How to be in January (in Tassie)

Basin Concert, Launceston Gorge 3.30pm New Year’s Day
Basin Concert, Launceston Gorge, 9.30pm New Year’s Night

Just be lizard-lazy in January. The month lets you: go with it. With Christmas frenzy put away, these are the days to slop into holidays, live more at the beach, plan only picnics, sprawl in the shade of a tree on cool grass, whip clouds into shapes with just your imagination. Slow down.

            Tune in to what David Malouf calls “the insect-simmer of grass”.

January is when a sense of Australia comes into its own. We play. Relax. Read books. Go to festivals. Find our nature by lingering. Being ourselves. It’s a month we dream of all year. We close our eyes and see striped-towels on white sand; cool beads of sea clinging to warmed-up skin; ice cream rivers dripping down chins; toes unfurling into thongs… It’s okay to be messy, eat with your fingers.

Bodies arc into the crests of waves, get cupped into hammocks. Here in Tasmania, twilight lasts so long it almost butts up to next morning’s dawn. Resting makes sense of the day when it lasts this long.

Now’s not the time to think too hard or else the innocence of a new year will be lost. This month is a route to reliving childhoods when life seemed simpler, less full of rules or plans. When the hay’s away, take off. Get to the shack, go camping, make the most of the only month of the year that’s school-free; the month when life can teach us. Be a lizard. Joyous January.

Published in Country Style, January 2015

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