Written 14 November, 2020.
We always have to take a week’s supply atlas of food, and we always need to repair our home which as you know was only a jerry-built holiday shack before the virus. A shack for old fishing codgers. As always a busy Adli trip always with a long shopping list, and always Bunnings to repair bits of house that are falling off or apart – doors not sliding, toilet cistern not re-filling, hoses not reaching the new native reforesting and this time, sprinkler gunning up with grey water, and this time, a plan to paint our table and chairs on the top deck. They were painted glum black by a friend who came for three months and stayed for three years. I dither in aisle 20, the paint aisle, GG pops his head in telling me to hurry up or wet” miss the tide, so I just grab colour cards. Autumn Harvest yellow, Japanese Koi yellow, Green Tiara, Muted Fuchsia, Hot Lips (of course pink) Pink Orbit, Barbarella pink, Wisteria Wonder, Blue Passion and Tropical Bird blue.
Who thinks up these colour names? I’m glad it’s not me. I often think of deadly writing jobs. I’ve always preferred to be poor. As long as there’s a roof….So we set off from Brooklyn while the tide is running out. We’re delighted as pull in to find Dee and Tripi walking down to our jetty to help us berth, Tripi jumping into my arms before we quite touch down.
Why do you two always arrive when the tide’s almost out?
It’s true. We know our tides, but there’s always so much to do. Once, S asked why we always came late.
Because things take the time they take.
He told me that was an entirely satisfactory answer. I wanted to hug him for that.
Dee is fretting about ducklings. Spring is breeding time here. Birds and ducklings, and all those secret animals of the night. But two days ago, there were 12 ducklings, and now there are three. I remember when i was first here, grieving like him. The sea eagle is circling above as the tiny little ones swim. Dee leans out on the railing of our deck as they swim by, ducking their tiny heads to catch crabs.
The parents are just clubbing. They should be down here.
I stopped grieving when I saw over the years that this is nature’s way. To give twelve, in the hope that one or two are left. And what about the baby crabs that the ducklings are eating?
One could never stop mourning.