april has always been my favourite month. it’s when the days get a little longer; the sun a little warmer. the winter lion goes into hibernation; the spring lamb comes out to play. snowflakes melt into lilac blossoms; under the cold white blanket new life begins. a new season grows.
even on the other side of the world where the weather is inverted april’s dawn brings fresh dusk. as summer bleeds into autumn melbourne wraps herself in grey and black layers. the gardens smell like a warm thanksgiving morn; burnt orange and red made avant grunge adorn.
for all its natural beauty that the month brings, this april past was exquisitely extraordinary. picture memories of a thousand smiles and sublime landscapes as old friends roamed new places … march brought to end a profound life chapter while lady april gave me 30 blissful days of being.
here are thirty sentences that paint a picture of some pretty rad april adventures …
varsity vikings rising to the gold coast sun / turning thirty plus one with banana bread, homemade bread, white wine, witty friends and love letters from abroad / ten days of bellbunya bliss spent conversing with a walden gnome as we walk through the woods hand-in-hand followed by laying in naked freedom on the sand / old friends meeting in new places; heart racing with fond familiarity as the train slowly approaches / byron bay babes and burleigh beauts surfing the rough tidal blue / falling in love with switzerland over dinner at the local hub / exploring the havens of hamilton island heaven–pure whitsundays wanderlust / four ladies, sunset champagne and indigo kisses atop one tree hill / with friends munching on fish and chips alongside the marina’s edge i cannot help but stare out into the dark night, revelling in the memories we are making, i contemplate the words that i have just read, “humans travel in an attempt to restore health to their bodies and more importantly, harmony to their souls” / after a vertical 240 metre climb up passage peak with the 74 islands of the whitsundays below a lone norfolk coast pine blows in the stiff humid breeze and tis here standing on the cusp of granite rock and turquoise views where we strike that brilliant balance between health and harmony, body and soul / active by nature we are but even we should know that 600ml of water is not a source of survival for four girls, a 30 degree sun and 10.5 kilometre of forest but a dip in escape beach was worth the enduring heat / morning stretches to an auburn embrace as the chatter of cockatoos and raindrops pound on the portico floor where the early dew is born / cruising for coffee in golf carts by morning; chased by evil cockatoos (bats) flying by night, we squeal in hilarity; our wine induced imagination delights / on the shore of whitehaven beach with ngaro (aboriginal) doctrines dancing in my head we rest on white jewelled silica while crocodile lizards, lime ants and poisonous spiders dash and play in the bushes ahead / like stoned turtles high on jellyfish we fall off boats as we innocently play in hazards bay, snorkelling the reef dismayed by its coral grey / to mainland we head where a 700 kilometre road trip takes us through sugarcane crops and rolling rural mountains where amidst ghostlike land this is what we encounter: a backpackers nook (airlie beach) plagued by resortism, a retired queenslander town (bowen) with an unexpecting cove alongside placid pacific waters, a military base now a quasi-quirky metropolis (townsville) where we stroll along the strand to pay our ANZAC respects only to be asked to dance (by a jet ski team nonetheless) / morning revival at betty blue and the lemon tart we journey on to meet lou at his deli in ingham and snack on a salty sketchy supper in deserted innisfall; the bruce highway may be a road less travelled but every so often we turn the radio dial to hear joshua radin crooning, “you only hate the road when you’re missing home”; but home was right here in the car with me so i didn’t really need to know in which direction to go / at the townsville airport i’m sadden to say “see you later” to a friendship that has transcended hemispheres; we’re both healing but in different ways and we’ve got 15 years on the world and oh so many more yet to come–on any mixtape this girl is definitely my rock and roll / sublime landscape in jurassic paradise as we descend the gorge into wallaman falls, her thunderous glory the largest in australia as she flows 1000 metres tall / we saunter on to the wet tropics of the daintree where the rainforest meets the reef but the stealth and silence of the crocodile rivers and lush greenery are disappointingly underwhelming, confirming captain james cook’s log when he discovered the dreary skies above cape tribulation; he writes, “here begins all of my trials and tribulations” / janes of the jungle swimming in egimen creek refreshed by damper and daintree tea boiled in a billy / lyn haven shows us how a rainforest community lives but also how kangaroos are rescued and nurtured back to life with cuddles and raw sweet potato strips / we depart the balmy tropics of northern queensland for the cool autumn winds of melbourne; flying through the clouds i see her for one last time above as she sparkles in jewelled city lights / on horseback we trot through glorious green farm fields and vibrant valley vineyards; our beautiful steeds — twisty (the rogue), toffee (the bulldozer) and bluey (the grace) — lead us through the mornington peninsula’s delicious open cellar doors / splashing in the peninsula hot springs we find refuge atop the hill with a view of cattle on one side and philip bay on the other; pondering the legend that north american native tribes believe hot springs to be power spots in nature, i reside to believe that sitting with yourself in a pool of nature is blissful balneology at best / back in the city, frolicking in fitzroy, touring the girls around my favourite haunts, i realise i’m a mollydooker whose word paintings are her own fine piece of art / melbourne impresses with her delicious aylesbury charm and hidden victorian laneways — its exciting to see others crush on my beloved city / we dine for the last supper at the napier where it all started and where, with bittersweet sentiment, it is this beginning’s end / as one jetplane takes off i am left behind to contemplate all that i’ve learned in three years here, a slideshow of joy playing through in my mind — enduring happiness and kindred kindness is what i find / april ends with a day of food and chatter, with held-back tears i say so long to the characters that have helped me write my melbourne melody, though this is not the end as we will meet again dear friends.
thirty days of april. the best pages of a three-year long tale. for now, australia we bid adieu, forever fond of you.
we travel to a destination because literature romanticises foreign dreams and art presents beautiful painted landscapes of which we want to see in real life. (alain de botton)