Grey Heron

He’s back. I didn’t see when he got in. Usually I’d be waiting for him he’s so punctual I could mark my calendar by his visits but I’ve been so busy – not really taking stock. I should have known it’d be around now that he’d show up – the winter is practically interminable – I’ve been looking up real estate in places where it never rains, (Spain, the salt plains of Bolivia) and my family have that slightly pallid mossy look of Siberian exiles. I’d missed all the other signs too: tuis - the equivalent of aerial boyracers round the wild cherry trees, the high tide marks of yellow pine pollen in the puddles of rain – winter is slowly veering off her indefatigable course and meandering towards Spring. This Winter seems to have been a Long March or rather a Manic Morris Dance of busyness where there is an unspoken rule that all slackers, backsliders, fluffers or dilly dallyers will be summarily executed.

There is no time to smell the roses because they need to be pruned fertilised harvested and exported to Japan as part of a business development project on which you have to write a 3000 word essay. Every now and then I have a ‘Truman Show’ moment where I suspect the director of Speed is secretly documenting a B grade version of the movie which is my life – except I’m no Sandra Bullock and I have no idea of how to drive a bus.
Life comes in a series of rushed lists of things to do:
Wake up and consider that if Time really were money I’d be borrowing a whole lot more of it right now.
Try to remember to look hot.
Get real.
Revise and check cardigan is not inside out.
Spend ridiculous amount of time looking for hairbrush and vow to have it surgically attached to small person’s body.
Tell small person that eating breakfast with roller skates on will not make her eat faster. Remember fluoride and give it to kid – wonder if she will grow two heads and decide that’s better than tooth decay.
Think vaguely ahead to dinner plan for after work – check emails and find there are 568 and are overwhelmed so delete all and thank the universe that I’ve never signed up for Facebook seeing as I never see the real friends that I actually have.
Vow to shag husband sometime in the next millennium who then yells as leaving driveway for me to do six different jobs in town that involves a degree in strategic management to accomplish between finishing work and picking child up.
Revise shagging idea and resolve instead not to think evil stabby thoughts re: partner in life. Decide to re-read ‘The Art of Time Management’. Flick to the Chapter on how to say ‘no’. Decide I have no time to read it.
Remember back to those distant days where I spent weeks on end doing nothing but riding horses or mucking round on boats and can’t remember ever actually making the decision that I was wasting my time and that I should get a job. Or house. Or partner or kid for that matter. Trip over rollerskates as dashing out the door and am just about to go completely nuclear when the small person grabs my hand and says: “Stop Mummy Look!!!!” And there he is.

Composed as a Chinese emperor, yet lackadaisical in a cocky kind of way. Long legged and skinny with a rolling gait. An avian Sam Hunt remembering his lines. We hold our breaths and wait and watch. He measures out our garden in long slow easy strides this grey heron. Like a property developer surveying his investment after an extended vacation overseas - he comes back in the same week of every year to start making his nest. He also reminds me to slow down - and that winter is almost over.

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