By Karen Bateman
Sometimes I run. Late afternoon, leaf scrim on the high tide, thunderclouds to the east. My feet skirt rain sludge, dance around the sand curve, thud on the boardwalk. To my left, it’s intertidal. Mudflats and mangroves, ground pockmarked by soldier crabs, shorebirds screaming. To my right, sea rush and coastal scrub. Breathe puffs of cloud. Attention snags on a web – its four corners suspended in the crook of a tree. Something twitches in the saltbush. Cast my mind to catch history. The Bunurong people, resource rich from the creek, eels, shellfish, bird eggs. Cross the footbridge. Wait for my breath to catch up. Consider the light skirting the tussocks, the gathering clouds, the winter hush.
Beneath me, the creek. Ribboning through the muddy paddocks, widening at the melaleuca, the paperbark thickets, its measured approach, wider as it greets the mouth, slowly, patiently, making its way back to the ocean.