We had a lovely thunderstorm last night – 9.5mm in the rain gauge. There are puddles and dampness everywhere and the morning is pepperminty fresh. We have taken the track through Angus Flat. What used to be a pine plantation until recently is now reduced to mulch which lines the track. We favour this track over the main road – it’s really a bush walk a couple of hundred metres parallel to the highway. There is evidence of old gardens here: apple and quince trees gone wild and grown huge drip with infant fruit. It’s no good trying to harvest this fruit: when they get to a certain stage of ripeness, birds will arrive by the hundred and greedily strip the trees bare.
Since we were last on this track, the Council has laid truckloads of local gravel – a mix or orange clay and white quartz – for about half a kilometre. When it’s new, this gravel can be soft underfoot when wet until the clay settles and firms up.
A rather large kangaroo has passed this way not long before we came along.
We turn left at North Street and cross the old bridge. Pumpkin’s shadow becomes a source of fascination again and I enjoy the way the timbers on the bridge have aged, how the bolts have been burnished by rubber and the way gravel collects in the spaces.
The aging process has always interested me. There is as much beauty in an old face as a fresh young one; new paintwork morphs into patina; rocks are polished, dead trees stand as naked guardians providing shelter for hole dwellers. It is with this thought that I sometimes consider the lines on my own face. Do I want to erase them with some deft moves of the surgeon’s scalpel, or do I want my life to be read there? What will my lines say to those who can read that language? Did I smile enough? Was there a lot of laughter? I’m curious to find out. The curiosity trumps the vanity.