Z is for… Zone

By Vita Forest

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The shoes!  The shoes!  What was she thinking? How did people stand up in them?  Let alone walk.  Let alone dance.  They had to come off!  Pip pushed her way through the people, and the thudding music, which seemed almost a physical presence, and left the lounge room.  She blinked in the brightness of the hallway and bent down to wrench off those high heels.  Those stupid sexy shoes she had been talked into buying in a moment of weakness.

“Sitting down shoes,” her sister called them.

Indeed.

Pip found her jacket and hid her fabulous sitting-down shoes beneath it.  She wriggled her toes and arched her feet.  Much better.  She would simply go barefoot.

Pausing just beyond the doorway, Pip let her eyes adjust to the dark again.  The room was full of dark shadows, dark figures lounging around the perimeter against walls and windows, the centre full of bouncing, flailing dancers.  Her hips starting moving again.  Then her shoulders.  Then Pip’s arms flew above her head, and in the next instance she was dancing in amongst them again.  Who knew where her friends were?  At this point it didn’t matter.  If you were dancing, if you were in the zone, you could dance anywhere, with anyone.  So she did.  She did her hip hop moves.  Some salsa.  Joined a conga line.  She was up for anything.  Any song that came on was her favourite.  Was the cause of whooping and cheering.  She was in “the zone”.  She found her friends again, held Sophie’s hand, mirrored her moves.  Led Sophie through her own.

A searing pain in foot.  Burning.  Pip’s eyes widened and she fell to the floor in a heap.  Jonny lifted her up and carried her out of the dark into that blinding light again.  Through to the kitchen.

They all groaned as they looked down at her foot.  A red welt slashed into the skin above her toes.  A hole.  Purple around the red.  Pip stared at her foot and felt the pounding of her blood through her whole body.  Her vision began to blur and whiten, she stared and stared, as if falling back into a tunnel.

“Let me through!” someone shouted vaguely from a distance.

She felt someone lift up her foot, her poor fragile foot and slap something cold over the top of it.  Pip breathed out through her teeth and felt the whiteness retreat.  Felt her mind return from that tunnel.  Come back to her.  The hot burning was fighting against the cold burning.  It was spluttering.  The fire was going out.

“What is that?”

“Just peas,” someone said.  “Mint peas actually.  Shelled and snap frozen.”

“Do you want to go home?” Sarah brushed Pip’s hair out of her face with gentle fingers.

“No.  I’ll just sit with the peas.”

They carried her back into the darkness (Make way!  Make way!)  and found her a place on a couch.  Sarah piled up the cushions behind her back.  Jonny nursed her legs.  Mira held her feet and draped the peas over Pip’s foot, now only dully thudding.  Sophie brought her a cold glass.

“Just water,” but who knew “Just water” cold from the fridge could taste so good.  Pip leaned back and peered out into the dance.  From the friend zone.

 

 

Y is for…Yearning

By Vita Forest

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Derek and Billie, Billie 4 Derek.

Billie eyes widened as she stared at the words she had written on the page.  Her pencil hovered in the air, then she scribbled through the words until she tore the paper.

Sometimes when they talked, she looked at his lips.  At his lips forming the sounds that she was hearing.  Except sometimes she wasn’t really listening to the sounds.  They were secondary because what she was thinking of was – what would it be like to kiss those lips?

Sometimes when they met, she thought how easy it would be to reach out and hold him.  To just reach out and wrap him in her arms.  They were standing so close!  It would hardly be any effort at all.  She was standing right in front of him, not across the city, or across the uni, or across the classroom, or across a table.  They had covered all that distance that had separated them their whole lives, but this is where she had to stop.  Her arms could not breach that gap.  Billie had to content herself with hugging her books to her chest.  As if they could give her any comfort, as if they could warm her, as if they could make her feel.  (Actually they could comfort her and make her feel, and actually they did.  Jane Austen did provide comfort.  So did Shakespeare.)

Billie watched Derek.  Often she would deliberately sneak into the lecture hall late so she could sit behind him, away from him.  For the sole purpose of watching him.  At times that was better than sitting right beside his physical presence.  Which she sometimes found unbearable.  The yearning could be too much.

He would usually text her.

U here?

