I know when I reach this point, my heart says “Home”. That first glimpse of the valley fading away into the distance. The mountains surrounding the edges, the smaller hills nestling at their feet. I only see it for a moment, a glimpse from the car, if I stop and pull over the view is lost, but I feel it working it’s magic. That inevitable pull towards a place that I love, encapsulating all that the word home can mean. There is still 35 minutes to travel to reach my small slice of home, but this is the beginning.
The view from the car window changes as I drive the familiar road, winding around a few corners, but always gently heading lower, before hitting the long strait at the bottom of the valley The paddocks on either side stretching out like blankets to touch the foot of the hills surrounding them. Poplar trees line a short section of this road, their leaves fallen at their feet, standing like shameless ladies shedding their clothes for the shower.
Further along, driving through the little town, gently expanding it’s borders, to become a larger town. I remember as a child getting our groceries here with my mother, in a tiny 5 aisle supermarket, and wondering at all the food stacked on the shelves. The owner packing it all in boxes for us to take home. Now there is a much larger supermarket, many more shops and people bustling about the streets, but still those early memories remain of this place, like a ghost underlying the reality of the now.
Over the bridge and follow the river. Changeless and changing. The shape of it’s course remains the same, the reflections vary, the tide rises and falls exposing or hiding as the day goes through its hours. There is still another 20 minutes of travel along the bank of this wide, brown river. Boats float at anchor, swans glide serenely upon it’s surface, trees shade it’s banks in parts.
Widening out as we travel further down, it opens up to reed filled edges, deadwood poking through the surface where pelicans nest. There was a fire through here last year, and all the scrub between the road and the river was burnt. Blackened stubby trees stand out against the sky make me think of Mordor, desolation and despair. One morning last winter I drove through and all the dead limbs were strung with spider webs, thousands and thousands, sparkling in the frosty morning
Road the corner and the first bay comes into view, the river opens even wider, healthy trees shade the edges and greenery returns. Along the very edge of the river I drive, glimpses of reflected boats and trees sparkle in the water, on surface sometimes shattered, sometimes perfectly still like a mirror. Closer to home now, I pass between the huge upright logs each side of the road, the gateway to the town where I live, with its history of forestry and orchards, but sadly both are now mostly gone.
I turn off onto the side road, and off again, across the tiny 1 lane wooden bridge, and swing a hard left into my drive, bumping up my potholed driveway. I am home. I love the view from my car window.