I have reached a slow point because it is just too darn hot.
It might only be veering between 30 and 35 degrees celsius (usually quite manageable for me) but somehow it seems hotter.
Years ago I went on a driving tour of the outback with some of my friends from university and I remember meeting some people from England who were terrified of the Australian landscape. Not because it looks particularly grim or austere or even stark. But the length and breadth of it, the vastness, the preternatural, dreamlike form of it can be somewhat overwhelming to the uninitiated.
There’s a lot of land out there.
And when it’s high summer and the sky is a dazzling blue, a sparking blue that seems to reach further than you could imagine the sky could reach, the ground you are standing on seems able to do only one thing.
You can see it liquefying beneath your feet. A heat haze, a light haze. Silver and gold and translucent blue all at once.
It is as if you are caught in a surrealist painting where unexpected juxtapositions of form and perspective are the norm, where putting one foot in front of the other and ending up where you want to go isn’t always a given. Where you bounce and weave and slide on ground that appeared solid before you started. Where you begin to believe Alice might just have gone down the rabbit hole after all.
The heat does that to you. Eyes straining in the sun. The back of your throat burning, drier than kindling. You want to scream for it to go away, you want to address the enormity of that flashing, flickering, glistering landscape but all you can do is droop.
You droop and you wait for the wind to come.
The blessed southerly, cutting through the heat haze like a scythe.
Sometimes it takes only hours.
Sometimes it takes days.
But when it comes I know one thing for sure.
I’ll be dancing like a sprite in the midst of it.