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Aunty Gracia The Story

Page 3

Helen Braun

Pretty soon afterwards there was a big getogether up at the farm on the hill. A cool night eve after all day heat, breezes wafting hay scent from paddocks of yellowed summer grasses. A multitude of loosened thistle downs drifted in the dusk air catching in our hair, circling in eddies around our feet and chairs. Everyone came, with food galore, icy beers gingered brown and sandwich mounds and cakes of round soft sponge and bowls of summer strawberries and sweet sultana grapes. And of course, Aunty Gracia was there, her tight curled hair in loose bun up, gleam eyes of delight, all smiley, all graceful movement of laugh. 

When last kitchen sink suds subsided over plates and bowls and cutlery and all was dried up and packed away, the cases and bags sitting quietly in the corners murmured to be pulled forward, unpacked, set up. Banjo mandolin, fiddles, flutes of wood and tin, squeeze boxes flat drums played side on, big guitars and small and paper on hair combs that anyone could blurt play with grand encouragement. And the singing of tunes of melodies spilling songs of togetherness, where the strongest voice of sweetest deep soul was the voice of Aunty Gracia.

And man oh man, could she sing. And play the guitar. And play the fiddle. So together, we tune communed with Aunty Garcia’s sure sung singing, followed her lead, her resonant vibrant notes low and pure. And we singing too, loud hearty, soft resonance to crash shout notes, looping weaving in and out amongst her songs. And we playing too. And sung harmonies, some so low becoming breathless undertones. And higher notes twisting dancing, turning with soul spark delight. And any discordance would just end up laid over with tones high flavoured of hilarity and raucous laughter.

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