Without a map or a compass, one could be fooled into believing that it is summer on a tropical island, when it is winter. The only signs of winter are the bare flame trees, which have lost their red leaves. All other vegetation flourishes throughout the year.
Escaping the European winter to the beaches of Thailand, Bali, the Caribbean, or the southern hemisphere, where it is summer, is not unusual. Hotels, airlines, and travel agents thrive on the urge to find sun during the winter months.
What sounds strange—and surely is for most—is to flee European summer for the winter in the southern part of the globe. The only other people I know that do something seemingly contrary and foolish are skiers seeking snow for training in the Andes.
But, contrary can be good. Mauritiun winter offers sunshine, warmth, lush vegetation—except the flame trees—and warm water: everything one wants in a “summer” vacation.
It's totally summer. Like flowering things abound. Taking a photo is, uh, easier and quicker than thinking up garbage to write. Color is like good. Duh.
I am sitting in the sun enjoying the afternoon sun with a glass of good German Riesling wine and a few potato chips. Something about the heat sparked a thought: summer warmth is different that that enjoyed on beach, after one has escaped on an airplane to a tropical island. Summer sun is expected, almost taken for granted. In winter, any sunshine is welcome, but warmth is especially appreciated.
This year, we have been happy for any sunshine or warmth after the equinox. March was warmer than June. We have more from our solar panels in April than we did in June. Planting of flowers had to wait until late May and early June. Trees blossomed early and they suffered from chills.
As I sit in the sun, I think of the warmth I’ll enjoy in January...on the Maldives. For now, I’m happy for every sunny day delivered by the North Atlantic Oscillation.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.