Next door to our home here in Mitchell, in outback Queensland, grows a tall palm tree. It towers above every other tree in the neighbourhood and as a result, is a distinct landmark.
By day, its fronds bask in the sunshine that falls so generously from a wide blue sky. By night, the full moon bathes its fronds in a silvery sheen.
When westerly winds whip across inland Australia, gathering their load of pollen and dust particles from the Channel Country, they arrive in Mitchell unwanted, unloved. Hayfever and other allergies escalate: the fronds of 'my' palm tree toss with anxiety -- but do not break.
What I love most of all, however, occurs at sunrise -- also sunset. 'My' palm tree captures the first and last rays of the sun, lighting up like a lantern -- welcoming the new day, and farewelling the last few moments of daylight.