All the things you don’t look for

There’s a large patch of National Park behind where Mum lives. Sketched through it are sandy fire breaks and this morning the two of us got up early and went for a walk along a few of them to Lake Weyba: a shallow, salt-water lake.

Mostly the park is low scrubland and sandy soil, the occasional break in foliage offering views of vast, harsh tracts of it. The trails grew more narrow as we got closer to the lake and we barely found the one that lead directly to the water. But, after some careful footing and a few unfortunately placed spider webs, there it was: huge and glossy, boatless and quiet. We sat on a branch stretching out over the water and drank our juice boxes.

We took a different trail on the way back, one that looped around back to the main road and the beach. This followed higher ground and, as we followed the sandy little paths up, we began to see the extent of this funny little patch of land, surrounded on all sides by tourist town and million dollar houses. This patch of land that Mum has lived right next to for fours years at least and probably driven past a hundreds of times.

The view was incredible. To the east was white sand and so much ocean I could hardly stand it. Behind us was the silvery-blue of Lake Weyba, and all around that were the vast dips and rises of perfect, hardly touched scrubland.

It’s amazing how much we don’t see of our own hometowns. The tourists see the popular stuff because they’re looking for it, while us locals don’t need any of that ritzy, hyped up business. We live here. We know our cities and our towns too well. We move to a place and set up shop, get to know what we need to and draw out the boundaries. But what about all that stuff to the side of the road you drive to work on every day? Turns out there’s a lot there if you look.

***

To celebrate my last night on the Sunshine Coast I took myself and a bottle of red down to the beach. There’s no moon at the moment and the stars are clustered so close together they look smudged. I saw a shooting star and thought about all the arriving-in-places-I’ve-never-seen-before I’d be doing soon.

I took my glasses off to smudge the stars some more. After wearing them all day, their boundaries remained, like a ghost limb.  The middle of my vision was forced to join the myopia of my peripheries and it was having trouble adjusting.

When it was time to I walked back to the cul-de-sac my mum lives in. It doesn’t have any street lights – at night, with no moon, it’s this puddle of black to the side of the main road. Mum has finally settled down enough to live in a cul-de-sac, and one with no street lights at that.

I leave here tomorrow for Brisbane and on Monday, at 12:35pm, I’m off.

– Zoe Barron

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1 Response to “All the things you don’t look for”


  1. 1 Mumsie February 8, 2010 at 8:19 am

    It was a truly lovely day. And you were right, every time I drive by that magical place – which is often – I feel as though I carry a special secret.


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