Talyuberlup Peak is one of the smaller peaks in the Stirling Range, but certainly one of the prettiest. There is even a cave at the top - although I wish I hadn't told the boys that, as they were bitterly disappointed when we reached the ragged tunnel. I think they had imagined a giant cavern to run around in. Instead we played in the sunshine under the she-oaks and fed fragments of our afternoon tea to a friendly lizard while the eagles rode the thermals in the valley below.
Lewis was so very excited to be climbing a mountain and laid his 'mountaineering equipment' out on his bedroom floor the day before. Gloves, beanie, scarf, thermal underwear, warm tracksuit pants and a fleece jumper. He lay on top of them before he went to bed and could speak of nothing else but the adventure before us when he awoke. "Darcy, we're climbing the mountain today," I heard from their room before the sun had begun to lighten the horizon. He assigned himself the role of mountain guide and led the way up the path, warning us of any prickly plants and stopping to point out the beautiful view every minute or so.
Of course the sun shone brilliantly the whole time we were up there and we arrived at the peak dripping with sweat - none more so than me as I was imprisoned inside my fleece by the baby strapped securely on top of it.
Mothers' Day yesterday marked eleven years since I drove to visit Grant and climb a peak with him in those very same mountains. I planted a kiss on him while I was there and from it grew our family. We used to drive through the pass between the eastern and western range every week as we traveled between our two towns, the sun coming up sickly pale through the winter fog as I drove back to work at dawn on Monday.
It was a golden and warm sun that shone on us this time, the clouds casting patchwork shadows on the bush and fields below. The Great Southern is such a different land away from the coast. The woodlands open and sunny, the earth still parched and cracked from summer, and the farmland stretching away forever. But what I noticed more than anything else was the light - so pure and intense after the gloom of the forest. It was good to get back