Gradually I’m re-establishing myself at the Point. My second walk is out onto the headland, on a misty morning when Mother Gulaga is completely buried under cloud. I need to watch my footing: Warsaw cobblestones are replaced by banksia roots; dog shit by kangaroo poo; ice and snow by squelchy mud.
Beautifully constructed ant-nests, like the work of a master potter, emerge from the sandy track. I am startled when I reach the beach: the creek has retreated from the sea, cut off by a high sandbar, and I can cross the sand directly without having to angle my way along a crumbly sand-cliff edge. When I left a year ago this was not so: the creek intermittently emptied straight into the ocean. I miss the actual presence of kangaroos: I don’t see one where in the past this early in the morning I might see up to 40. My son reckons they’re all grazing on lawns in the village.
I walk up the wooden stairs and along the track heading south. I stand on the headland and watch the sea rolling in, sending up eruptions of splash and waterfalling back down over the rocks. Here at the place where I lay watching eagles swirl just overhead with my niece; contemplated life on the first day of retirement; sat reading and whalewatching in beautiful solitude; photographed friends in a studio without equal; and fended off the man in brown shoes.
I’m glad to renew my acquaintance with old familiars, casuarinas with their lichen trunks and spotted gums with their hallmark splotches.
There’s a fanfare of fungus: everywhere the white tops and frilliness of mushrooms, some as big as a good-sized saucer with a stippled cap; some delicate, not much more than skeletal; some standing proudly on a tall stem; some brown and white; some russet as they emerge from casuarina needles; and one a rich crimson with a minute pool in its cap.
Soon I’ll be a re-natived Potato Pointian!