This afternoon I spent 2 hours sitting in the wet grass in Camperdown Rest Memorial Park, ostensibly reading a book on environmental economics. In reality I was watching my community go about its business.
There were dogs. Big dogs plodding along beside their owners, kelpies avidly chasing tennis balls, young dogs jumping on older dogs while those older dogs placidly put up with it, small dogs chasing each other round and round and puppies learning how to behave in the company of other dogs and falling over their own feet. I had three dogs come and jump in my lap to say hello.
There were birds. Lots of noisy mynahs feasting on the flying ants. A kookaburra was calling in the distance. Pairs of pigeons and lorikeets flew overhead as the sun went down. A lone swallow flew overhead at one stage.
There were people. Walking, cycling, playing rounders, reading books (me), chatting with each other about their dogs, and generally appreciating the outdoors.
There were insects. Flies and flying ants that seemed to be attracted to the red object at the top of the hill (me).
There were clouds. Storm clouds off in the distance dumping lots of rain on Drummoyne, with lightning flashing at odd intervals. Cumulus clouds off to my left, scudding over the sky, the sun trying to break through and display the colours of sunset.
There was the smell and itchiness of the wet grass and the joy and fun and simplicity of watching people living their lives.