Hello Mr Walrus and all!
Today is a difficult day so I wanted to find a memory. Maybe others will think of one too...
The green sign reads FR Berry Reserve and is covered in silver pockmarks, remnants of drunken youths taking shots at it. The name is too formal for us. We call it Slippery Dip Falls.
It is cold and wet. Winter is here at last. Hubby leads the way down the track. Mr 4 is close behind with his toy fox under his arm and shoes squelching in the mud. Miss 3 and I meander. Every so often I pry her fingers off my jumper and give her a gentle push ahead. Go run.
Not even the birds are out today but the frogs are loud in the winter pools nearby. I fall behind searching for flowers. The screeches and yelps and squeals and shouts ahead echo. Hubby is the loudest of all. I snort amused and keep hunting.
An impatient Muuuum tells me Miss 3 has come to fetch me. Small fingers wrap tight into my jumper again.
I pretend I can't spot them. Two boys. One little, one grown. Perched on top of a high rock behind a red gum. Miss 3 waves at them and two groans reply.
Led by my jumper she shows me her find. A carpet of pale pink trigger flowers. Each flower the size of half a pea. Beautiful. Not to be outdone Mr 4 shows me a scraggly bush with red flowers. Calothamnus. I pretend I haven't already taken a photo and take another for him.
The falls are flowing! White foam floating in the air. Smooth granite outcrops. Reds. Oranges. Browns. Black where the water makea the rocks slippery. We sit on the edge and quietly smile at eachother. Who will fall in today? He frowns as the cold air makes my cough worse. And nods as if to resign himself. If a feral falls in he is rescuer today. The water is freezing. I smirk and tease quietly Daddy likes skinnydipping here. What's skinnydipping Mum? Is the loud reply. He laughs.
The day passes in a blur. Yellow buckets. Dark cold water with a pool carved into the bank. We scoop to find treasure. Hubby peers at the baby crustaceans in my bucket. They are almost transparent. A native fish. The kids lose interest and practice balancing on a log over the water. Throwing in rocks. No words are needed between us. Time to go. This won't end well. He nods. Let him learn his lesson.
A loud splash. Dad scoops him out. Teary and shivering. Swamped in hubby's jacket he nods solemnly as he is praised for remembering his swimming lessons and grabbing onto the branches. Little cold fingers curl into my hand.
Yesterday, I felt happy.