Yup

He would turn at that and scan the hall.  His face would break into a smile when he found her crouched behind her laptop.  She would remain deadpan but would raise a hand in greeting.  Then he would wink at her.  She would wink back.  And then he would turn away.  Which was lucky, because by then, she was probably blushing.  She could only do deadpan for so long.  And the blushing was getting worse.

Billie hoped he hadn’t noticed.

So Billie walked up to Derek and always stopped that arm’s length from him.  Though her heart pulled her closer towards his heart, but she would resist it.  Grip her books and resist it.  This terrible, delicious yearning.  This torture.

Billie supposed she should do something.  Throw caution to the wind.  Take his hand.  Kiss him.  Tell him how she felt.  She almost laughed.  What a ridiculous idea!  No, much better to stay in this state of friendship, good friendship, close friendship.  She didn’t want to lose that and if she said anything and he laughed…  It would be beyond awkward.  Beyond excruciating.  It would be devastating.

So she watched him from across the room and waved at him and winked at him and texted him and talked to him and laughed with him and was with him, in a way.  She was with him.  And that was what really mattered, wasn’t it?

X is for… Xanthe

By Vita Forest

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Her name was spelt with an “X” and meant “golden one”.  She wasn’t golden really.  Not her hair, not her skin, not even her eyes.

“Wow,” Sam said, “That’s a lot to live up to.”

Xanthe smiled/frowned or frowned/smiled, Sam didn’t know her well enough to know which part was stronger.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Do you feel pressure to live up to your name?  Are you planning on winning a medal at the Olympics or discovering a cure for cancer?  Perhaps you already have…”

Xanthe smiled/smiled (or so Sam thought anyway).

“No, not yet.  But I did win a tennis trophy once.”

“Wow, that’s impressive.  Wimbledon?”

“Something like that.”  She was losing interest.  Do something!  Say something!

“Am I talking too much?  Sometimes I talk too much.  Especially when I’m nervous.  Not that you are making me nervous.  I’m just nervous.  Not all the time of course.  But I am at the moment.  I will now stop talking so you can answer.”

That was excellent.  Excellent conversation skills.

There was a long pause.  Or perhaps that meant it was over.  Over before it had even begun.    Just a tragic tale to be added to the collection of Bad Beginnings that went no further.  Was that it then?  Perhaps it was time to leave.  Sam nearly walked away, awkward silences were more awkward than awkward conversations.  But then Xanthe started talking again.

“Why did you tell me you were nervous?  Is that so I can feel sorry for you?  Is that how you make friends?  You get people to feel sorry for you?”

Sam smiled, “So we are going to be friends.”

Xanthe’s eyes widened, they were brown, not gold, but that was not a problem.

“I never said that.  And you haven’t answered my question.”

“I guess you are making me nervous, but in a good way.”

“There’s a good way to be nervous?”

Sam plunged in, “It’s a good nervous if you meet someone that is so intriguing, so interesting, that you want to say the right thing so they like you enough to want to get you know you back.  Someone who is golden on the inside and shining on the outside.”

Xanthe stared then looked away.  At last she spoke in a low voice, “That was a little bit too charming for my liking.  I think there may be something wrong with you.  That’s a little bit too intense.”

“Sorry.”

“So what is your name?”

“Sam.”

“And what does Sam mean?  What do you have to live up to?”

Sam shrugged, “I don’t know.”

“Let’s see then shall we? Sam!”  she dragged the last word out, but again, it was too soon to know if she was being affectionate or annoyed.  Xanthe pulled out her phone and punched “meaning of Sam” into Google.  Sam moved closer so they were standing shoulder to shoulder.  They stood waiting for the answer, Sam glancing from her non-golden eyes to the buffering screen, thinking Anything to keep her talking, anything to stay this close.

The screen flickered and settled, Sam watched Xanthe peer down at the screen, then frown/smile or smile/frown then burst into laughter.

“What?  What does it say?”

Xanthe shook her head at Sam, “You thought I had problems – your name means “Name of God”.  I think that is harder to live up to than “Golden One!””

Sam blinked, “Wow.  That must be why I feel so nervous.”

