It is only July, but - after some clear Melbourne weather this week and seeing wattles and jonquils and fruit trees in blossom - Miss Eagle feels as though Spring is in the air. We Eurocentric people of the Southern Hemisphere still rely on the distinction of the Northern Hemisphere seasons turned upside down. So officially, Spring does not arrive here until September 1. Miss Eagle believes that we should pay more attention to our own environment not just in the Southern Hemisphere or in our own nation but in our own locality.
Miss Eagle thinks that if we were sufficiently in tune with our environment there would be a name for what is happening now. And for lots of other seasonal changes as well, seasonal changes that may not happen for a period of three months but may only last for three weeks or six weeks.
What would this present season be called? The Harbinger? Newness? Please let Miss Eagle know what you think.
The poem, Australian Spring, by Australia's leading suffragette and face-on-the-five-dollar note, Catherine Helen Spence, is from the State Library of South Australia and reminds us of the attitude of transplanted Europeans. Things have changed a century later - but not enough. Generally speaking, we Australians have not come to terms with our land. We have not paid sufficient attention to what it can tell us. In fact, let's ask ourselves if we are listening at all.
We are still seeing things through the eyes of elsewhere, not the eyes of the native born.