24 August 2011


It’s spring in Melbourne. It crept up softly, gradually; then in the last few days, suddenly, noisily, with the burst of flowers, the sprout of leaves, an explosion of birdlife and nest building. The sky has been blue, the sun warm – perfect for strolling along the creek, if you have the inclination and the time. And I do have the inclination, and I’ve been making as much time as I can in between packing, getting the house painted and, most of all, working feverishly on my dissertation, which is due just a week or two before we leave. Today, after two hours solid work at a local café, I walked back along the creek (slowly, slowly) and watched two glossy ravens hop from rock to rock around a large puddle before finally jumping in and splashing around (after I’d moved on a bit – they’re clearly modest!). They were later chased out of a nearby tree by two wattlebirds – perhaps protecting a nest, or perhaps just being pernickety and territorial, as wattlebirds are wont to be. A pair of magpie larks pottered quietly and calmly in the long grass. I said hello to some of my tree friends, and noticed again how much they’d grown since we moved here just over five years ago. They really are established trees, now, rather than saplings – big enough to cast shade for a picnic. I thought about how much more literate I am in terms of being able to ‘read’ this landscape, how I could sit there for hours listening to the stories it tells. I kind of wanted to lie face-down on the ground and soak everything up, or be absorbed.

I am so glad that we are here for this part of spring. I will miss my little bit of Melbourne when we’re living overseas.

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