I’m settling back into the rhythm of daily life after a delightful retreat to Nipaluna, or modern-day Hobart.

Most Junes we migrate south, leaning into the coldest and darkest part of the year. In effect it makes the dark Melbourne feel shorter – we have something to look forward to, and once we are home the days are slowly getting longer and brighter.

As it sometimes happens with a place you regularly return to, we have developed our own rituals of place. There are restaurants we habitually eat at, cultural spaces we go, natural places we return to. And without fail, a giant rosewater and pistachio meringue from the bakery.

Daci & Daci Bakery do the most brilliant treats

I used to feel conflicted about this – like I should be using my holidays to have novel experiences, and it was somehow redundant to return to the same place and recreate experiences.

Something clicked for me this year. Part of the joy of this habitual type of holiday is in observing how places change and mature over time.

In noticing how the place changes over time, we also start to notice how we ourselves have changed.

A favourite place to visit is Kunanyi (formerly Mt Wellington). It became much more comfortable once we learned to dress for the occasion

This year, I noticed how excited I was by the light in different places. When I studied Fine Art in my misspent youth, I was impossibly bored by the idea of artists who paint light. Perhaps I hadn’t matured enough to truly see what was before me.

One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs.
– Heraclitus of Ephesus