When I want to remember Northbridge Baths
, the pool in Middle Harbour
where I spent all my summers as a child, I think of the deep green water connecting to the trees like relatives.
The scent of the salt and the sweet smell of the bush.
The orange lane ropes we crashed into as we raced.
The incoming tide trickling over my feet.
The movement of the blocks when we jumped down at low tide.
The warmth of the chrome shining silver in the sun.
The sharpness of the oyster shells clinging to the concrete pylons like a beehive
The laugh of a kookaburra in the trees above the baths.
The slippery jelly blubbers we threw at each other and the schools of fish circling our feet.
The rocks poking through the sand when we stood on our hands.
The splash rising above the boardwalk after a bomb.
The mullet, bream and blackfish we shared the water with.
The white masts of the yachts standing tall in Sailors Bay
The exotic way Col, the tanned-like leather manager said my name when I bought Redskins at the shop.
And the way the salt water held me when I floated on my back.