In summer, on the farm, everything is dusty and dusky and warm. The crackling dry gumleaves and sun-bleached yellow grass underfoot, all much to my dad’s dismay after weeks without rain. The sky is faded; perfect Levis blue, empty, cloudless and bright. My Melbourne skin has gone warm and brown, bolts of platinum are appearing in my otherwise dirty-blonde hair.
Everything has the same echoing glow: my father’s woodwork, the yellowing pages of old books, the swirl of strong cups of tea. The damp fog that blankets the valley at dawn, heralding hot days and high noons; the solid, dusty horse-smell of the neighbour’s tall chestnut gelding, who glows warm and burnished at the fenceline, in the first yellow light of each day.
The glow passes through the cold beer being drunk by the banjo player on the pub verandah, and reappears in the colour of vintage silk dresses, brass buckles, leatherwork, the light in the antique store. It is in the sand, the rocks, the beach; caught in the spindly pandanus leaves. It is in the river, the gravel, the sparkling light reflections that run over the surface. It moves across cow hides, my dog’s eyes, to the whistling baby hawks. In the evening it is in scotch-and-sodas, Rodriguez on the stereo, mosquito coil smoke, muttered conversations.
For now, everything glows like summer, home, warmth.