Sadness on Goolwa beach last night


On Goolwa beach the evening was in waves. Down the twelve steps we went and across the fine, clean sand that is still releasing generously the day’s heat and the ocean is kind and my family are in it and to one side the beach is cool slate and to the other a dazzling promotion of silver and lemon, olive and gold, all in waves.
The beach breathes in waves. There is no wind, there is one lone fisherman, standing, gazing out into his life, there is a family running in circles, running in spirals, the sand coughing around their feet, it is so quiet I can hear them urging fair play of the rules, Dylan!
There are three seagulls, sitting on the wind even though there is no wind. I wonder what they are waiting for.
There is no space between the sea and the sky.
There is no space between the sea and the sand.
The light moderates all the colours and they weave together, except for the tiles of orange on the horizon, everything else is stitched together, like fair play, like gladness and grief, unable to get at one without the interference of the other and everything in waves.
The tide moves in pursuit and retreat, around and past me, unmoved by me.
The fisherman is wading out into deeper water, my family are finishing, the hilarious family are making for their car, the last child trailing a blue towel across the blue evening and being told to hurry, and then we too, going home.

Max travels down a dirt road in his pram.



This evening we took the pram down the dirt road, way out the back, away from all the houses.

Running down the dirt road, Max and his family and the dog, running through the ribbons of late sunlight, running away from the winter.

Masie, the brown kelpie runs alongside the pram on her small truthful feet. She never swerves, never stumbles. She avoids neatly every pothole and rock in her path.

Max’s nose is streaming in the cold wind. Still he sits up straight, hanging onto each side of the pram, facing the cold, riding the evening. He sways with the pram, rides over the rocks and his eyes are fixed on the front, watching the things that only babies see. He turns to watch Masie still running quietly alongside, he holds out his hand toward her trotting ears. She acknowledges him kindly, noses his hand, continues to run. He calls out a baby tune which is tuneless but important. The pram vibrates his voice box, plays in his throat, he allows a stream of sound that goes on and on, pebbly and bouncing, he sings more loudly, delighted with his jogging voice, the humming sounds, both hands in the air, swaying and singing and the cold wind blowing and Masie running patiently, gently alongside the pram and the family.