I am at Wildflowers on my own! Liadhan and the children have gone to Second Valley, down to the beach, to have a holiday.
My lot is to stay at home, take care of the animals and plants and to catch up on all the jobs that take such an interminably long time to either start or to get finished when little children are around.
My days labour of slashing grass and preparing the lounge windows for painting is now done. it was quite a hot day though there was good breeze which took the sting out of the heat.
The sun is dipping down in the sky now, its’ days work is not quite complete. The sky is blue with odd whisps of cloud blowing by. Sometimes the clouds just break up into bits as they blow on by and then disappear completely, like he one I was just watching.
There is a half moon in the sky and the late sun is turning everything a soft golden colour.
I am sitting out on the northern side of the property having a glass of cold beer. My .22 rifle is on my lap, I am hoping to bag a rabbit.
Since I sat down the breeze has picked up and the air has become chilly. The seed heads on the long grass in the paddock are dancing too and fro. The grass is browning off now that the summer heat is here, but the grape vines are a vivid green because I give them water. The blackberry bushes grow along a winter creek line so they are verdant and flourishing and full to the brim with white flowers. It should be a good year for blackberry picking.
When Liadhan and the children drive up the hill and out of the property, all their noise goes with them. As they disappear over the rise and behind the pine trees at the top of the driveway a kind of equilibrium exists, just for a moment, where noise is replaced by complete silence. It is like that moment you experience on a roller coaster ride when the carriage has just sped down a slope then up the other side. When it gets to the top it seems to stop for a second before it propels you down the next slope.
So it is when the last sound of the car is gone, a moments silence, then, as if the silence can no- longer hold its own, the sound of birds and sheep, of breezes and of bees and blowflies come rushing down the hillside like a flood to fill the momentary silence.
So here I am on my own at Wildflowers. The baby magpies are noisily harassing their parents for food in the field beyond. Lambs on the neighbouring property are bleating and dutifully following their mothers. Brightly coloured parrots dash loudly by, going somewhere, honey eaters are feasting on the flowers of the feijoa tree next to where I sit and blue wrens hop about in the recently slashed grass.
The day is nearly done. The long dark shadows of gum trees stretch out across the golden grass and the breeze ruffles their leaves and causes me to wrap my woolly shirt a bit tighter around my body. The white cockys are wheeling through the air above me and screeching. The rabbits are keeping their heads down.
Of course I miss Liadhan and the children, they are more beautiful than all of this put together. But to be on my own here, even for a little while, is special.