... a season that fills the happiness gauge, if you take the time to let it
CARTOONIST Michael Leunig always brings a smile to my face.
His cartoons, which often feature strange little curly people, teapots and ducks, capture complex situations but break them down into what actually matters.
Usually, what matters in his cartoons are people - and he uses endearing, simple pictures with meaningful words to show that the smallest things can make a difference.
A favourite is a cartoon about a small gauge that captures the little things - he says it doesn't need to be big because it doesn't take much for the garden to grow.
It's a beautiful cartoon that often brings a smile - and serves as a reminder that it doesn't take much to thrive and be happy.
For those of us lucky enough to live in central Victoria during Autumn, those little moments are easy to come by.
It's the season that offers one of those little moments every day - a season that fills the happiness gauge, if you take the time to let it.
Stopping to see the beauty of colour is good for the soul. Immersing yourself in it is even better.
The changing foliage in Autumn offers beauty everywhere you turn in central Victoria.
You don't have to travel far to find streets lined with trees changing from lush shady canopies to golden yellows, oranges and red. But not for much longer.
Soon, they will stand tall and bare, watching winter set in around them and waiting for the warmth of Spring.
So, if you haven't done so, visit Rosalind Park just on dusk. The lights are on, but the sun has not yet set. The colours in the park are at their best - and as you feel the cool and crisp evening air settling in, the colour of the park offers warmth.
Likewise for Lake Weeroona. We have been spoilt with beautiful warm evenings this month and a walk around the lake, taking the time to enjoy the splashes of colour, is a must before the leaves disappear.
A visit to the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens is a favourite in our house. We have spent many hours sipping soup from a Thermos and throwing leaves in the air in Castlemaine.
Or take a drive and see what else you can find. There's nothing like a spontaneous picnic to delight the children - taking them to a place where they can appreciate the treasure that is nature, free of screens and devices.
Forget the GPS and travel by tossing a coin - heads for right, tails for left (if you get lost, that's part of the adventure).
Adventure, clean air, crisp and colourful Autumn leaves and happy children - it's a good recipe for a great day out.
Oh to be able to capture that as Leunig would.