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Sunset, swags and womanhood

We had five swags, three daughters approaching a new stage in life, a fire and a horizon as big and flat as you can imagine. Lightning decorated the far skyline as my friend and I talked over some of the changes that come up in a girls life, or a womans. Sure, we had to duck for cover once as the desert threw rain at us, but it lasted only as long as it took to run to the ute for cover. The moisture caught the sunset, throwing its apricot colour around us in great bursts. After good conversation, nurturing, hot chocolate and more chocolate, the girls had tucked themselves into their swags, nestling happily into a crack between the rocks.

Feeling proud of ourselves for our womanly guiding hands, we let the fire die down to a safe level before climbing off the rock slabs into our own swags. I didn’t mention my concerns about the dingoes as we sank onto our mattresses. I’m sure the scuffling I heard nearby was just kangaroos. My eyes felt as though they had barely closed when I woke to thumps of rain. I curled up beneath the canvas as so many have done before me, willing the rain away. Eventually it passed, and I raised a soggy head to the sky beyond.

The lightning that split the sky lit up the next rain bank. I estimated we had about ten minutes before it hit. Lying down on our swags, we were the highest thing in thousands of hectares besides the car. We ran. No-one had ever scaled rocks as quickly as I did, I felt the lightning burning on my heels. We scooped up the disgruntled sleeping girls, then scrambled our way back, throwing swags on the back of the ute and pushing the girls inside. Lightning sheeted and forked all around us as we drove home, thunder rolled and rain pelted down in fat bursts, my foot pressedĀ firmĀ onto the accelerator. As I delivered the girls into the sleeping house around 2am, I ducked through bolts of light to collect the swags before collapsing in a sodden shaking mess. I guess at least the girls will remember it…p1080406