The sun kisses the clouds as it recedes beyond the hill.
Trees, long ago perished in fire, stand sentinel in silhouette over paddocks. Small overfull dams punctuate the grassed expanse with their shimmer. Reflecting the in-between sky.
The reflective markers glint red as the headlights pass over them. The car smoothly heading towards home.
In the back seat one child sleeps.
A strong boy made peaceful after the sugar crash.
One child singing and roaring like a lion. The middle seat occupied by an eager to join in little brother without the words. He squeals and dances his hands around the air with delight.
When the squeals and singing begin to pierce – threaten to wake up the sleeping strong boy – the mother shushes. Reminds both children and their father that there is a quieter way to pass the last half hour.
That last half hour always drags its feet. So close to home but so far away.
The mother wishes they could just keep driving. The imminent disembarking of three children and their day trip paraphernalia is weighty with the idea of exhaustion.
Tractors are left unattended. More farm houses pass with lights flicked on. They are close.
The clouds are no longer blushed pink. They are lilac and grey.
The edge of the hills touched with a mustard horizon.
It’s twilight. Eyes on the road for errant kangaroos who do not know it is Easter.
And the mother relaxes her shoulders.
Tries to let the past week evaporate with the sun.
Tries to let the lingering tightening around her eyes go. Disappear behind the hills.
The car and it’s passengers climb the last hill.
Driving higher as the banks on the side of the road rise higher, obstructing the view.
A topless tunnel that allows a sighting of the first star.
And the mother knows that soon the twinkling lights of the town ahead will be upon them.
And Easter will be over for another year.
At the Digital Parents Conference Writing Workshop led by Valerie Khoo we were challenged to write a post without using “I”.