May 31 2014

I am woken by Martin whispering, ‘Look out the window’. A wallaby is standing in the garden. ‘Right where I planted the peas!’ Martin says. But neither of us jumps up to shoo it away. It looks straight at us, through the glass doors of the bedroom, then stands still, only its ears twitching. They rotate on its head, catching every nuance. It lifts its muzzle up high, sniffing something on the wind. It holds its little hands together daintily, its body still, its senses alert. It’s close enough for us to see its damp fur, beige on its front, red on its face, head and back. Then we hear the click of someone opening the top gate and its body tenses. It leaps up and – too quickly for me to see – it must turn in the air because it’s bounding down the hill, over the rhubarb and the new beetroot seedlings.

Soft white mist is rolling in. There are trickles in the downpipes. The yellow berries of the white cedar trees brighten the view, standing out on the tips of bare branches. The wompoo pigeon embarks on another round of fifty pomp-pomp-pomps. As I sit at my desk I hear a rustling ­above the bird calls – it’s a cow’s head rubbing against wire, pushing through the fence to reach a new patch of grass.

Last night when I came home the sky was so clear that the stars shone down and lightened the land. Star clouds gathered in the Milky Way; bright shining stars filled the deep sky. So high and vast, reaching down to the hilltops, silhouetting the trees. I woke the cows from their resting on the driveway. They looked at me through bleary eyes, rose reluctantly and lumbered a short distance away as I drove through. This is my everyday life here – the startling beauty of the common world.