This curious painting depicts an allegorical scene in the Yarra Valley. One reading of the work is that it symbolises the change of seasons from winter to spring. Another is that through the use of European medieval imagery, particularly the 'mill of youth' legend, it becomes an uplifting metaphor for life in the Antipodes.
Rielly shows the elderly and infirm toiling up a steep hill towards the sun and exultation. Some expire on their journey, while those who enter the mystic mill emerge as fanciful characters epitomising the joys of youth.
The landscape is an accurate depiction of the Yarra River flats, perhaps somewhere in the vicinity of Yarra Glen, where the artist often painted. The windmill is the product of the artist's imagination, as there were no windmills of this design operating in Victoria when this was painted.