Xanthe smiled/smiled.  Sam smiled back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

W is for… Wedding

By Vita Forest

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Tina was there with her new partner Roman.  He was older than Tina, grey-haired, sporting round red glasses and soft tan leather shoes with black laces.  Tina was pregnant with her first and last child (her words – the pregnancy had not been easy).  Pablo was there with Sharrda.  They had had their second child ten months ago.  Their two children were spending the weekend with their grandparents.  Yes, they missed them, this was their first time leaving Savannah.  They kept checking their mobiles, but all seemed to be going well!  They showed Tina and Roman photos of their pair of plump, curly haired children, all doe-eyed and cherubic smiles.  Tina rubbed her belly and smiled, Roman squeezed her hand and complimented the other couple on their good-looking children.  This would be his fourth child.

They were sitting beside each other in white chairs in a field by a big spreading fig tree.  It was winter and the sun was dipping down towards the distant hills.  The groom (Victor) was there waiting but the bride (Soraya) had not yet arrived.  Tina had gone to school with Soraya.  They had played netball together, back in the day.  Pablo had worked with Soraya.  They started at the large financial institution in the same month, all those years ago.  Tina and Pablo mentioned a few of Soraya’s old boyfriends.  Remember Kai?  Oh yeah.  How about that Christophe?  Christophe! What a jerk.  But she’s got a good one now, Victor is so steady.  Yes, good thing she waited.  They all looked at Victor, hands clasped in front of him, looking over their heads and down the road.

The sun fell lower and they pulled their coats tighter, Roman attentively tucking Tina’s scarf into her collar.  The lights from the lanterns along the pathway glowed brighter and Victor craned his neck.  Then they all heard it and turned around.  A white Rolls Royce turned into the drive and ambled up the hill.  They all stood and smiled and watched as Soraya appeared on the arm of her beaming balding father.  Her bridesmaids did a bit of last minute fussing, while Soraya looked steadily into Victor’s eyes.  He was smiling now.  Widely.

Who knew that two years later Soraya would give birth to Clementine who would never seem quite right and would eventually be diagnosed with Aspergers?  Or that seven years later Pablo and Sharrda would be locked in battle in the courts over custody of their children and who should keep the biggest chunk of their bank balance?  Or that Tina and Roman wouldn’t last either, Tina returning to live with her Mum while she tried to make ends meet.  Roman clocking up another failed marriage on the verge of his retirement.

But for now, everything is good.  Everyone is in love, everyone is healthy and the future holds only dreams of happiness.  Let’s leave them there at this moment as they watch their friend walk down the aisle by lantern light, in a dress made by her mother and red roses in her hair.

V is for… Venice

By Vita Forest

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Phoebe liked the way he talked about music, how his fingers tapped on his leg as if he was playing the drums.  She liked that Gabriel played the piano accordion, the piano and the guitar.  She did not like how he praised the recorder.  All Phoebe could think of was the high pitched shrieks and squeals and ear-splitting blasts of the recorder her brother had played.

“I don’t like instruments you can clean in a dishwasher,” she retorted.

“What?!” he appeared flabbergastered.

“Maybe we didn’t have the high-quality ones you are obviously talking about.”

She liked that he was studying music, but did not like that he seemed to look down on people who worked in ordinary jobs. Weekday jobs.

“You don’t like it when people earn money then?” she clarified, somewhat disgusted.

“No, it’s not that,” he tried to explain.  “My friend was an amazing cello player, but now he works in a bank.  He didn’t give it a chance.  He didn’t try for long enough.”

“In your opinion.”

“In my opinion.”

“My friend Chloe chose to work in Engineering precisely so she can still enjoy music.  She keeps it as something she loves, not as something she has to do to pay the bills.”

“Hmm,” he answered.  “Interesting.”

She liked that she could tease him and he didn’t seem to mind.

Phoebe liked that she could hear his music through the deep passageways of the tube stations, floating up the escalators as she floated down.  Or surprising her as exited a train, “Minding the Gap”.  She liked the private smile he gave her, behind the piano accordion, behind the open case strewn with coins, behind the other commuters watching him play.  Sometimes Phoebe would stop and listen on the way to her job-that-didn’t-pay-in-change.  Sometime she took the chance to watch him from a distance, to look at him objectively, at how he was when she was not there.

She liked his collection of old-style hats – Homburgs and Fedoras.  Except when she didn’t.  Except when they annoyed her, when they seemed a little trite.  A little forced.

Phoebe could not understand how he could live in London and yet go so rarely to Paris, to Europe in general.

“It’s just a train trip!” she shook her head in exasperation.

