The vista from my study window is a patchwork of green and brown as the slashers work their way across the neighbouring fields. Out of the corner of my eye, I catch flashes of colour as indigenous birds return to my garden.

Retrieving my folding stool from the spare room, grabbing a notepad and calling my dog, I head for the tree by my front gate. This has become base camp on my outdoor writing forays.

Rusty, well aware of his comfort zone, resolutely flops on the edge of the porch with his old cricket ball. Out among the dandelions and daisies – it is only three days since I cut the grass – the creative juices are flowing.

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A spring concerto accompanies the scratching of the pen across paper. Overhead, finches chatter excitedly to each other. The occasional a tractor rumbles past. From the dairy, the light breeze carries the steady throb of a tanker pumping the morning’s milk to my vantage point.

As I read my progress aloud to Rusty, a chorus of mocking laughter erupts from the stand of eucalypts across the road. Kookaburras, as far as I am aware, cannot read. Taking their criticisms on board, I carry on, undaunted.

The hypnotic drone of countless bees underscores the tune playing around me. Only the roar of a low flying log truck impinges upon the harmony. Behind me, the rhythmic sound of tearing grass continues, as the milking herd wait for four o’clock.

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Finishing the second article of the morning, a turf war breaks out in my grapefruit tree. It seems the wrong sparrow perched on the wrong branch. Meanwhile, my guttering has become a public bath for finches.

Deserting my post only for the time it takes to make a cheese sandwich, I am soon back on my stool. Almost at once, I fall back under the enchantment of the glorious October day. Not even the appearance of unwatched food persuades Rusty to give up the front step.

In the middle of drafting a book proposal, my pocket buzzes. I have forgotten my phone. Reluctantly withdrawing it, I glance at the calling number. It is the editor of a local publication. Curious as to why he is phoning me, I answer. The distraction is worth it.

A piece that I wrote and asked a mutual friend to critique, found its way on to the editor’s desk. Will I give him consent to publish it? Hearing all the reasons why my work simply has to be included in the book, I pretend to hesitate giving the request consideration.

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The editor is a friend and internationally published writer. I know that he is giving his honest opinion, and not just blowing the proverbial smoke in order to impress me. Eventually, I relent and agree to allow my piece to appear in the book.

Returning the phone to my pocket, I somehow feel disappointed. Cheated. Since the phone rang, I am unable to recapture the feeling of serenity that has been with me all day. The muse that had me writing more fluidly than I have since the long Gippsland winter descended on my cottage four months ago.

The birds, cows, bees, Rusty, still surround me. All the sounds that inspired me to not only get out in the fresh air but also to write in it can still be heard. Yet I cannot fall back under that spell. My inspiration has been lost for the day.

But then, I did get a story published.


Copyright © 2017 Bronwyn Joy Hansen. All Rights Reserved.
Images; Copyright © 2017 Bronwyn Joy Hansen. All Rights Reserved.