I leave New York City and fly through the day and then night and into the following day and am met in Perth and driven south into the late afternoon. Through open car windows waft the smells of my country, bringing welcome and relief. Reaching home, I hug dear ones, throw off shoes, and step out into the land. The ocean roars a greeting, frogs chirumph a lullaby, and the sun sets into the silver. Soon I am setting into my own silver, drifting off somewhere in search of my astral body, as rain thrums the sheltering tin roof.
Dawn lifts up with dew fogging paddocks. New green mixes with autumn yellow suffused with purple and lavender and a rose blueberry light all around. Clouds pillowing in great full-scale articulation, call of honeyeater, a crow swooping darkly through misty distance, guinea fowl chuckling loudly. Acacias and bottlebrushes in full bloom, leaves pendent with wet, wave salaam. I look out towards the vines.
I cross the new plantings noting proliferation of well-watered weeds swiftly overtaking. Fresh leaves shooting from the base of rainwet canes mark a too early spring. Startled roos scatter, thumping earth, vibrations echoing up my legs. Through spirals of swirling damp, I get glimpses of the vines. I reach the Malbec, whose yellowed and brown leaves still cling to canes. A smaller cloak of tan and taupe leaves grace the Cabernet. But the Chardonnay is mostly bare, though scatterings of new green leaves have already appeared at the end of shoots. And winter isn’t yet here.
A lone crow taunts me from high in a marri. Is he scolding me cause the compost heap needs serious attention? Is he chuckling about this incalculable number of weeds? The inventory of work in front of me has simply got me reeling. A vastness of new posts and wires and infrastructure will be woven soon throughout the new plantings. It's a huge undertaking. New York is still too fresh, and getting a handle on this is way too much, way too soon. I turn my rear on the crow and limp back to unpack, to wash clothes, to settle into a different order, to get perspective, to return.
The magpies are singing an ethereal song, breakfast spatters on the stove, the sun sparkles through drops of water, reflecting golden light everywhere. The ocean pipes in with a gurgle and a roar, and is answered weakly by the rooster. I’m missing cockatoo song, but it’s early in the day. And suddenly I notice I am home.