It is windy. Not just windy. Howling. Pull-you-from-your-feet-windy. Umbrella-inside-out-windy. Skirt-up-around-your-ears-windy. Trees roots are holding on tight whilst their branches and leaves flail about. I am safe in my stone house. It has stood for a hundred years. Compared to weatherboard cottages I have lived in, I feel unflustered. You know the ones that creak and grind like they are about to be blown off their stumps. I cannot be swept up. Inside we huddle. After school television. Marinating chicken in red wine. So different from a week ago when we were on the beach at Rottnest, worrying about too much sun.
Storm-phobic dogs dose up on your Xanax.
I think of the Three Little Pigs. I think of their house of straw. Their house of sticks. All could be blown down by a Huff and a Puff. But not the stone house. Instead through the chimney, he came. Only to be boiled in the pot.
But outside the weather is fierce. And real critters must contend.
There is a Willy Wag tail nest in our Robinia. It has three pink-mouthed chicks in it. They are all greedy beak, stretchy neck. The Robinia’s pretty soft leaves are whisked into a green frenzy. A fluorescent green feather boa. Bits of her are torn away from the trunk. The babies in their nest must feel like a cork at sea. They are buffeted. Endlessly. What can their parents do? They fly back and forth with the insects they have caught. The red mouths gape open. Don’t lean out little ones!
I ask Graham, “Can you check the willy wag tails?” He looks up, searchingly. “Oh No,” he says, peering up. “I can’t see the nest.” He looks down and scans the garden. He looks up again. After all it is small and the tree is flinging about.
“No. The nest is still there.” He calls back, relieved. It is wedged into the fork of two skinny branches. It is deep and cupped. It is no flimsy structure.
Hang in there babies.