After eight months the travel out of the Latrobe Valley was truly welcome. We all needed a break from each other's company. The borders between states had lifted. Grab the time before something else happens.
Somewhere at the periphery of my brain the "you've got to say goodbye that past friendship Susan." Leaving here at 4pm would make it dark by the time Bairnsdale rolled past. In all my sixty years this would be the first friend to have past away. Thirty-three years had gone with the bridge of friendship now just not humanly crossable. Cindy knew this and therefore, of the two routes possible, this was the one that she chose to drive.
Between the last three months of 2019, and the first four of 2020 there had been the massive bush fires that raped the Australian countryside.
We were to travel East, then Northeast. Most of this nearing a full moon and through the countryside where so much changed from the last time our own family had traveled along those roads. Even the roads had changed. No longer was there those stone-filled two-laned dirt tracks that we'd traveled along.
Instead, Martin Meyzies, the friend who had passed away, had been one of the crew who'd help carve out the federal roads through and around the continent. Sitting at the kitchen table last year I'd listened to some of the antis of a life at times behind the dozer crews.
Martin had helped me laugh and smile again after so much had happened in my own personal life.
Travelling along these roads and in the moonlight seeing what was described by a four-year-old after fires had ripped through the countryside where I still live [in early 2009] as bush fires raged through memories of a healing came. A young girl had been with her mother and seeing the new growth she'd been so honest...." Look mummy the gum trees have sleeping bags".
And so they did.
As the moonbeams coming through the clouds the harsh realities of the bush fire's a few months ago, and the loss of Martin was intertwined. The cushion of "Moonbeams, and sleeping bags" around this " roughshod gentleman of the bush" precious Gum Trees was exactly as it was needed to be.
To say goodbye to that type of friendship sometimes you need a friend to take you there.