We’ve all hated our freckles. I remember many children labelling them as their worst feature, and I was included in that tally. They are the epitome of an Australian childhood spent playing in a relentless summer, blemishes that will never truly fade. In winter they dimmed down with dreary temperatures but come the hot weather and the spots would come back in all their speckled glory. I hated them throughout my younger years. I felt too childish. I never learned to use make-up. My round face and freckly cheeks reminded me of a slowly rotting apple with spots of mould. I never liked myself as a child.

Now, however, I don’t mind them. Over time they have faded but once in awhile I see them in clusters, particularly in the space below of my eyes. I never thought of the stories they tell and how many blue skies I was witnessing. Each beige speck is a reminder of how I explored and sought out what, at the time, was a monolithic mystery. What was in the bird’s nest? Were there shells at the bottom of the rock pools? How fast could I take the hill in my beat-up push bike? I’ve seen a good deal but have a great deal more to go. It’s all about moving forward and looking towards the sun, allowing the freckles to dot your cheeks and chest and shoulders.

It seems growing older makes you wiser but sappier. Oh well.