Out for a walk down along the quay, watching the sun sink behind the clouds, behind the windmills, behind the hills that eight miles distant fall away into the ocean. The sky that way is a brilliant yellow, like the skin of a Meyer lemon exploded. The clouds behind me are beginning to marmalade and pink lemonade… saying goodnight and goodbye. It feels like my last night here, and that is a melancholy thought. But this is life. A daily changing color palette. A fresh wind from a new direction carrying a different scent. The terns all sit the same way in the same place facing into the wind. They are something permanent. More permanent than the town, and the wind turbines, and the sand hills. They’ll always be here, as long as there is a rock to stand on, facing into the wind stoically, with strength and grace.
I turn around to look back at the town; its white houses gleaming faintly yellow, just slightly pee-stained, climbing up the hill, Mount Clarence, as it’s called. They’re all vaguely the same two shapes: rectangles and triangles. It is a scene that I imagine Cezanne would have painted were he in this spot today. The light is right. The plant life is right. The “mount” is right enough. It’s as if a town encroached upon the left flank of Mt. St. Victoire. But just for a bit. This is my favorite view of the city. It’s the first of it I saw when I got off the bus, and it’s the last I’ll see of it when I climb into the bus before it departs in the morning.
The wind turbines in the distance though.
I don’t recall having seen them before from this place. But perhaps I’m more conscious of them now from having climbed up to their spinning heights, blades whirring and whirling around at 200km/h. Having stood beneath them with the ache of the pack in my shoulders, and peered up at their titanic otherworldliness. Having watched them swim stationary in the air, all 18 of them, three blades on each cutting the wind, from my camp along the Bibbulmun Track, at various times of the day for two days, the most alluring time being at sunset with the salt spray breezing up the cliffs toward them in yellow and orange and the clouds drifting high above them forming a letterhead, and the sun going down far in the distance as it always does (Wouldn’t it be magical for it to just once go down directly in front of you so that you might even put your hand on it and give it a good push to help it on its way?) staining the sky in myriad colors. That site is emblazoned into my mind forever, just like the view of Albany from the Anzac Peace Park.