Lest we forget….

Someone else is living in the Zen house now. I am in the back of a camper van at Yallingup beach, WA. Clearly I remember the old drawers and cupboards that sprinkled the saucepans with fine jarrah-dust; the wood-fire stove beside the little modern one; his tall jars of rice, barley, almonds and puffed spelt and second-hand bowls – dusty blue, sage green and scrambled-egg yellow – crowded with apples, onions and tomatoes. He had bought new placemats for my first visit, along with tea-light votives for the bathroom and a new tea-pot. These were acts of extravagance for a minimalist in every area except books and survival skills. His RM Williams hat is beside my pillow. I wore it to the Anzac Day service at Mullalyup this morning. As I was driving along, I saw the pipe band and stopped – the locals kindly welcomed me – the march was about to begin from the apple packing shed to the memorial about 60 metres down the road. There were perhaps twenty of us plus the band of eight. Everyone cared. I was invited twice to morning tea but his presence was too sorely missed. He would have stayed for sure – right up his street. I heard from his army mate Chris who was missing him too. I thought of my dad leading the band with his drum in Gundagai, and my pa, George Elliott, veteran of Gallipoli and mum’s beautiful olive and rosemary wreath made in his memory every year. And there was his medal that I lost last year at Charlie Gairdner hospital. But then G bought me a beautiful moonstone to take its place. It was a day of remembering.

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