We know this place better now though, and while we've seen our fair share of snakes, we're not those nature-phobic suburbanites we once were. So when a new person came into our lives back in 2013, we didn't realise it, but we were bringing home a bush baby.
2013 ~ Peter comes home
Now we have the confidence and experience, to show our youngest the ropes at Gully Grove. He's lived here, for nearly three seasons of his new life, and its time to do what all young people are born to do. Explore!
You can find any number of logs to sit on, and scratch at the texture of the wood. Thinking why is it like that, and can I scratch it some more?
Click image to enlarge
Then, of course, the taste test! All logs must be sampled because they are there and that's what you do when you're exploring in nature. Logs may be in the process of decaying, but that doesn't make them uninteresting or without flavour.
Logs placed across an empty water course, must also be traversed. First tried by crawling, then when all courage has gone...
...you can always call on Dad, to give a helping hand. These little steps, don't have to be experienced alone. Although, sometimes...
...you simply must give it a try all by yourself, because it looked so possible when Dad was by your side. Maybe you didn't get it this time, but it takes practice.
Running to a big, old tree, seemed a lot easier. The ground was more stable and the tree was comforting, standing up, instead of laying down. But then, someone else came to help.
Big sisters, we buy shirts which are way too big for, can help you across the logs too. Sometimes you need help, when you're learning new things. You will eventually master the balance in nature, you are looking for.
In the meantime, there are sandpits to play in. We made this sandpit for you. Or rather, nature did, when we blocked the water course with branches and debris. The running water drops silt now, instead of taking it away. There are lots of things to learn about nature, but the best part is experiencing it.
You showed me a clump of sand, you managed to excavate. I don't know how. It was tightly compacted, which made it look like a rock at first. Then we carefully turned it over, and found a little surprise underneath.
A tiny plant was clinging onto that clump of sand. You know what plants are, because mum is always showing you them. We like plants. They help us to keep cool, and grow into beautiful gardens. The kind you can run in.
And run in....
...and run, some more!
I couldn't catch you. My camera barely could. You're way too fast for me. But then we eventually found Dad and Sarah again. Just in time to hear Dad tell a story, about the dragon in our gully. The one we feed, by putting debris into the waterway. It stops to eat and get fatter, instead of being skinny and forced to eat up all our dirt instead.
Maybe they're just stories. But maybe there's just some truth in them too? Out here in the bush, you can look up to the sky, and think things, you cannot think anywhere else.
The sky, where the tall trees come to meet it - and if they didn't, it would be lonely for everyone. Especially us people, looking up to nothing and forgetting who we are and what belongs up in the sky. The trees point up there, where all life comes from.
Of course, when we aren't down in the gully, soaking in the magic of the bush, we have other things to keep us in contact with nature too. Like dinosaurs which use to belong to your sister. They visit the potted plants, around the verandah. Taking care, only to eat a little of the vegetation. Please. Only a little.
But there will always be more to explore, for our little bush baby, as he grows and discovers he can do more. And for his big sister too, we hope to build something for her to visit in the garden soon . A place where growing adults can have space for their thoughts. To draw or to read. Basically, just to be themselves.
It started with a move, followed by a lot of gardening, and rather unexpectedly, a flood. Not to mention, two young ones we've been raising in the meantime. I can understand why people become so attached to places they're familiar with. The stories and the experiences, get longer and more involved.
Next year will be a decade, living here. What stories will we have to share then? What stories will they share too, when we are long gone? I hope they remember this little place of ours. Of hungry dragons and tall trees. That we matter through it all, and we shouldn't forget. Because this is home, this planet of ours, and we need those things. Always.