Weekly photo challenge: Half-light

From Core of my heart, by Dorothea Mackellar (1908)

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand.

It was Friday, the end of the week, the end of the day, the end of my birthday. My family had picnicked on fish and chips by the lake, and then in the half-light of the evening the younger ones pulled out the Frisbee. The blue of the sky and water dimmed as they played, and I thought of my opal-hearted country.

Twilight frisby

I joined in the game briefly, but was frightened, like a girl, of the speed of the thing tearing towards me, and rather than confront it, I ducked, but duckers are no fun. Not wanting to spoil their game, I returned to the table to pack up. Besides, half-light is not enough light for catching a hurtling object.

When I turned round, three of them were standing at the water’s edge. The green of the distant trees was darkening and Black Mountain was indeed nothing but a silhouette. The sky and water were now mauve, and one of my sons had dropped onto all fours on the lake’s stone edge. Was he going in?

Is he going in?

I could hear them laughing, which was some comfort. The February evening was warm, and he wouldn’t be too chilly if he ended up in the drink.

It takes two

Ah! It was the Frisbee that had gone in! Clearly, it takes not just one good man, nor two, to rescue a plastic flying disc. Here was my son, his father holding him by the arm, his brother holding his leg. But was his arm long enough to draw the Frisbee to his side?

It takes three

Yes! The Frisbee lives, to be played with another day. And although he was as far over the side as possible without actually being in the water, nothing more than his arm got wet. Neighbouring picnickers applauded his amazing feat! Then, with the light all but gone, we retired to the house for supper.

Frisby rescued

Thanks WordPress for the inspiration. And thanks also to an evolving scientist for reminding me of Core of my heart.

Daily Prompt: Home, Soil, Rain

Today’s Daily Prompt asked for free associations with the words
home, soil, rain.

My home has not burnt down in the last few weeks, but several homes in south-east Australia have been in the path of merciless bushfires, and now some people have nowhere to lay their heads in peace.

A large 40,000 hectare bush fire is burning in the Warrumbungle National Park. Fires have destroyed more than 30 homes in New South Wales. (FILE:AAP)

Photo:  A large 40,000 hectare bush fire is burning in the Warrumbungle National Park. Fires have destroyed more than 30 homes in New South Wales. (FILE:AAP)

The soil in my yard is dry and a large crack has appeared in the ground at the side of the house.  The lawn that grew in spring has died.  In open farmland and bushy forest, the long grassy stalks are thirsty brown fire fuel.

Cracked earth, My yard, Canberra
Cracked earth, My yard, Canberra

In 1908 Dorothea Mackellar published a poem about this country, which many of us think of in weeks like these.   It’s called My Country and is famous for its line ‘I love a sunburnt country’.  A couple of later stanzas are on my mind:

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart around us,
We see the cattle die –

But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold –

Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze…

Dickson Wetlands, Canberra
Dickson Wetlands, Canberra
Rain will come again.  It will fill the cracked earth, soften it and quench its thirst.  Rain (and firefighters) will douse the uncontained fires still burning as I write.