Copyright 2013 Tarla Kramer
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When I was small, we lived in New Zealand and the smell of cool damp forest always brings me back to my earliest memories. I was four when we returned to Adelaide. I was shocked to find I did not actually belong to nice, green New Zealand and my parents told me my real home was this dry place of yellow grass.
My son’s first memories will come when he smells rain on hot, dry earth. We moved to Alice Springs just before his second birthday as the spring rains were beginning. We would stand under the eaves during the downpour and enjoy the privilege of not having to get out of the rain. I learnt that the rain came most often if there was a tropical smell in the early morning. It was a surer guide than trusting the weather people, who didn’t seem to have a clue. I also learnt that to be considered local, you had to have seen the Todd River flow three times, a score which I notched up in my first two months. It was the Greenhouse Effect, the experts said, and that wet spring was hardly normal. It took until early December before the place started to dry out again.