2021 The Waiting – Introduction

2019 bled into 2020. The drought, the fires, the extreme temperatures. It seeped into the new year like the bushfire smoke seeped into our homes and lungs. There were no fireworks in the new year, since there was enough fire in the landscape already. Celebrations were subdued. And so began the year that was 2020.

2020 has bled into 2021. We’re all still working from home. Virus restrictions are still in place. The virus has seeped into the new year like it seeps into nasal cavities. There were no fireworks in the new year, except in Sydney, since authorities didn’t want people to crowd together to watch. Celebrations were subdued. And so begins the year that is 2021.

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All the pieces left behind – Conclusion

Some endings are explosive and ragged. The pieces left behind reflect the trauma and tearing apart.

This jagged rhyolite is from an explosive phase of the Toombullup volcanics and the Wabonga Caldera.

Sometimes endings are really beginnings, laying down the foundation of the future.

And some endings are not endings – they are just the flow of time, breaking down some things while building up others. Time may be linear and constant, but it is not always experienced that way.

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All the pieces left behind – Days 3 and 4

4 kms (yeah, I know)

Day 3

There is that feeling you get when you wake before your alarm goes off. Do you peek at the clock to see how much longer you can sleep? Or do you just roll over and try to pretend you’ve not woken at all. If you peek at the clock, there is the relief when you see you’ve got a full hour to sleep until you have to get up or the disappointment when you’ve woken just seven minutes before the alarm.

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All the pieces left behind – Day 2

33 kms (14 miles)

Have you ever had a day that did not really go as you had seen it in your mind? Have you made decisions on the information available that turned out to be a bit misinformed?

With mobile phones allowing you to google any question you ever wanted to answer in real time and allowing instant access to weather reports and radar, it’s easy to forget how to make decisions for yourself and choose the best option. I’m reminded of this on the short ride today.

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All the pieces left behind – Day 1

53 kms (33 miles)

There should be rewards for getting up at sparrow’s fart.

The rewards I’m seeking when I get up at 4.50am today are a few hours of riding in cool temperatures with no wind or pesky flies.

But it is already 24 degrees when I get up and it is a very sticky warmth. It is very humid today which is a bit unusual for us, but not so much in a La Nina year like this. The pesky flies will join me just a few kms down the road.

However, the early start should help us beat the heat predicted (36C – 96F high) and the storms forecast after noon. The idea today is to pick up a couple new roads and get about halfway up the plateau, then find a place to camp before the storms come in.

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All the pieces left behind – Introduction

22-26 November 2020

You don’t always know when the end is near. Sometimes you don’t even know when you’ve reached a conclusion until hindsight later on makes it clear. Some endings are cataclysmic; some just flow on the trickle of time: think early-phase volcanism or the slow erosion of high mountain peaks.

Yet so many times post-conclusion, there is evidence left behind of what once was. It’s the chimney of a house long since gone. It’s the shards of glass that escaped the broom. It’s the knowledge gained from experience that says, “don’t do that again.”

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