I see myself on rocky hillside, deep with boulders and scrub, yellow with heat and attrition. Skanky yellow soil, eroded by washaway gullies. I build a shelter out of corrugated iron and the scribbly gums that grow down by the creek where the gullies fall. I build a pit toilet and a compost heap. Slowly, slowly I scrape a track down to the ford where the jeep can get over the jumbled river rocks that have billabonged along the low ground.
The sun rises over the crest line in the east, morning light cascading through the ash and casuarinas that straddled the ridge until the daytime heat turns the day white. I rise early and gather the water from the creek, walking back I water the plants I’ve begun to grow in the spring. I boil the water on the small cast iron stove and I pour coffee into an enamel tin mug while watching the currawongs on their dawn hunt for grubs.
I keep a goat and a dog. I plant trees foreign and indigenous, for fruit and shade. I spread my refuse out over the flat bit to the north of the creek and grow eggplant, beans, potato, cucumber and beetroot. I harvest each spring and store my vegetables in oil and vinegar I keep in big sealed tubs. Over months I dig a small reservoir into the heights using the rocks as buttresses and begin to irrigate. I rise early every morning, calm and assured. I work each day until three, working on my shelter, my garden, my dam.
I build a distillery and make potato spirit that I mix with lemon and sugar. Each afternoon I fill my enamel mug with this vile wine and wander down to the creek where I rest my feet in the cool waters and watch the tadpoles scurry through the ponds. As the sun falls I smoke my weed and rest up, cooking more eggplant and potato and beans. Then I listen to the deft movements of the darkness and drift away into sleep.
This is what I desire. I desire it for quiet.