{9::365} watch with glittering eyes


The crispness of early morning still hangs in the air as we fill our water bottles and load up the daypack. Slowly we wind our way up, from our river-side camp at the bottom of the valley, to the ridge wishing across the top of the Great Dividing Range. Air conditioner off, windows down, the whoo-hoop of the whip birds echoing above the chatter of our small explorers as we find the start point of our walk. Binoculars, part of a well-chosen Christmas gift, rotate between the two big boys, and then land around the neck of Miss Four. Her freshly minted role of lookout is taken very seriously, a little call of “mummy! Wait!” halting my progress every few steps, followed by a scrabble of little feet against the gravel, and a hand against my elbow, as she steadies herself. She stares intently through the lenses, along the path, then to each side, before pointing them straight down, and then, letting them drop, she looks up at me with those big brown eyes. ” ‘sok, mummy, there’s no snakes,” and we are off again, for a few steps at least, until another snake check is interrupted by a rock catching her eye, and we hang back while daddy & the boys walk ahead. She investigates, as I revel in the joy of seeing the world through her eyes, where everything is magical and full of wonder, where even the most ordinary rock is worth a closer look.

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