Tides were wrong for beach walking today, and the 6 am sky was luminous, so I headed along the path behind the dunes onto the headland. I needed to stretch my legs, particularly my left knee, after a weekend bum-shifting under sail.
The creek at the south end of Jemisons was brimming, although not open, and it harvested the pink sunrise clouds. The headland path, churned up by car wheels, was green and puddly. Looking down over lake and ocean to Gulaga, two tracks gave me the kind of option that always leaves me wondering “what if …?” I didn't really hesitate and agonise, but when I came across a clump of fresh white mushrooms, as big as breakfast plates, I thought idly “Aha! If … , then …”. And the next faint thought was, of course, “But what would I have stumbled across if I'd chosen the other option?”
Pelicans, shags and egrets congregated where the meeting of sea and lake offered a feast. The lake encroached on land, disappearing the place where I used to sit and read. Each path I chose offered up mushrooms. The creek below Borang gleamed in the sun. Two kangaroos observed my approach and then splashed into the bush through deep puddles by the track, leaving a trail of bubbles. My walk ended with a prone and otherwise pristine white mushroom.
Today we have solid sunshine for the first time in a week, after rain ranging from intermittent to downpour. Mushrooms love this combination of wet, then warm. On the grassy patch near the creek where there are usually a number of kangaroos lounging, I found two colonies. Their round orangey-brown or creamy-brown heads rose above the thick fresh grass, still damp from an overnight shower. They reminded me of my last walk in Warsaw last September, my last encounter with mushrooms. But then many things remind me of Warsaw: now that I'm getting closer to my return, my two worlds begin to palimpsest each other.