A year ago I met Paul and we began a conversation that has never really stopped. He is that rare person, someone who can listen. My thoughts rise up to meet his and together we do some remarkable journeying of the mind.
He is interested in absolutely everything and meandering along the river on a sunny afternoon we make forays into astronomy, the habits of birds, geology, the formation of fossils, the technical aspects of photography, botany, history and..
... well, it took us three hours to complete a forty-five minute walk. We had to keep stopping to clamber up or down to look at trees, fungi, rocks, bugs, spiders.
We stopped and took numerous photos of leaves and flowers to identify later. I have a new giant book of Tasmanian flora, and am so happy to meet someone who can stand still long enough for me to count the petals on tiny flowers.
We spent twenty minutes walking back and forth trying to discover the source of an elusive scent that reminded Paul of travels in the Daintree, and also of coffee. We discovered later that it was the scent of the Stinkwood bush, which made me very happy indeed.
Tiny beautiful things cause us to stop completely in our tracks. A pink robin, fish finning lazily in the pool below the waterfall, skinks in the sun, tiny cup-shaped lichen.
I am continually delighted by Paul's own delight in every lovely and fascinating leaf and rock and creature and cloud and shaft of sunlight. If there is a single thing on this planet that doesn't interest Paul, I have yet to find it.