The Weekend Australian

  • On Australia’s island state, winter feels much longer than a season. It arrives before we’re ready, lingers long after we tire of its exhausting company. In the dark middle weeks, the daylight hours shrink, the nights are long; wind and shadows have the touch of ice. Our neighbour, named Antarctica, feels closer than she is.

    Even in the thick of it I know that spring and summer still exist – will come again – but believingthis takes faith. The memory of that other time begins to fade, to feel like fantasy.

  • The house next door goes on the market within weeks and sells within days. The plum tree in the front yard ripens.

    I think of Byron—white hair, blue eyes, a gardener’s skin, a gardener’s hands—who loved to share and hated waste; who offered us its fruit day after day.