I am sitting at my table in the bedroom.
It is jammed up against the windows looking out to the mandarin and lime trees, the pink salvias flowering, the Callistemon home and harbour to lots of birds also flowering, Buddleia flowering, the bay laurel with its fresh new light green tips,scrubby grasses tangled with carpet left over from the war against Kai Ku Yu all merging into the thick impenetrable orchard of towering black wattles.
the faint echo of chooks is heard at odd moments when the membrane between parallel realities collapses and the past bleeds thru to the present bleeds thru to the future bringing thru all possibilities.
the Sun is playing peek-a-boo , the Wind is painting broad brush strokes and the temp remains at, ‘ I think I’ll put a cardy on.’
first day of Autumn .
with a practiced flip of the calendar seasons warp and flex passing our summer into memories and calling up leaf fall in glorious colours, cooler mornings, shorter sharper days ,abundant harvests and golden hours.
above me in the roof sits a rat looking ‘sick’ according to John who brought the ladder into the pantry and with flashlight in hand climbed up thru the manhole to take a look.
only a couple of weeks ago John and Greg finished if there is such a word in bushlore the rat proofing of the roof. they completed the stretch in the glasshouse effectively blocking off all access ( we hoped). the patter of tiny feet continued .
with a new staple gun John went back over areas where the old gun had begun to fail. would this be the final nail ?
quiet for a day or two but maybe because the rain was so heavy on the roof that all other sound was blocked out. this morning we heard a scurry and a gnawing.
now it sits there waiting for its final scamper back into the arms of the Great Spirit.
I can see a skeleton over the kitchen sink,’ he shouts to me.
oh that would be the one that rained maggots down into the kitchen while we were lolling at the beach and Greg was home here working.
We got a message from him telling us how creepy it was at home . maggots were dropping out of the ceiling onto the benches and floor and wriggling their way towards the rest of their lives.
Greg was on constant clean up until the skinks joined the party. like the calvary they turned up in the nick of time only without the bugle and set to with relish . next time I went back home to water the garden the kitchen was clean as a whistle.
a few days ago we could hear a rustling and tussling under the loquat tree. eventually we could make out a red belly black snake with a skink in its mouth. two legs hang limply in the air as the snake slowly expanded its jaw .
someones else s horror is someone else s meat .
last night before dark a mother and child were nuzzling each other in the garden. It looked very like love to me.
I watched the mama wallaby gently cradle her childs face between her paws and tenderly lick it clean, from there they moved into play .
in the french documentary ‘Babies’ the african mother cleans her baby with her tongue. She rolls her tongue all over the body and spits out whatever grit she encounters .
I don’t so much lick Kingston but I do enjoy sniffing him and I do love to nuzzle my face into his sweet baby body and I do smooch noisily whenever I can. at two and a half he is leaving babyhood behind and I ask him, how much longer can I get away with this? He smiles and ducks away from me to get back into his play.
the girls will testify that I am still a bit of a smoocher , the joy of plastering my love all over their beautiful grown up faces and drinking in their fragrance of being.
I imagine the rat upstairs if it is a mum is probably as loving to its young as we are,
and yet we have decided that they have no place in our house.
no apologies, yes remorse .
And again yesterday evening standing at the door of the lounge room I call out to John. What, he says when he comes to look , as if you havent seen a wallaby a thousand times before?
its true I have, but that little fella that is big enough to nibble on its own still likes to bury its head in its mothers pouch and stand there for ages drinking.
And I like to watch them. I like to watch it all.
I am still as captivated and fascinated as the day I entered this forest thirty years ago .
I am as bewitched as the first day we met.
It feels like love to me.