“Yes but you tourists have to do everything.  It’s like a race.  You can’t just live your life.”

“Life your life?  You mean getting drunk with your friends every weekend?”

That was another thing she didn’t like.  The weekend mornings wasted nursing hangovers.  Phoebe didn’t have time for that.  There were places to go, things to see.

But he did like Venice.  He did have a poster of crumbling palaces, water lapping against them, on his wall.  He had enjoyed getting lost in the maze of streets, had loved sitting on vaporetto and watching the sunset, had watched intrigued as the workers went about their business, carrying supplies through the narrow streets in wheelbarrows.  Gabriel had appreciated the Grand Canal and San Marco’s Square and even the golden mosaics on the ceiling of San Marco’s basilica.

So he was alright, Phoebe thought.  He was good on the important things.  He was good on Venice.

 

 

U is for… Unconscious

By Vita Forest

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How much of what Nicola did was unconscious?  Was it an unconscious decision to apply for that job?  In that other world she thought she lived in, Nicola didn’t have to do that.  It had not been part of her plan.  They had more than enough money for a comfortable life and she had time for contributing to her children’s life, to her family’s life, to the community.  But somewhere down deep, a tiny hand had tugged at her shirt tail and told her to put in the effort and apply for that job.  Told her that even though she didn’t have to, she should.  Called back to her from the future that it was an absolute necessity.

And she got the job.  Started building her career again.  It was good to feel useful, to be good at something, because she was unconsciously beginning to get the message that she wasn’t good at being what Joe wanted anymore.  That little hand again, tapping at her side, pointing out the way he winced as she spoke (shrill), the way he sneered at her achievements (small), the way he stayed out more and more (Important meetings).

Was the swimming unconscious too?  Was the building up of her strength and stamina just something that she happened upon?  Afterwards, she would charge up and down the pool, screaming into the water, as her fingers clawed and her feet thrashed and her whole body beat out her frustration.  Up and back, up and down, back and forth, following the black line on the base of the pool, hypnotised by that thick black line, her world reduced to getting to the end, then slapping the side and doing it again.  Turning herself into a warrior.  Strong.  Flexible.  Resilient.  And smelling a little of chlorine.  But it gave her a place to go.  It gave her something to do.  Something regular.  Something calming.  Something slightly more wholesome than turning to the drinks cabinet (which was also tempting).

Nicola liked the way swimming made her lungs burn, her arms ache, her temples beat in time with the blood pounding around her body.  She liked the way the water blanketed and obscured the noise of everything outside the pool.  She was a fish, a dolphin, a stingray, communicating through clicks and squeals.  There was no language.  No words.  No betrayal, just survival.  And that was unconscious too.  Nicola could go through the motions, let herself be carried by the water, by her body, by her routine, until the time came to emerge from the pool and get back on land.  Among the living.  In that new life that she had had no inkling of, except in her deepest unconscious.

That place that seemed to know everything.

 

This week

By Vita Forest

A to Z challenge April 2016

A to Z challenge April 2016

This week I have been

T is for… Train

By Vita Forest

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“This tastes like Snow White’s apple.  It’s been sprayed with poison,” said the girl sitting behind us.  Lucy, Max and I were on the train going to Canberra to visit our friend Fleur.

I like catching trains for holidays.  There is time to look out the window and watch the world go by.  On my first trip to Canberra by train, I looked out the window the whole way – no book, no phone, no music was needed.  (This time I was taking notes and finding food for children and reading, as well as looking out the window).

Trains, although moving along at speed, are also slow. There is time to notice the expansive views of the countryside narrowing down to trees flashing by, to look out from the ridgeline of hills, from bridges crossing rivers, to see how we weave across from town to countryside, from roadside to field to bush, to watch sheep running away from the speeding vehicle that has broken their peace.  There were birds to be seen too – flocks of white cockatoos spiralling over freight trains, pigeons returning to swing on electric wires and darting crimson rosellas that flapped and floated beside us, as if racing the train.

We ate lunch, wraps filled with salad and chicken.  Lucy complained about the pepper.

“Next time don’t put any pepper on it.  Pepper makes it bad.  It looks like nit eggs.  (“Nits are the eggs!” Max interjected, Lucy ignored him).  It’s disgusting!”  she tried to scrape the tiny black sprinklings from her wrap.  I made her eat it.

