Occasionally in life you find a scene which is so powerful that you have no suitable words to describe the effect it is having on you. It is something akin to being deeply in love,

We lean on the rail at the viewing point and find it hard to fully absorb the immensely powerful scene. One of Leonie’s workmates had told her to grab the chance to visit Kuranda on the scenic railway because Barron Falls was at it’s majestic best. Only when the ‘wet’ has been in progress for a while and the mass of water begins to drain off the Atherton Tableland do the falls look this spectacular. At other times of the year it is a mere trickle, hardly worthy of the title waterfall. But today is one of our very special moments and we just gape.

I feel the sweaty lookout rail in my palms, it is a hot day, my body is thrilled with this view, enervating my hands. I realise that I am gripping the rail white knuckle hard as I scan the falls, tension across my shoulders. Waterfalls are difficult to describe in detail. The water pulses in places with random larger eruptions. The eye tries to focus on one part and follows the falling water quickly downward, however that part is quickly replaced by another lurching press of water that looks the same and draws the eyes back up. My eyes flicker over the scene unable to rest.

Despite being some distance from the falls the air is moist with invisible droplets wafting onto everything in the area. When I put my hand up to my hair it feels like damp candy floss. Another incredible aspect is the rainbow. Depending on the density of the water vapour it appears ethereal, like a vision from an engineered light show. The experience becomes surreal as my mind sinks into the view.

Leonie at my side breathes. ‘Spectacular Johnno. Imagine being a salmon and trying to leap up that lot!’

Later, after a fabulous day at Kuranda and an equally brilliant journey back down on the scenic railway, we stop by the Real Estate office to pick up the keys to our new home. We had earned enough money on Green Island to rent a place, one third of a stilted Queenslander house. When we inspected it yesterday it didn’t look fantastic but it would be a roof over our heads and it was cheap. A typical fully furnished property with a grubby bed, grubby couches, greasy kitchen, worn carpets, mouldy bathroom and grimy toilet. We are young though and had to put up with worse on Green Island, we can handle this place.

We carry our packs up the ladder steps to the door, swing open the old screen and enter. It is dingy and hot inside, a place that I know will irk me. The house has a wrap-around verandah and that is where I intend to be when I feel hemmed in. The ‘wet’ is hot and sticky, I mean really sticky and sleeping at night is difficult if there are no fans or air-conditioning. This house has neither and the bedroom only has a small window.

Still it is home for now. Leonie sets about sorting a salad for supper and I go to explore the garden. It is interesting to me that the 3 kids playing around the house are Aboriginal. They are attractive kids with ginger blonde streaks in their dreadlocky hair. The garden is well overgrown, the grass is knee high. I find a bbq setting, plastic table and chairs. I head back to help Leonie with the meal so we can sit out there to eat.

The kids follow me back up into the house and are babbling amongst themselves. Their Aussie twang is so strong that I can barely make head nor tail of what they are saying. One lad of about 8 keeps tugging on my elbow and says.

‘Mubil un thems misistas Moibl and Frain. (insert *shaking head* here) Wotsya noimz digga?’ He repeats this and I just smile at him.

He keeps looking at me while the girls go over to Leonie and pick up some of the food to help her prepare the salad. How strange, yet refreshing, the way these kids naturally accept us. We are humans, they are humans and their world obviously one of sharing.

Leonie is great with kids and asks them if they want to eat with us. They have become part of our ‘family’ in an instant. We all go out, the children carry some juice and crockery from the kitchen cupboard. There are only two chairs so the kids just settle in the grass. We hand around the food, they take what they want. Leonie and I knock the top off a couple of stubbies and do a clinkers. The girls have me giggling as they raise their glasses.  ‘Cheeas moit,’ one of them says.

I notice an aboriginal lady standing near our front steps looking on. The lady speaks to the kids and they respond quite casually. ‘Weyowroit Mum. Avin dinna eyar.’

My head is in a spin with this place already.

Kids names are Bill, Mabel and Fran

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