Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Heather Blazing : The Pleasures of East Gippsland Part 4



THIS morning we decided to explore our surroundings properly in the glorious, weak sun. We saw kangaroos hopping along the western border fence last evening. We all headed out that way, opening gates. I ‘lost’ the others, preferring to wander alone in the deepest parts of the fields before the borderline. Surrounded by vast plains and heather blazing on the ground all about me, and large stretches of comforting emptiness on all sides, I wanted time to stand still. I thought about next week, and traffic, and shops, and fences and brick walls, and people and work and getting up early, and public transport, and fears and challenges and responsibilities, and I wanted time to stand still. I actually wanted time to stop. Right at that instant I felt the most free for a long time, then thought of Andrew Marvell’s refrain, which I learnt in Year 12:

‘But at my back I always hear,

Time's-winged chariot hurrying near.’

We renewed acquaintances with all of the charming creatures of the land. Sheep bursting to give birth and tiny new born lambs; the friendly and itchy black and white boar who is destined to have an unusually long life; the little pigs drowsy and pressed close to each other for warmth and comfort in their pen; ‘Boomer’ the border collie scampering around everywhere chasing our sticks; the black cows and the bull who invited us to get reasonably close to them but still keep a respectful distance; and finally the ducks and geese who are free range but act, timidly, like the ducks and geese back home at Coburg Lake.

Running adjacent to the road here sure beats running adjacent to Sydney Road back home. The gravel path next to the highway provided some softness. I made it to Bruthen just as the rest of the family pulled up in their car. Good timing.

We called in at the lovely Bruthen pub as we did a few years ago and talked to the lady at the bar about local wineries. Nicholson River wines off Duncan Road were lovely- well, the reds at any rate which is what we tried.

I have started thinking about how much S has changed. More so than A. She is wearing jeans all of a sudden after espousing derision towards them all this time. She is wandering off on her own a lot, running ahead and wanting to be independent. She wants to try all these new things. And as we drive, she has been looking ahead reading the roadway signs as they emerge, which is what I think I once did.

Our trip is almost finished. It is, of course, inevitable, and in lots of ways regrettable.



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