A gentle breeze ruffled the olive green leaves that hung down from the branches of towering gum trees as three chirping rosellas swooped, darted and lilted in the everlasting blue. The pulsing music booming within the Toyota Land Cruiser spilled out onto the sides of the long-stretching road that meandered through the rugged land. Driving by, numerous termite mounds could be seen, they sprung out from the dark, red soil while thick, grubby bushes rested under the last fragments of a watermelon pink streaked sky. Rolling down the dirty window, I placed one hand on the wheel with the other dangling out on the side. The glaring sun was merciless as the sweltering afternoon heat left my throat parched and dry. I licked my cracked lips and wiped the sweat between my brows before cranking up the volume. Home by Phil Phillips was playing and his voice was simply the soundtrack to my summer. I tapped the wheel along to the rhythmic beat, swaying to the light strumming of the guitar as I sat in the cushiony leather seat, sinking into it, my tense shoulders relaxing.
I ran my fingers through my windswept hair, humming along to the song as I accelerated, fleeing my bustled and complicated life. My phone was switched off and for once, I wasn’t thinking. I wasn’t thinking about everything that I had left behind or the past or the future. I wasn’t thinking about everything that had gone wrong and what might could go wrong. All my fears, guilt and anger that would always weigh me down, just rolled off my shoulders and flew away with the wind.
Free. Infinite. Alive.
I was heading home. Visitors that came by often wouldn’t stay for long. The natural landscapes were breathtakingly beautiful but at the same time, no one ventured out too far because the scorching heat left room for isolation and destruction. Despite the hardship of rural life, my childhood was painted by cool, refreshing dips in Florence Falls, racing through the wheat fields with friends and trekking up the...