I can’t believe it has been two years, and right now I am missing Tiney so much it hurts. I know we are lucky to have a foul-mouthed, chain-smoking angel looking over us as she swings on her star and bamboozles the moon lady in the sky. The Pollyanna in me tells myself how lucky I am all the time. But sometimes I can’t be Pollyanna, and I know that I would rather she was here with me on earth. I miss her so much, and it makes me feel bereft when I realise that the magical twine that connects her heart to mine sometimes feels like it has been severed.
I could say so much about my Tiney, but I am simply too sad. I would rather instead remind myself of the things that she repeatedly told me. She would tell me not to worry about things that hadn’t happened. She would tell me to keep it simple and to just keep on writing, taking photos and making food that I loved. She truly understood my decision to live in this little country town of Tenterfield, and she loved the simple life I wanted to live with Archie and Rissie.
I wrote some prose a few years back, and last year I turned it into a poem. It makes me think of Tiney and I was brave enough to recite it yesterday at the breakfast in the park at Oracles of the Bush. Tiney was someone who knew full well why this place I call home has captured my heart so completely.
I wish I could tell Tiney how happy I am. How the kids are thriving and are quite simply the bravest people I know. I want to tell Tiney that I have kept her tree alive with buckets of washing machine and shower water despite this bloody drought. I want to tell Tiney how well we are doing and how proud I am of us all. I want to tell her I am well. But I know she sees it. I know she would be swinging on her star and telling me, “just get on with it Lou, stop worrying, stop pining, just keep on living and living well.”
I miss you so much Tiney. This poem, about my home, that has allowed me to be safe and happy, despite it all, was always for you.
Do you know my Tenterfield?
Do you know my Tenterfield?
A place that catches your heart and rips at your soul,
A place that lingers in your mind forever,
A place that takes you home and returns you to a land of old,
A place that feels like home, wherever
you may wander. From countries far away,
a place where you long for, to return and to stay.
In the early mornings, the only sound you hear is your own breath.
So silent, your mind empties, you ponder things
such as the beauty of this world, the end and even death.
How cold can it be, for on your cheeks, your tears to cling?
Those early mornings when the world is not yet awake,
This land of Tenterfield, so lovely, your heart does ache.
It is a land of beautiful roads, of endless winding pathways,
Roads that lead to enchantment, to mysterious magical lands.
Thoroughfares, where Captain Time does amaze.
Places of mystical beauty pass the hourglass grains of sands.
Roads with great green canopies that cover the glorious sky.
Roads that lead to places of granite up ever so high.
A place that is marked by the changing of the seasons.
Four distinct times and four very different worlds.
The smells and emotion, each one I love for multiple reasons.
With the arrival of each season, unique emotions are unfurled.
Autumn, winter, summer, spring.
Each season, and with it, forgotten joys they bring.
Autumn is marked by golden carpets hidden beneath a turquoise sky.
By a million golden leaves, listen closely and hear them fall.
Softly, and ever so slowly the ground they do beautify.
Colours of burnished orange. The changes never seem to stall.
Autumn is a season of colour, of an artist’s endless dream.
A time of changing hues, of the warmest colour scheme
Then winter arrives, marked by freezing frosts.
By a cold that takes your breath away.
The change can be sudden, it is something that can exhaust.
A threat of snow that rarely falls, Jack Frost is on display.
Winds that howl, cut through your skin as if to steal your soul.
Crystal blue horizons, cold that can consume you whole.
Spring arrives in a flurry of pastel delicacy.
Pinks, whites and blues, too fragile to last too long.
Bees buzz loudly, the sounds in the air are sweet.
The air is filled with birds and their chirping lilting song.
Spring is all about arrivals, the promise of something new.
The winds of change have arrived, to the frosts, we say adieu.
Summer is the time of mornings, of a glorious golden haze.
Of hours that linger, and evenings that lengthen.
Days are hot and languid, the new season it does blaze.
The earth gets warm, the world appears to strengthen.
Summer arrives with such a feeling of great promise.
Mornings bright, nights so cool, a time that seems so flawless.
I have travelled to many places, some close, others far away.
From New York to London to Florence and then to San Jose.
These places I love, they fill my soul, but not many I would stay.
Because there is a land that hurts my heart and to it I must yield.
It calls me home, I click my heels and say, do you know my Tenterfield?