And She Started to Write... We got out of Cairns for Easter (2021).

I’m sitting in front of the fire. Watching the smoke billow and the rain drift in gentle curtains of soft sweeping rain. The wind whips through the camp in gusts gentle and then powerful. My daughter is napping in the swag zipped up protected from the midges.

I am sitting in my camp chair admiring the patterns on the wood we collected for the fire in an array of earthy tones. And the bundle of kindling sticks we collected as a family this morning. Thin twigs and branches fallen from the trees over the past days during thick rain and strong winds.

I pull out my pen and note pad and start to write. Something I haven’t done for quite some time. Years actually. I am enjoying the way the descriptive words flow onto paper.

I gaze back at the small logs sitting in front of me. The wind stops. The rain has paused. I breathe it in and look up.

I admire the twenty metre tall tree in the distance and the way her leafy branches sit high in the sky and how they rustle as they sway slightly. The clouds are gently drifting across the sky. A midge bites my knee. I check the fire and apply some more roll on natural insect repellant.

The sun breaks through the clouds. The trees and grass look so green and radiant from their drink of rain, and the hibiscus pop in glorious bursts of deep pink, almost red.

A ulysses butterfly flutters past, it’s vibrant colours of blue and black grabbing my attention.

I hear the bamboo leaves rustle and another gust of wind blows through and the smoke from the camp fire blows in my face.

I stand up and look around and see a kookaburra perched on the tree behind me. We gaze at each other for a while. He is wet from the rain. He stretches his mouth open and then closed. A bird chirps. Another butterfly flutters by.

I soak it all in.

I’ve missed this.

Well. Not the midges! But this being immersed in nature. The colours. The peace. The quiet. Being far away from the sounds of traffic and people fighting.

My daughter stirs and calls “mummy”. I am there and by the time I take the few steps to reach her she has returned to sleep.

I walk back to my chair and savour this moment and quietness some more.

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