he says. Silence.
I suspect I am the only person who understands what the person making that statement means. There are a number of us standing on the verandah of his present home. We are looking out over the valley. It dips down to a creek and then rises up in a perfect curve to the paddock with the sheep in it. They are grazing quietly. There are gum trees scattered on either side of that paddock. There are several willows by the creek. There is rough grass.
We all manage to ignore the electricity pylons to our left and the main road some distance to the right.
"That's the village," he responds to another question and gives himself away again. Here in Australia it is a "town". It is considered to be a reasonable size.
Years ago this man married an Australian girl. They have come out here after years of not-quite-nagging, hints, not-so-gentle-suggestions, requests and almost-demands from her parents. Oh yes, they are happy enough - for the moment. What makes it bearable for him is the thought that they will go back.
"I am enjoying the country," he tells someone else, "There are some lovely bush walks and the scenery is amazing."
Again, it sounds as if this is merely a working holiday for him. Other people ask him questions and I can see him struggling to give honest but diplomatic answers. He is that sort of man. He does not want to hurt anyone's feelings by appearing to be less than enthusiastic about being here.
Later we happened to find ourselves standing alone for a moment and he said to me,
"You know the light is different here. The colours are different."
"Yes, you're right. The colours are harsher - the greens are yellow greens aren't they?"
"Yes, that's it. I thought you understood what I was talking about. The greens look wrong."
"There needs to be another word for it."
"Yes - I bet the aboriginals have more than one word for it."
"Almost certainly - although I have no idea what the words would be."
"I think," he tells me, "that is what is wrong. I don't understand the language of this landscape."
"You will go back eventually won't you?"
"Yes - but don't tell her parents that. They think we are here to stay - that it is home. I suppose it is = for now."
Yes, it is home - for now - and it will never be home at all. Some people never fit into some landscapes.
I understand that only too well.