Winter’s come. It is an exciting season. We have good things to look forward to and not-so-good things to prepare for.

Plumes of smoke billow from the chimney of houses far and near. Far in the distance, haze obscures the mighty mountains beyond. The picture is one from an ancient portrait, frozen in time.

Change has come. The air is colder and nights longer. Trees have shed their leaves. Mild morning rays creep into the rooms, tentatively as they do, as if they are unsure of their own power and significance over the human world.

Winter’s come. It is the season of exams. Children are busy, their faces buried deep in the heavily dog-eared books, bracing the cold late into the night. Frantic parents pour out of bed to wake the sleepy and unwilling little children for the last few days of the school.

Look over the hills and they are fast turning russet and thin. Rivers run low and gust stirs massive dust storms. This is the season we need to be careful, a little more than we usually are.

Rains have gone. It is time of fire. Every winter, we lose acres of our forests to fire. How are we preparing so that our forests are not engulfed in massive flames? Every year we plant thousands of trees. We also lose them by great numbers every year.

Winter’s also the time when schools will close and our children will be out. As elders, it is a worrying time. How do we engage our children so that they spend their energy for productive purposes? Our streets are increasingly becoming unhealthy and dark havens for young people. We have more bars and dark places than libraries and education centres.

Come next season and many of our children do not return to school. And that is sad. Who do we blame?

Winter’s come. Perhaps this is the time when we should be extra careful with our responsibilities as citizens. More importantly, as parents, we need to keep our children on a tight leash. Losing them to transitory excitements and useless pleasures could be an expensive engagement.

Winter’s come.