Ten pm and I’m almost asleep; just a few threads of consciousness remain, snapping off one by one allowing me to slowly sink into the arms of the night. My mouth relaxes, and begins to fall open when I hear it. The noise. A rattling, glassware-tinging sound. Someone is in the kitchen! Expecting any minute to hear the sound of breaking glasses, I rush naked out of the bedroom and tread cautiously up the hallway, only to be confronted by a very large possum, which seems just as equally surprised to see me.
We both freeze.
He dives down the stairs with me in full pursuit; trying to find an escape. Opening the front glass door, I stand back, there’s no way I want him running up my leg, but I tell myself this is Australia, and it’s a possum, not a squirrel. I think I’ve watched too many Holiday Vacation movies. Still, it pays to be wary, and I keep an eye on the cats, who sit nearby watching with disinterest.
Oh, good on you, cats! A big help!
After a few more bangs on the glass door, the possum heads back upstairs. Uh oh, this could go on all bloody bight, and I’m now worried about the state of my house! Fortunately, he ran onto the deck and scampered down the tree to safety. Repeat the same act at midnight. I’ll have to cut that tree branch off that extends over to the deck.
Today we have the assessors report on the house. To build again, to renovate, time will tell.
School returns, and a new normal will glide into place throughout the suburbs. Mums will kiss their children a little more, and hold them a little longer, today. Across the city, children will recount their flood adventures. Let’s face it; no one really had a holiday: too much rain, too much wet, too much flood and mud. Teachers will open fresh books that smell of hope, and students will sit awkwardly in knotted ties and new shoes, a squirming picture of duty and the future.