The sounds of childhood, the smells of autumn.
They say that you reach a certain age and start to progress backwards, back towards your childhood. Old memories become new again, smells and sounds suddenly have you sitting crosslegged on the kitchen table, hanging upside down from a tree branch, hurtling down the hill on your scooter or playing handball against the back wall and listening to the Beatles on mum’s trannie that you pinched while she was having a snooze after lunch.
Fast forward for a moment to an autumn evening in the yard in Trentham…an acre of cicadas shouting in chorus, damp grass releasing the first smells of rain for months, stratocumulus….groan……fast forward slows, and slows, and then throws itself into reverse….and you are a child again…standing in the backyard in Canberra, high school finished for the day on the Friday before the Canberra Day weekend in March. Nothing to be done except stand and listen and just be. Watching the stratocu drifting up from the south…thick enough to be there, but thin enough to do nothing, spit nothing…not a breath of wind, the kookaburra sitting on the post is either 3 years old or 38 years old…you can’t tell…you’re on a pendulum between then and now, now and then……15 or 53, 53 or 15…and the dog dropping his toy on your feet is there now but 38 years ago he was a cat called Blackie, standing in front of you with a White Leghorn hen standing beside, both watching and waiting…….
After about half an hour of being an indefinite, you slowly crawl back into the here and now….they say that you ramble a bit as you get older, that’s not true!…..bread and cheese for tea in front of the heater…a long cold and wet winter to look forward to, to make your bones sing and your ears ache…and the snow….ooohh, the snow!! Lying in bed watching the sleet against the streetlight, vowing not to go to sleep till you’d seen a snowflake……..