Playing hooky


forest 2

forest 3

wattle 2

forest 1

wattle 1

wattle 3

I found a forest!

Well, not really, it was more like a tiny clump of trees. Jane Austen would probably have called it a copse, or something. But in any case it was green and gloomy in the best of ways, and the pine-needles that softened my every foot-fall were made maculate by patches of sun blossoming over the shade.

Yesterday Winter played dress-ups as Spring, and it was the most glorious day you could ever see. All morning, I kept leaving my tiny cupboard of a windowless office to see what the garden was making of this gift of a day.

(Here is the tally: two more daffodils burst into bloom, bringing the total to three; tiny buds appeared all over the once-bare pomegranate tree; the daphne bush tossed perfume willy-nilly into the temperate air; and the snowflakes? the snowflakes burst into bloom by the hundreds.)

And then I would go back into my study and work some more. Read, research, write. Carefully crafted words, self-editing, crafting some more.

But my heart was in the sunshine, in the unexpected warmth of the breeze. And, by mid-afternoon, I couldn’t take it any more. I hit “save” on my unfinished story and stepped out into the day, into that false, imaginary spring, and went exploring.

I let my feet take me wherever they would, following parks linked within parks like chains, all over north Melbourne. I foraged wattle and snow-gum leaves and gumnuts, and then I walked some more. When I found the tiny forest, I sat down on the soft, dry pine-needles, closed my eyes, and breathed in the silence.

Breathed it in, breathed it out. In again, out.

As I walked home, carrying my basket of leaves and flowers, it was with a lightness that would suggest I, too, had put on Spring for a day. Even the work that was waiting for me at home, which endured well into the night, could not dampen my spirits. I put my botanical bounty into a big old jug, and got typing.


  • Petrina

    Hello an hello my friend,

    I call you friend as you have brought me the gift of your wonderful – and happy story.

    Today was a bear, oh wait, that was me as I could not get out of my own way. Lots and more was going wrong but all seems better as you sent the ray of sun.

    ‘So let the sunshine in – face it with a grin – smilers never lose – and frowners never win.’

    Keep up the great stories they just draw me in and I hate to read.

    Happy thoughts,

  • Linda Kazel

    Hi Naomi, I’m new to your blog. I’m sitting here in my piney woods in northern New York State’s Adirondack Park giggling and feeling a bit of the fool. I didn’t realize you are in Australia so when you mentioned heading into Spring, my brain disassembled for a second because here we are heading toward fall. Your post was lovely to read especially because I too anticipate seeing the delicate beauty of Spring’s gifts after our dark and very snowy winters. Thank you.

    • Naomi Bulger

      Thank you for your lovely comment Linda! In truth, I am jealous of your dark and snowy winters. One of the things I loved most about living in New York (even the city) was how marked the seasons were, each one with its own beauty, and providing something to look forward to in the next.

  • Romana

    A Daphne bush, that fragrance is amazing isn’t it! You have such a wonderful way with words. I believe following that spirit to wander is as important for your work as actually sitting at your computer! Loved tagging along.

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