flying south for the winter

by crushed & stirred

This is the time of year when pumpkin patches go empty and dark and stand bare and quiet for about five minutes until Christmas trees farms replace them. Night comes early and is met with head lights and house lights and, soon, twinkling lights around trees and eaves. Years after moving out, this season brings me back to my parents’ house, the sound of dinner and homework and cars pulling into the driveway and the news on the radio.

Before I joined the wine industry, Fall belonged to School and vice versa. They represented an intertwined institution that was distinctly domestic in nature and far more orderly than the uprooted lifestyle of the seasonal surfer. But now more than ever in my days as a student, my life is built around autumn. I haven’t put myself through a full winter since college. We roll into town when the days are long, hot, and promising. We occupy these transient homes until baseball ends and presidents are elected and then we peer through our periscopes again and try to climb out of the submarine while it’s still moving. Always in the back of our minds during vintage is: and where to next?

Or, less romantically, where the hell is my next paycheck coming from?

I personally find it just about excruciating to seek out – with the requisite amount of  gusto – another season of 85-hour work-weeks during the endless stream of 85-hour work-weeks. But it’s the only way. Sometimes, by playing Survivor Intern, you can hang on to your job for a few extra months. And sometimes you find those elusive permanent positions. Not this time, though.

While yet another season has been warming to a baking-spice glow in shop windows and amber treelines, I’ve been hunting my future.

Which is: January 2013, Margaret River, Western Australia. Visa already granted.