“No chips if you don’t.”

Finally, she finished, grumbling all the way.  But then she glared at me in horror when she pulled out the chips to share, waving them in my face.  I had forgotten the flavour that Max had chosen – Lime and Black Pepper!  Lucy managed to tolerate the pepper on those however.

Max too, wanted to move on from his wrap.  And when a train employee came walking down the aisle carrying a garbage bag in front of her and asking for “Any rubbish?”, Max grinned at me and tipped the remnants of his wrap into it.  There would still be no chips until he ate six pieces of vegetables.  He counted them out into his palm, 4 pieces of carrots and 2 of cucumber.  I drank tea from a thermos I had prepared earlier, with milk carried in the tiny plastic jar that used to contain vanilla pods.  And read My Brilliant Friend, a book I had been saving for this trip, a book I suspected would be a Reading Event.

The train passed through towns beginning with “B”, bringing me memories of trips past.  Bowral, Bungendore, Bundanoon.  Bowral – where I had met Fleur for the day, Bungendore with the great woodworks, and Bundanoon, where I had holidayed as a teenager with school friends and where we kept losing members of our gang, one by one – two to sprained ankles going down to Glow Worm Glen at night and one to a bike accident in the middle of a pine forest (she needed surgery on her knee and has never ridden a bike again.  We cancelled the planned horse riding after that and contented ourselves with a picnic… nice and safe.)

There were autumn leaves to be seen in the Southern Highlands, a lone yellow popular leading a row of dark green pines in a field, a line of bulrushes growing in a thread of creek winding through bare stubby hills, ruined houses without roofs with only the stone walls remaining, land-coloured lambs, their wool coloured a dusty-tan from the dirt, a lone cow resting under a lone tree, black cows solemnly grazing like blocky quadrilaterals, kangaroos, a stag stumbling across a creek and a windfarm on a hill.

And through it all the throaty gurgle and shriek of the train, rattling from side to side, as it sped forward on the tracks.  We sat inside our metal capsule and looked out at the world and relaxed.  We did not have to concentrate on driving, or what we would do when we got there, or when we would come back.  We could simply unwind and take in the changing view as we headed Canberra-ward.

 

 

S is for…Skyspace

By Vita Forest

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While visiting our friend Fleur in Canberra, we made a pilgrimage to the National Gallery to experience once again James Turrell’s Skyspace. 

It is an art work but also an experience.  Although it is open during the day, it is best visited at dawn or dusk, as that is when you get the extra dimension of colour.

In the fading light of sunset, Fleur, Max, Lucy and I passed through the gate behind the gallery and across a paved bridge over some water.  The paved path continues across grass and descends down, becoming a ramp, down below the level of the tiny lake that encircles a grassy pyramid (nicely reflected on the surface of the water).  If you walk slowly, you can look out across the water at eye level – a vantage point I don’t normally see, so of course I stop and look and admire.

You descend below the water level, below ground level and pass across another boundary and enter the pyramid.  It is grassy on the outside, but inside, surprisingly coloured in a chalky, pink render, it’s sloping walls opening to the sky.  At this point, the feeling of passing into another zone is encouraged by the increasing sound of flowing water, which completely blocks the noise of outside, as the walls of the pyramid completely block the sight of it.  Inside the pyramid, the path splits and you walk either left or right around a turquoise-coloured infinity pool, over whose edges water pours continually.  And in the very centre of the pool, (again not visible until you have crossed the threshold and entered the pyramid) rises a domed building, completely enclosed within the pyramid.  It is build from shards of stone, slotted together cunningly without any obvious joining materials, like a dry stone wall or a ancient cairn.  You marvel at its walls, rising and curving upwards as you walk around the pool, before coming to another “bridge”, this one crossing the pool and leading you into the dome.

Another surprise.  You enter a large but cosy room, walls white with a generous ledge running the entire length of the walls from one side of the doorway to the other.  This is for sitting or even lying on.  You sit down on the bench and lean your back into the comforting curve of the dome and look up.

There appears to be a hole in the smoothly arching roof (or wall – where does one end and one begin?) or is it a disc?  But then a plane streaks a white line across the blue, and you realise that you are, in fact, looking up at the sky.

