As we drove from Orange to Molong, the sun finally set.
Dusk didn't fall, but rather folded itself around the gentle slopes and sinuous valleys of the central tablelands.
Every scent heightened as the wind dropped, in solemn acknowledgement of the on-coming night.
The sweet, warm smell of cattle began to seep through into the car, mingled with the more herbaceous aroma of roadside daisies, crops and weeds. Somewhere near the top of this rich, comforting, home-like bouquet was the woolly smell of lanolin as a scattering of sheep lay them down to rest.
The lights of the city had long faded, and at last, familiar stars began to replace them. At my right side as I drove, a nameless constellation pricked out its place in the blanket of the night, and I recalled its presence at the bedroom windows of my past, a fixed point of reflection as I fell asleep. That rocket-like shape had peered at me from afar for so many years, but recently, I had lost sight of it, as it was replaced for a decade by kilometres and kilometres of suburbs, sparkling into distance, meeting the shining centrepoints of the city.
To think I had worried I would not find new places to go and sit and be!
How strange that I had looked ahead with regret to the loss of my quiet bay in the harbour, not for its rough beauty alone, but because I feared it could never be replaced with any other equal prospects to calm the soul and soothe the mind.
So many anxieties have crowded in these past few weeks, at the very least stalking me on the dream-trails if not in waking life. To be torn apart by my own hand from my quiet bay was bad enough, but to also be separated from friends old and new, the comfort of their presence assuring me of their love, this rift has opened up an ocean of inner agony.
But you will comfort and walk with me. You are always with me. Your rod and your staff. You will graciously provide everything, as you already have. You know my needs, you love me, and you desire good things for me.
You put those stars there loooooooooong ago, and they will guide me in the darkest night.
I just needed to see them again, and be reminded.