days. This is what
autumn is all about: Not only the beautiful colour-changing vineyards and oak trees, but the
unpredictability and surprise of experiencing so many different seasons in one day. One of
my friends calls it “autumness” – or sometimes “awesomeness”.

Along with the unpredictability and rapid changes in weather patterns, there also seems
to be some shifts or changes occurring in people. For some inexplicable reason, an air of
confusion is hanging over almost everyone I interact with – me included. I wonder if this
is some kind of April Effect and if it indeed has something to do with the weather. Maybe
the winter-lovers are wishing winter to come and summer-lovers are hoping summer will
last a bit longer, and in the midst of this pull in different directions, Mother Nature is a bit
confused herself.

More likely though, it is the reality that we are well into the second term of the year that
causes the April Effect. The newness that tends to surround everything in the first term has
faded. It is far too early for the end-of-year fatigue and too late for start-of-year anxiety.
This is April and I hope that the main symptom of the April Effect will be that it leaves you
pleasantly enchanted by the unpredictable weather.

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