Spring is stepping gingerly into our world. She’s not quite ready to make a big entrance but there is something especially delightful about her early forays into this winter worn city. Our hearts lift at pure blue skies, luminous yellow clouds of coconut scented wattle, early daffodils and buds on trees. Eating breakfast on the terrace, I bask in the gentle warmth of lemon sunshine and feel my body thaw and my spirits rise.
The handful of days that bridge the gap between frost hard winter and early spring are filled with precious moments: a flight of pelicans skimming over the lake or clowning at the edge, cormorants spreading their wings to dry in the pale sunlight, ducks everywhere and a cheeky baby galah popping its pink head out of a hollow branch.
Just a short walk from hipster cafes and funky restaurants on the Kingston Foreshore we find ourselves in the Jerrabomberra Wetlands. You can almost smell the espresso, from across the lake, in this bucolic and beautiful rural place. We wander past paddocks of licorice cows, lumbering and lowing against the backdrop of Parliament House, ponds of waterbirds building their nests and a skitter of fairy wrens in the scrubby grass.
Further along our walk we come across a picture book paddle of geese boldly owning their own patch of the lake.
The first tiny leaves are starting to tint willow branches and there is a smattering of cerise blossom on bare twigs (a harbinger of gorgeous colour to come). We return home to cups of tea and breathe in the fragrance of hope in a muddled posy of jonquils and wattle on the kitchen bench.
Tomorrow is another glorious day of “almost Spring.”
© Anita Patel, 2016
Published by anitapatel
Anita Patel is a writer (and retired teacher) who has lived in Canberra since 1982. She is as Australian as a banana paddle pop and a pair of sandy thongs and she is also a part of the Asian diaspora. Her collections of poetry are: 'Petals Fall' published by Recent Work Press in 2022 (https://recentworkpress.com/product/petals-fall) and 'A Common Garment' published by Recent Work Press in 2019 (https://recentworkpress.com/product/a-common-garment/).
In 2019, she collaborated with acclaimed artist, Annie Franklin, to produce 'Heart Stitched' (a story - in paintings and poetry - of the quirky, unexpected and dazzling layers in the natural world). They received significant support from Nancy Sever (Nancy Sever Gallery). In 2022, their second book 'Grief and Beauty' (which arose from the 2019-20 bushfires) was published - once again with support from Nancy Sever.
She has had work published in the Canberra Times, in Conversations (Pandanus Press, ANU), in Block 9, Burley Journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Demos Journal, Mascara Literary Review, Not Very Quiet Journal, Cordite Poetry Review, Backstory Journal, Other Terrain Journal, Pink Cover Zine, FemAsia Magazine, Plumwood Mountain Journal, Eucalypt: a tanka journal and Print Issue 42 of The Blue Nib Journal. Her work is also included in the following anthologies: The Australian Poetry Anthology (Vol. 8), 'This Gift This Poem' (Puncher and Wattman) and 'What We Carry' (Recent Work Press). Her children’s poems are included in an anthology 'Pardon My Garden' (Harper Collins). Her poem “Women’s Talk” won the ACT Writers Centre Poetry Prize in 2004 and her poetry was selected for and published in Australian Book Review’s States of Poetry ACT, 2018.
She has performed her work at the Canberra Multicultural Festival, Poetry on the Move Festival, Noted Festival, Floriade Fringe Festival, In Other Words Festival (at Lost in Books, Fairfield), the Queensland Poetry Festival, the National Folk Festival, at Smith’s Alternative, at Word in Hand (Glebe) and La Mama Poetica.
Her reviews, “Found in Translation”, on the performances of four Japanese women poets and their translators at Poetry on the Move Festival, 2017 and “No More Silent Waiting”, on the anthology Autonomy edited by Kathy D’Arcy (2018) have been published by Not Very Quiet Journal. She was the guest editor for Issue 2 of Not Very Quiet Journal. View all posts by anitapatel