Here we are – almost at the end, we hope, of Melbourne’s stage four lockdown, in a tough, tough year. Spring is shimmering in the air and the daily virus numbers are dropping, and we ask ourselves – can we allow hope, are we almost ‘there’ – wherever there is?

I can’t answer this – I expect most of us won’t until stage four is over. But I’m going to indulge myself in dreaming up the pleasures of life that I will never again take for granted …

  • I want to hear the sound of my kids playing with other kids. Their whole world has been shrunk to the size of our house.
  • Wine by a fire in someone else’s backyard.
  • A long drive. With podcasts and open roads, and new vistas and places, which rolls onto:
  • A holiday – an Airbnb in the forest, where you can look out a window and see only trees.
  • School. Oh yes, this would tick a lot of boxes – I could work without interruption and not battle with keeping a pre-schooler and early primary schooler on zoom calls and learning division whilst feeding pets, ordering groceries and fending off work emails.
  • Libraries. Oh, libraries, and free books, and sitting somewhere quiet for a bit, and being transported even further away through the pages of a new book.
  • Shops – our brief, rather stressed runs to the supermarket can be happily replaced with slow perusals at all the local businesses again: bookshops, op shops and homewares I can’t afford.
  • Picnics. With several friends and a shared blanket.
  • Long conversations with mates, in person, in a restaurant, with delicious food I didn’t cook.
  • Visiting a beach, which is most definitely more than 5km from here.
  • Family time, seeing grandparents and cousins and uncles and aunties.
  • A hug (or even just a good back pat!) with loved ones outside of our family of four.

Funnily enough, dreaming up future plans is the theme of my new book. Welcome, Baby, to This World was written and illustrated by me just before this crazy Covid life began, and it’s all about a parent’s dreams and plans for their child:

Welcome, baby, to this world

Lashes long and fingers curled.

Dreaming stories for our years 

Whispered words to tiny ears.

It is all about the love built through tiny adventures and moments, like gumboot walks and skimming rocks and watching the moon rise. And while I appreciate tiny, beautiful moments are still here, it seems like a good time to dream bigger as a new season approaches. One thing I know for sure – I’ll be so grateful for the things I missed, both big and small, once they’re returned.

This is an edited version of an article first published by Better Reading.