Last night we went for a walk in the flora reserve opposite our new house. It's a large tract of bush with a plethora of dainty petalled, wiry stemmed wildflowers. They remind me of Frederique, needing to be simultaneously protected in a safe environment and left alone to grow wild; resilient yet so fragile; unpredictably beautiful. Una is more like the kind of solid plant you can put in anywhere, in any kind of soil and it thrives, with year round flowers. We didn't see any kangaroos (the neighbours swear they do come into the garden) though we did meet a labrador called Sandy who freaked Una out by licking her nose (in the safe harbour of my arms Una told me she was 'a bit scared of the cow'. I guess a labrador is pretty big when you're 2). The track goes down into the bush then through a gully and though we didn't get very far we reminded Fred as we turned back that we had years to explore it. I wish I had photos to share with you but we still haven't unearthed the camera. But I remind myself there's years for photos too. Anyway, as we walked I had this sudden, sharp sensation that I was visiting the territory of Fred and Una's childhood, seeing into the future, as if we might bump into the older them coming the other way (the other time I've had this feeling so strongly is when we've been camping - I think it's easier to see it when you aren't surrounding by the ephemeral objects of the here and now). But I also felt we were walking through past childhoods too, with the high dome of trees overhead there was the feel of a cathedral, some of the quiet haunting of the bush is the everpresence of memories that are not our own but that we share from stepping the same track, the trace of our footsteps inside the trace of theirs, the coinciding of past and present, like ribbons threading from tree to tree.
I am currently at home alone with Una. She is picnicking on the veranda with Feral Baby 2 and Rosie (a large baby doll that often on outings gets mistaken for a real, mistreated baby, slung across the top of the pram). I am trying to piece together my thesis (I *think* I have something that resembles a kind of argument. If an argument can be said to be a wild opinion kind of verified by a certain handling of the facts). We are waiting for Fred and Martin to come home from one of Martin's last days of uni for the year so we can revisit the gully and scramble up one of the inviting hills that Fred wanted desperately to explore last night.
We still have boxes to unpack and a few surprise plumbing issues to sort out but astonishingly quickly we feel at home here. It's foreign and familiar all at once, and there's still so much to discover.