Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Red Dirt

I'm trying to hold on to that sense of expansiveness that comes with a break in routine and an open horizon. But it is hard not to feel hemmed in when most of my days of late have been spent wrapped in layers of wool; hot water bottles and rugs placed strategically around my body and the heater struggling to keep our house just warm enough. The photos help my body to remember a warmer time and place, where anything seemed possible.

We washed a week of salt water and sand from our skin in an artesian hot tub, then smoked ourselves in front of the campfire, roasting apples and jacket potatoes and marshmallows on sticks. We climbed to the highest point in the Murchison and looked across the vast plains, where burrowing bees build little nests in the ground from the red dirt. The kids tore around in a frenzy of excitement when they awoke to find their tent capped with frost, a taste of what was waiting for us back home.

There has been snow on the mountains again this week. One day I'll drag the kids up there to play in the faint dusting that falls once or twice each year. Right now, keeping warm is more of a priority. I'm baking bread, simmering soup, and filling little bellies with warm citrus puddings and hot lemon drinks. And I'm writing, slowly but surely finding the words to tell this story.