Some velvet morning

The start of a new day can be a quiet, beautiful thing.

This morning: a start that was unusual. Beautiful, but only in a quiet and unassuming way. It would mean nothing to anyone else.

I left my brother’s house at 8am this morning to drive to work.

Already, this is out of the ordinary, as my brother lives an 85 minute drive from where I live, and also, as it happens, about an 85 minute drive from where I work, which, from his place, is in an entirely different direction from where I live. So it was the first time in my life I’ve got up on a work day, set off from a country town, to drive about 100 kilometres to work, on an unfamiliar route I’ve never taken before.

A sense of novelty gave the morning a particular gleam, but the golden sunlight streaming through the window at 7am was also a culprit in creating this effect. Without both things, I may have been feeling a little sorry for myself at having to rise at 7am, after a Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds gig the night before, to go to work.

But as it was, it was a glorious summer morning, and I was in the country! On a workday!

I was woken by the sounds of birds singing right outside my bedroom window. I feel obliged to comment on how lovely this was, and yet, I should also note here, for anti-city skeptics like my country-loving father (in case he ever reads this blog) that we do have birds in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, where I live; in fact, they regularly chirp noisily in the tree close to my window. (I can hear at least three different varieties chirping away as I write this).

But – blow me down if birds singing outside your window first thing in the morning, in the country, doesn’t somehow just feel so much more….countrified!

So the Country Birds Community Choir did their duty, and I ate my vegemite toast with extra enjoyment as a consequence of their efforts. Being in close proximity to my gorgeous 21-month-old nephew while I ate breakfast added another layer of joy to the morning that would have applied regardless of the location, weather, or presence of a choir, whether human or bird variety.

Breakfast over and goodbyes said, I stepped out the front door of my brother’s house at 8am. The sun was already shining  brightly, with a forecast temperature of 30 degrees (Celsius) expected for the day. The sunlight felt warm, but the breeze was still cool, making it a delightful morning to be heading off on what almost felt like an adventure – if I ignored the fact that work lay at the end of it.

After only two minutes of driving, I was on the freeway doing 110m. I’ve heard there have been increases in the number of people commuting from regional towns to work in the city these days, so I was expecting something like in Melbourne, where, at peak hour, there are lights at the freeway entry ramps, which flash green for a split second every 20 seconds or so, to indicate that the next 3 lanes of stationery cars may accelerate and enter the freeway, but the numbers of commuters in the country have obviously not taken off quite as much as I had imagined. A lone car overtook me just after I joined the freeway, and after that, I and the small handful of other vehicles on the freeway that morning shared our personal space out pretty evenly. There was no need to crowd in.

Before my dad retired, he drove country roads all over the state in a truck for a living. This morning, I could see why he chose this occupation over the factory work that he started and quickly discarded. Beginning a journey on a glorious sunny morning in the country is an entirely different experience to starting out on the busy city roads I normally drive on. Your view is not filled with buildings and other cars – instead you can see more of the sky. Trees grow close to the side of the roads, causing a pattern of dappled light and shadow to fall across the road at that time of morning, and you have almost the whole freeway to yourself.

On a morning like that, in the country, it feels like an hour or so of driving is something to look forward to.

The drive turned out to be just as enjoyable as was promised by the golden sunlight and light breeze I encountered when I first stepped out the door. After about twenty minutes of trundling along the freeway, I turned off onto a country road, the C141. The Ballan-Daylesford Road was empty. A sign told me I had 73 kilometres to go, and for the next 45 minutes of driving, I passed one truck, and one other car passed me, and disappeared swiftly into the undulating curves of the road ahead.

2015-paddocks-from-geelong-train

 

Pic: © The Antipodean Blatherer

I drove through the countryside, with paddocks on both sides of me. There were sheep grazing in dry, yellow fields, right up close to the road, and in yet another paddock, bales of hay, piled up into what looked like small straw-colored cubby houses. I rounded a steep downward bend with eucalyptus trees on each side, to see a cool green dam spread out only a few feet away from the road.  Browns, golds, and yellows everywhere I looked. In some cases, the color signalled a crop, but in most cases, the beiges and light browns spread out before me were just the dry landscape in this part of the state. That’s just the color of the grass. Everything was just part of the ordinary, Australian countryside, yet all these things seemed quite wonderful, in a way, on such a lovely morning.

The slight sense of wonder stayed with me for the whole trip. Here I was, a lone vehicle driving through a landscape I’d never driven in before, way out in the countryside on narrow country roads, at 8.30am in the morning, and yet at the end of this strange and unfamiliar trip, I’d be at work, just like on any other work day.

It was the sunlight, it was the morning, it was the countryside, and it was the unfamiliarity of the trip.

I think it is a worthwhile exercise to take a different route to work occasionally.

 

 

Advertisements
Previous Post
Leave a comment

5 Comments

  1. Just lovely, B. I was right there. There’s something about the unfamiliar that pulls into that most elusive and thrilling of places – the present.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thank you! I actually put some effort into that one (ie wrote it over more than one sitting….so it wasn’t actually this morning but 3 days ago now….but don’t tell anyone!) so it’s really nice to hear that you felt like you were there!

      The unfamiliar is a tonic that livens up the otherwise ordinary.

      Like

      Reply
  2. That sense of pleasant wonder is almost palpable in your words.

    Work today where I’m at has been a nightmarish hellscape, but your post transported me away, if only momentarily, and for that, I’m truly grateful. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. Wow, I’m thrilled to hear theatre my words had that effect, how we brief! Sorry though, to hear that your work is awful right now, I hope that is a temporary situation that will improve!

    Like

    Reply
  4. *however* brief. Stupid autocorrect on smart phone.

    Like

    Reply

Blather away!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: