I’ve been thinking about what sorts of things I’d like to discuss here. Although, like everyone, I have political views, I don’t feel this is the forum to air them. Although I have a life and people in my life, I want to be careful about how much of that is brought out and waved around in public. This endeavour is (kinda) anonymous after all. Kinda, because it’s not very hard to work out my actual name. I haven’t hidden it in any careful way.
I’m also little uncertain about getting into the craft of writing too deeply, because magicians and curtains, and all that. I might go that route, but I’ll have to think about it for a while first.
I can write about books I’m reading, of course, and will do. And maybe some generalised life thoughts.
So, what did I want to say here. I went for a walk today with my partner and our week-old newborn. There is a park right nearby that is a bit wilder than the usual urban park. There’s a good amount of undergrowth, and the wildlife is more wild than the usual urban park. There are bluetongues and king parrots, and some of the locals claim that there are echidnas too. There could be. Not very far away are grey kangaroos and wombats. It’s not like we’re out on the urban fringe either. We’re only 30 minutes by commuter rail to the city.
Anyway, the park always has people in it, circling around, walking themselves, or their kids, or their dogs. We were stopped today by an elderly man, easily well past eighty if he were a day, asking if he might see our newborn. Age was claiming the man. He was frail, walking with a cane, wrinkled and stooped around the shoulders. He had a cap on, and the sort of casual clothing you can get away with if you are a student, or retired, but not so often in the between years. He really lit up looking at our newborn. He made a guess at age, ‘Is he a week old?’, and was right on the money, and then said with this nostalgic glow in his voice, ‘You’re in for some happy times.’ I asked him how often he made it around the park, expecting the answer to be once or twice a week, but he answered, proudly, ‘Three or four times a day’. We had to move on after that. The sunlight was getting bright, and upsetting the little one. So we said goodbye and moved on, into shade, to sit by the creek that has sleeping pobblebonk frogs*, waiting for next summer, near children playing on a jungle gym in the shadowmottled light of eucalyptus trees. There is nothing much more to the story than this. No end. No startling twist. But that is life, isn’t it. It just struck me as somehow beautiful, the old looking at the new and remembering good years gone by, and telling us, with a firm conviction that we have good years to come.
* Isn’t ‘pobblebonk’ the best name ever for a frog species?