Last night I dreamed of lying in green grass. Beside me a bulb sent its first leaves out of the earth and into the light. I touched the surge of spear-like leaves, hard and pointed and I knew it was Autumn. "Easter lilies," I thought and yet even in my dream I knew this was not true as Easter had gone by already and the lilies had flowered and fallen over in the chookpen.
In the last two weeks, the black king skinks have moved out of the house. Their absence, as I wander into the kitchen at midnight looking for a cup of rosehip tea, was not something I noticed at first. They scare the crap out of me as they crash away from the cat food and scurry under the fridge. Perhaps this fright is something only people who live with tigersnakes can understand.Sometimes their black, snake-like tails would hang out from the fridge door - "I can't see you, so you can't see me" style.
King skinks are territorial critters, so when they move out to hibernate under the piano, the caravan or the heaps of old car tyres, rats return like prodigal ... rats. The house is now full of different noises and it comes squeaking and rustling from the ceilings and the walls.
Last night Bobcat brought in a rat the size of a small kelpie. She tore off the back of its head and left its carcass on the kitchen table for my approval. It rained again too, as it does in Autumn, at night, after a clear sunny day. Autumn in Albany is a perfect ratio of sunlight to rain. The salmon are still coursing the beaches, the herring are fat. The peppermint leaves stick to my feet in the mornings and the black dust is settling. Rain cleans the sky so the mountains are sharp against the horizon and the dropping wind clears the sea to the meadows below.
And this morning, I sat on my veranda and in the garden I saw that the broad leaves of a long dormant bulb had pushed through the ground overnight, like a mushroom, pushed its leaves like a spear through the earth to the light.