Petrus Spronk

The month of August. I remember the same month a year ago. Like traffic on the freeway, both time and cars frighteningly fast. Older people tell me how quickly time passes. But then, getting older, the traffic also seems faster. What, at one stage seems normal, now seems far too fast for comfort. Maybe when you get older everything around you seems to be speeding up, but nothing really goes any faster than before. Just an old age illusion. You slow down and therefore everything around you seems to be speeding up.

The month of August. A month filled with promise. The promise of daily increased sunlight. The promise of spring. Not the real spring, just a promise of it, as can be observed in nature. The first bulbs are managing to break through the cold and hard earth. The yellow of the wattle is becoming more splendid and brilliant by the day. The delicate blue, close to the ground, the spread of numerous violet plants creating a ground cover, which sings the song of exquisiteness. And this is just the beginning. The beginning of the continuum of life as experienced through nature.

The month of August. We celebrate it. Here in Daylesford we celebrate this wonderful month by, a little hesitantly, taking off the first layer. Maybe that winter jumper can do with a final wash and then, folded, be placed in the drawer until next year. Or, am I too optimistic? The old Jack Frost still seems to lurk closely around. Then, in relation to the storing of winter jumpers, a memory. I remember the old fashioned smell of moth balls – another thing of the past.

The month of August. It holds something special as well. Special to Daylesford. It is the month of that much loved ‘Words in Winter’ event. A wonderful celebration of words, books, writers and readers. An event initiated by David Hall. We sometimes forget what an amazing treasure for the community David is amassing to make the town a better place for us to live. His input in the Community Bank and the ARC next to the college are just some examples. As is this one, Words in Winter. A coming out with treasures of that which has been written during that long and stay-inside, pretty-cold season. A coming out with new (spring like) ideas to share during the weekend of the 25th to 27th of August. The celebration of the generosity of spirit, with many events for free or relatively little money. A true celebration of community. I have already seen billboards and programs appearing here and there. A committee on the ball.

Not the month of August. But for months during the winter I have been wondering what I will be contributing for this year’s WiW. With some patience and the creative mind, something always comes up. It steps into your way when you least expect it. As is the case this year. This time it was the result of a meeting with someone I know but never had a good chat with. Maia offered me a ride to Melbourne where she had to go the same day as I did. You don’t refuse such a generous offer. Because instead of driving my car to Ballan, followed by a train journey, then a tram or bus ride to my destination, I was collected from my house and delivered to where I had to go in town. During the ride we had a talk fest, at the end of which Maia remarked that she had no idea of my life as a creative being. And consequently, how I had done and am still doing it in my life.

Into the month of August. When I returned home the next day I contacted Maia and proposed an idea for Words in Winter. The idea was based on the exchange of stories during the car ride. I suggested that it would manifest as an interview. She agreed at once and we were off into a wonderful project of remembering. I went through old diares, worked my way through my slide and photograph collections and found many images of places and things which had inspired me and how those experiences which, I am sure, an audience would also enjoy.

Where would I present such an event? Radius, the gallery and community events place on Main Road, came to mind. The generosity of the directors, Kim and Morgan, is legendary. Soon things fell into place. We booked in with the WiW committee, and once accepted, we were off…

The event will be presented on Friday, August 25th at 7.30 pm. Please bring a camping chair or a cushion because, ever the optimists, we expect a crowd.


Petrus Spronk is a local author and sculptor who contributes a monthly column to The Wombat Post.
More information on the “Maia versus Petrus” is available on the Words in Winter website. Entry to the event is by donation. Bookings are not necessary.