I grew up in outback Australia. Not just country Australia, outback Australia. A land full of red dirt, magnificent hills, surprising oasis’, birdsong and trees. Covered in a sky, so big and so clean that you felt anything was possible. There is a silence out there, the kind of silence that resonates so deep in your bones you would swear you could hear the Earth’s heartbeat. A gentle, steady pulse, pulse, pulse. The hills and trees and wildlife almost vibrate in time with her.
We had horses and dogs, chickens and goats, a pig at one stage, and 36 000 head of sheep. All snuggled into 1 and a half million acres. Our electricity was supplied via a windmill, the mail truck delivered our supplies once a week and our food was cooked in a wood oven, rain, hail or shine, that wood box had to be filled with stumps cut ready to burn.
My other half and I went camping on the weekend. Threw the swags in the back, grabbed some steaks, piled the dog in and off we went. The only real plan we had was we knew we wanted to stay on the banks of the Murray River. Another sacred place for me, for reasons I don’t quite understand, but she draws me to her like a moth to a flame.
We found out spot. Set up camp and parked ourselves on the banks of the river under some beautiful gum trees, surrounded by reeds. It didn’t matter that there were jetski’s and ski boats roaring past us. Everyone one on the boats were laughing and enjoying themselves. Besides, the silence of the country is so loud you can still feel it regardless. I don’t understand why she calls to me so strongly, but sitting there on the earth watching the water flow by I didn’t care. I was in my happy place. There is something majestic and soulful about river water, different to the ocean. The ocean is more powerful and calls for adventure. By the time that drop of water I am looking at floats past me, it has travelled more that 2000 km’s, almost at the end of its journey to the ocean.
That drop of water fell into the river high in the Snowy Mountains, it has wandered past log cabins, dairy farms, through open plains of space, through fruit orchards and past the homes of thousands of people. It has seen tadpoles hatch, been landed on by majestic pelicans, glimpsed enormous Murray Cod that are ancient and savvy. People have ski-ed over it, sailed on it, fished in it and farmed with it. And yet there it goes, ambling past me with not a care in the world, just on it’s journey.
Jetski’s and boats are packed up before dark, campers are cooking their dinner and you can hear the splash of water as fish jump to catch theirs. Now it’s really silent, and the sky opens up. Have you got any idea just how many stars there are in our sky? Oh my goodness, so many it feels like a blanket. That little fissure of excitement as you catch sight of a falling star. Hopefully you caught it quick enough to make a wish. Staring up at it you suddenly remember just how many possibilities there are in the world. Amazing.
And there’s that vibration again. The strong, steady pulse, pulse, pulse of the Earth. You can feel it when you lay your hand on the trunk of a tree. You can feel it beneath your bare feet. You can feel it when you breathe in the scent of the earth. And it starts to get deep in your bones again.
I suddenly wanted to cry. A big, fat bawling session. It had hit me. How stressed and lonely I had allowed myself to become again. And we live in a beautiful spot here, not some noisy, high rise environment, but close to the beach, with lots of trees and animals, in the suburbs, but an oasis nonetheless. Yet city life and it’s expectations had crept in and taken me over again, and I had allowed it. I miss country me.
Needless to say, I am very unsettled today. Over and over in my head I can hear myself crying out, I want to go home, I want to go home. My pen is calling out for me, there are words that want to be written. The land is calling out to me, there are trees to be sat under. Instead, I am surrounded by the buzzing of electricity, which I always notice, but am finding particularly abrasive today. My body is objecting, my shoulder is so sore and tight it has dislocated one of my ribs. Yet my mind is determined to find peace again. So I have meditated, sat near the pool, patted the dog and reminded myself of my dreams. And here I find myself at the keyboard, sharing this so I can move into a space of gratitude.
And I do have a lot to be grateful for. I have a man that I love with all of my heart. Two amazing children that are a blessing. Two step-sons that I adore. My dog, who I love, even today when she smells like dead fish! A beautiful home. The tools and programs to write. The possibility of an amazing business. Friends that are my lifeblood. New connections with old friends that are opening up other exciting possibilities. A bookcase full of books. Food in the fridge. I can hear my chooks clucking away under the fruit tree. And a soul that wants to be well.
My gratitude list is miles longer than this, but I am sure you all have something else to get on with lol. I hope your day is amazing – Mak