It’s Saturday afternoon and the old orchard has been freshly mown.
Willow jumps out of the van having awoken from her nap, surveys the scene, then walks up with tail high.
By an old lemon tree that once formed a row, she sits.
Across the old orchard, the even older blue gums stand. Their branches sway and their leaves like hands reaching out to the blue sky.
Willow yawns in comical timing as a jet in the distance makes its last roar on its way back to Amberley base.
For now, it is quiet.
Some have errands to finish off, or rugby to watch. Some are getting ready to go out for the evening.
Willow and I have important business – It’s cat nest time.
I gather up some grass clippings and assemble them in a pile. I reach into the pile and carefully carve out a space for a cat.
Willow is quick to jump in for she knows that a cat nest is only complete once it contains a cat.
And there she sits, slow blinking at nothing in particular.
The sun is setting and takes with it the warmth and the Queensland Winter makes itself known.
In a few hours the lemons will be dripping with dew and if we stay out we will see our breathe.
We return to the comfort of the van, and after our bellies are full Willow waits for me to get under the covers. As I pull them up she makes herself comfortable on my chest, centimetres from my face.
She tucks her paws in and starts to purr. With her weight on my chest it’s not easy to move, but I don’t have anywhere I need to be.
Goodnight Willow, see you tomorrow!
* * *