A journey of discovery…

Entry 5 – Monday Mid-Morning April 19th, 1982

Entry 5 – Monday Mid-Morning April 19th, 1982

The smell of the bush drifted into my nostrils – a lovely mixture of crisp air, eucalypts and dried branches. The cicada’s – a deafening roar about the miner birds – crying out against the starting of Autumn, still longing for the heat of summer.

I too missed summer – along with others things… but despite everything I found myself getting lost in the sights and smells of the bush. As the time went on, I began noticing things that I didn’t see before – little skinks basking themselves on sunlit rocks, a Tawny Frogmouth sleeping in the trees… and the sound of running water.

“Pa’s creek” I said to myself, beginning to follow the sound. Pa had told me of the creek many times when he used to visit us back in Melbourne. “Its usually crawling with taddies!” he would tell us, “Great spot for yabbying too”. I didn’t have a line with me, but I thought it would be great to finally check it out.

Moving through the bush quickly, I stop momentarily to listen for the right direction to head in and before long my eyes set sights on what my ears have been telling me. Pa’s creek. There’s quite a bit of water flowing through it. Probably because of the storm the other night I think to myself. I stand at the creek’s edge, looking at the water sliding effortlessly over the smooth rocks.

The sun was high now, its light mottled, filtering down through the high canopy of gums, sparkling against the wet rocks – must be about time to head back I thought… and then I saw it! Another one of those creatures! Another Occulite!

I was puzzled, what was it doing here? I creep towards it… this one is like the first one, but instead of being covered with fur, its skin is smooth and a bluish colour. It turns around to reveal a small fin on its back. I can’t believe it hasn’t seen me.

Closer… closer. Suddenly it darts away. I lunge forward in the direction it was headed – but it doesn’t appear. That’s odd. It went straight behind a rock, but didn’t come out the other side. I quickly look behind, but its not there either.

A brief moment is all it takes for me to forget about lunch. I began to search for it, carefully moving rocks and leaf litter out of the way. It had to be here somewhere! I searched more and more, my eyes frantically darting to and fro. But try as I might, I could not find it. Sighing deeply, I hear Pa’s voice echo from behind a nearby ridge.

“Cooooeeee! Darwin!”

I look to the sky, the sun is no longer right above me. How long have I been looking I wonder. Then I see Pa’s face as he comes through the trees… I can tell now by his ruffled eyebrows that it has been a long, long time…

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