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  • Writer's pictureDamian Robb

morning pages | 25/04/2023

We have a lime. Small and round and green. It’s rind, pleasantly smooth and firm, it’s insides wet and plumb. This was a lime ten years in the making.

Time is such a funny thing. It feels like rock. Like it’s constant and consistent, stubborn and solid, but is more like rubber. It moves and bends, stretches and contracts, so that it’s impossible to give it shape. Our perception causes it to change constantly, like an optical illusion, it can look completely different based on the point of view of the observer.

Ten years ago, I was physically in the same place, in the same house, in the same body. I was me, but not the me of today. I took a scroll through google photos to remember what that me of ten years ago was doing. Before clicking on that pinwheel icon the memories of that year seemed hazy and blurred and distant, but then there they were, writ large on my screen in colourful pixels. And I was back there. That jump as easy as a click of a mouse. I scrolled through the year, remembering the parts I had thought to photograph. Holly resting her head on a sleeping kangaroo at an animal park in Ballarat; meeting Annabelle, the first of my nieces and nephews, at the hospital, tiny and round and squishy; a hot pot with friends; a trip to Healesville with my family; a birthday in a park and another at a chocolate themed cafe; then a trip to South America to see the year off. Before that click it felt like a lifetime ago. Now it feels like yesterday. It is both of those things.

I like to picture all the past me’s overlapping each other in this house. Layers and layers of us all moving from room to room, reading and resting and doing and being. All valid and existing even if I can only perceive the present me currently writing this, a me that will soon join the others as time moves forward and I become some as yet unknown future iteration of myself. Sometimes it feels as if I could step sideways and once again be looking out of the eyes of a past me. That the impenetrable boulder of time is actually permeable and as easy to pass through as clicking a mouse. I have yet to figure out the trick of it.

Through all those iterations of me, through all that time passing and memories forming and things happening, that lime was growing. The tree itself first belonged to my brother, Jonathan, a housewarming gift that he ended up accidentally gifting to us when he thought he was moving overseas for a year only to instead fall in love and start a family. Since then it’s sat in a pot in our concrete laden backyard, weathering sun and rain and neglect. It held on through all that, and in the past year, Holly has made a concerted effort to give it more TLC and, as with most things, that effort has been rewarded. We have a lime.

Funnily, amazingly, coincidentally, when we messaged Jonathan, now living in Austria, a fact that felt impossible ten years ago, to tell him about his once plant’s fruit, he replied to tell us that he had in fact just sold the house the lime tree had been a housewarming present for. It felt strangely appropriate.

As for the lime, we cut through its smooth firm rind to get to its wet and plumb insides. We sliced it up, took a wedge, squeezed out some of the juice and dropped the rest into a glass with whisky and soda.

It was worth the wait.


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