It’s very lovely at any time, but if you go at dawn or dusk you will also be treated to a subtle light show projected onto the roof of the dome, that changes as the sky outside lightens or darkens.  You have to slow down and watch and be right there to see the colours change from pink to blue to green to purple.

Max leaned his phone of the side of the bench and took a time-lapse film of it, but when you are there, you hardly see the change until it has happened.  One colour slowly and imperceptibly fades into another.

The changing colours of Skyspace

The changing colours of Skyspace

James Turrell’s art is all about colour and light.  He strips away all other distractions so you can focus on these elements.  Depending on who else is in the dome, it can be serene and spiritual or voluble and excited.  (Saskia was frustrated on a previous visit when she wanted the former and got the latter…)  Our experience this time was fairly silent – I took “silent” photos on my phone, raising my hand in salute every few minutes.  Fleur was amused and sent me a text –  It’s almost religious, even though we sat only a couple of metres apart.  Lucy wandered in and out of the dome, comparing the colour of the sky with and without its ring of colour.  Max slouched back against the wall and checked the progress of his filming.

Some of the colours of Skyspace

Some of the colours of Skyspace

All the mechanics are hidden.  The light source enclosed in a tiny lip that ran above our heads, the water draining away into a hidden cavity beneath the walls of the pool, and our way out lit by strip lights shining from deep in the recesses beneath the walls.  Best of all, in winter you are not distracted by the bitter temperatures because the bench inside the dome appears to be heated or insulated…  You feel warm and cosy despite sitting inside a stone building whose roof opens to the elements…

R is for… Red

By Vita Forest

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Scarlet, cherry, ruby, burgundy… there are so many words that call themselves red.  And my world is festooned with it.  In the garden, the tomatoes swell and hang heavy on the vine.  Ripening from green to red in the hot summer sun.  The chillies are little streaks of scarlet too, concentrating their fire inside each tiny cone.  The capsicums positively glow, and underneath drooping leaves, the prickly skins of magenta strawberries hide.

And flowers!  Nasturtiums send their snaking tendrils across the gravel path, gold and orange and cherry red.  At the centre of each petal, the colour deepens to burgundy.  I hold a flower up to the sky and watch how the light glows through the fluted skin of each bloom and pick a bunch for my bedside.  Each morning, the nasturtiums have colonised the path even more, stretching, reaching, flinging across the gap, trying to get to the other side.  Occasionally, a wheelbarrow will slice through a strand and end its progress, but I will not have them cut back.  Ramsey sighs and presses his lips together at this instruction.

“They will trip you Madam,” he predicts pessimistically.

“They will not,” I retort from deep within my vortex of happiness.  I need the colour, I need the wildness, I do not want it tamed.

Rory noticed my fondness for these radiant jewels and passed me one of their speckled, round leaves.

“Eat it,” he ordered.

“Truly?” I frowned.  Sometimes I feel I know nothing.

He folded one up and crammed it between his teeth chewing slowly.

I followed his example, my eyes widening at the peppery heat in my mouth.

He laughed and handed me mint to cool my insides down.

I can practically see the garden growing, practically hear it.  The sun sending beams of light and heat down to the upstretched greenery, until seed pods pop – insides bursting free, fruit swells and strains against its tightly stretching skin, buds are peeled open, petal, by papery petal.  And insects hover and swoop and suck and drown.

Each fallen peach is crawling with drunken wasps and bees, drawing up the nectar, fighting the birds for each precious drop.  (Have you ever eaten a warm peach fresh from the tree?  It would send you wild with desire too.)

All my senses are heightened.  My eyes are drawn to every bead of red amongst the cooling green of the leaves, the colours singing against each other.  There is even a bird that carries this contrast with it – the king parrot.  Green and red, red and green, they fly in pairs and chime to each other through the trees.  The sound seems to ring through my head.  And who can walk through the garden without sniffing the rising scents in the air, dizzying me as much as the insects that zigzag ecstatically amongst the fruit trees.  And eating!  I hardly need dinner after sampling the harvest, the cornucopia we work amongst, a warm red tomato here, a streaky-skinned capsicum there, biting into it, crunching into it, juice dripping off my chin.

If I close my eyes and sit very still, I can feel the sun working its magic on me too.  Coaxing out new shoots, unclenching all the knots and tightness in my back, expanding my chest.

I am a seed carried on the wind.  I am a fruit splitting in the sun.  I am a tendril uncoiling.