Life in Isolation: Walking through a Weekend

Autumn is stepping gently into our city – the sky is a singing stretch of blue and trees light up like candles.

We look for new places to walk during the weekend. Our usual walk from bridge to bridge is much more crowded on Saturdays and Sundays. With no cafes, restaurants, galleries or libraries – people flock to the lake so we roam further afield.


We wander from the National Museum to  the Australian National University. I love these wooded paths by the water.

It’s a time for noticing small things – leaf litter, ivy wrapped tree trunks and the haunting blue grey of eucalypt bark.

My feet always recall their younger selves — eager and quick— when I track through the ANU. I remember their anticipation as they marched me over the damp crunch of yellow leaf to a lecture, a tutorial or a cuppa, in the Union café, with a new friend. Over forty years ago these poplars scattered yellow hope on me. My heart lifts at the sight of Sullivan’s Creek which flows and ripples as it has always done.

But today the quietness is startling. The university is deserted – no throngs of students in the usual places.  We see bicycles looped and chained in green leaves, bees hum in clusters of wahlenbergia  (our city’s floral emblem) burrowing their way into amethyst bells. They are not disturbed by the trample of hundreds of passing feet.

Everything is in its place but nothing is quite as it should be…


We venture on a new walk – a loop around Curtin. It’s such a delight to discover pockets of freshness in a city where we’ve lived for so many years. I love peeking into suburban backyards – at lawns scattered with children’s toys and gardening tools, at people sitting on decks in the autumn sunshine, at weathered paling fences covered in leaves.

We catch our breaths at a shining grove of golden trees…

Autumn in this city just catches you off guard and knocks you off your feet!

© Anita Patel, 2020



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