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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hum (06/06/13)

TITLE: That magical harbour again.
By Kon Michailidis


When it begun to rain lightly, what seemed like an appealing idea to sit outdoors to have a coffee and watch the seascape, moored boats on the beach and ferries coming and going, lost all its merit. It was then that we noticed a ferry at the wharf that gave us the opportunity to return to the city, have a coffee somewhere there and not lose time waiting around at the wharf later for a ferry.

Alighting the ferry, we discovered that most of the seats were already taken and it was difficult to find two vacant together. We found them just before a woman tried to grab them for herself.

The large vessel reversed with a roar of its engines for about 200 yards, turned and then straightened out on its course across the harbour to Circular Quay. The roaring stopped and the engines quietened to a subdued, constant, relaxing hum.

The man sitting across from me was tall. His long, blonde, curly, straggly hair in need of a wash was poking out the sides of a woollen beanie. He placed his mobile phone against the window to take a shot of the bridge from a distance.
I remarked to my wife: "I wonder why a local would take photos of the bridge with a mobile phone through rain-covered windows?"
She replied " Perhaps he just likes the effect through the window."

My gaze rested on the wet windows and I fell to studying them. We were now travelling at top knots. The engine was humming along and the water was very calm. Outside, fine rain was falling uniformly and all the windows took on the appearance of metal sieves. The speed of the ferry, combined with the breeze outside, created a strong wind that blew in one direction across the glass. Many of the fine droplets gathered together into large beads that looked exactly like tadpoles with wiggling tails, swimming in the direction of the wind and disappearing off the glass. They left trails in their path all across the glass.

It was now almost 5pm on this winter's day. What had been the queen's birthday holiday long weekend was drawing to a peaceful end as people were returning home. The water sparkled a rosy pink between the ripples. As I looked up to the west, I saw this was due to the dark pink sunset colours covering that part of the sky like a blanket. Even the queen's famous coronation crown never sparkled like those jewels that danced in the water.

My peaceful reverie was unexpectedly interrupted by high-pitched, excited squeals of a small African boy. He had found himself a friend and they were running around the inside of the ferry, greatly enjoying chasing each other. The friend's mother managed to quieten him and stop the noisy play by giving them a banana to eat.

The ferry landed at the quay, the humming of the engine stopped and we disembarked. I could hear an aboriginal playing his didgeridoo to the accompaniment of a CD. I saw him sitting on the ground in a loin cloth, body painted, and with his long didgeridoo extended in front of him. The only part of his body that moved as he played was his chest muscles that twitched at his sides as he pumped air into his instrument, never removing his mouth from the large, round opening.

Winter in Sydney is warm! Warm enough for naked aboriginals to show their culture to passing tourists .....and to eat ice cream. We quickly found the stand that sold our favourite. I had two scoops: macadamia with caramel, and rum and raisin. My wife chose blueberry and hazelnut. The next ten minutes were totally lost in the enjoyment of those ice creams as we quietky strolled on the quay's promenade.

We then boarded another ferry along the Parramatta River to where our car was parked and were home soon after dark.

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)

I heard no loud singing that day, but was quieted by His love...... and His very loud humming.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 06/19/13
I felt like I was with you on your trip:) Awesome!
Sunny Loomis 06/19/13
Good descriptions. Thank you.