It is a special moment for this town whenever the inlet breaches the sandbar. It used to happen naturally, but declining rainfall and valuable farmland which turns into swamp come the end of winter means the town's folk now dig it out themselves. They once used a horse and dray, and would raffle off the last scoop of sand. Protestors who believe it should be opened further to the east have even been known to come under cover of darkness and dig it out by hand.
We went back to look at the cut yesterday and marveled at all that water which had so quickly reshaped the landscape. The bike racks and bridge were once more on dry land, and the paddock which was just days' earlier a lake was now a boggy mire of brown grass. The small hillock of sand I had climbed to photograph the spectacle for the newspaper was nowhere to be seen. I ran along the river trail this morning, the rain falling softly on my shoulders and the sheep shying away as I jogged past. The track has been under water for the past month and mine were the first footprints to mark the fine silt that covered the broken slabs. I came home soaked through and happy. It has rained steadily all day. My footprints would by now have been washed out to sea.