20 May 2010

The Park

I’ve already done quite a lot since moving to Sydney and I’ll fill you on some of that stuff later. But first let me tell you a story.

OK, its not really a story, its just what I did today. I took the younger boy (Oscar) down to Centennial Park. He has this little tricycle that he straps into and I can push it with a handle. It’s like a pram but way better. Because then I don’t have to push around a freaking pram. Anyway, the park is gorgeous. Its huge, probably a couple of square miles and it was built at the turn of the century when Oz was only 100 years old. It’s still strange to me that I have lived in houses older than this country… I’m just saying.

So, I pushed Oscar around on his little trike. And he likes to point at things and shout “Ga!” because he can’t really talk. And I say “Yeah, bus.” Or “Oh, a bird.” It’s all very stimulating. We walked down to this little café for a coffee then went over to feed the ducks at the duck pond.

Now, when I say “ducks”, I don’t mean any aquatic foul you and I have ever seen in the states. There are huge black swans as high as my chest when they stretch out their necks and even bigger pelicans. Yes, pelicans. Like in Finding Nemo. And these little cranes with these long sickle-like beaks that look like they want to take my eyes out. And there are these funny little black birds with some weird red crest on their forehead. Anyway, there are a lot of them and they are kind of aggressive so you have to be very strategic when you feed them.

Obviously I have to hold Oscar because he will run into the lake if I let him, no question. Then I have to keep him supplied with bread to throw and I have to throw bread fast enough to keep the grabby birds away. Then when we’re out of food I have to strap Oscar into his bike and get out of there before the swans surround us. They’re like ninjas. Today there was a black swan standing right next to us as I was strapping Oscar in and the kid kept reaching out to touch him. And he could, if I’d let him, the thing was that close. But I believe in returning children to their parents unscarred. Both physically and metaphorically.

Needless to say, its and adventure.

One other thing- there is this tree here called a paper bark tree. It’s got this massive trunk that splits into all these massive branches. And its got this bark that looks like an onion peeling. I love them; I think they are really beautiful. There is a grove of them in the park and when I stand on the edge of it, that’s where I know that I am someplace I’ve never been before. It looks so completely foreign. I couldn’t have dreamed these trees… and I don’t need to. They are there, in my waking, reminding me of how far I’ve come.

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