I am up on Dad’s shoulders: one leg on either side of his head, both hands wrapped around his chin. We start at the house, and fly past the Japanese lantern plant; past the swan plant, with the stripy caterpillars and the cocoons waiting to hatch; down by the big shed, tangles of passionfruit vine cascading down its sides; between the fruit trees and their accompanying scents (lemon, feijoa, apple, peach); we reach the back fence, touch it. There are sheep on the other side, and when we are not running, we count them, but there is no time to do that now: as soon as we tap the fence, Dad whips back around and starts down our route again.
His beard is prickly under my fingers. Sometimes he makes aeroplane noises while he runs, taking each of my arms and spreading them out like wings. I let the sensation of soaring rush over me, the crisp, dusk air surging into my face; I tilt my head upwards, giggling at the thrill of being so high off the ground, bum getting sore from the ride. Our garden, blooming and endless, is a single blur below me as we run, and every time we stop for a break, there are more clues that the day is ending: less and less of the sinking sun, the sky a darker shade of blue; the waft of the pork roast inside, the murmur of the six o’clock news.