Thursday, 13 January 2011

Rodin will have to wait!

The view from Montville, 2006

My last few evenings have been filled with watching news stories from home in Australia and catching up with my family and friends in some of the flooded areas.  I am so grateful that they are all safe and well.  I hear that in many circumstances the post flood challenges of moving about their towns and neighbourhoods and being able to buy food and fuel are enormous.  It is hard to explain the range of feelings I have felt watching from this distance.  I guess that even if I were right there I would still feel completely overwhelmed in the face of a disaster of such huge proportions. 

I guess as time moves forward the emotion that is shining through is pride!  I am proud to be an Aussie when I watch the way we move forward under such dire circumstances.  I am proud to be an Aussie to see a friend of my daughter (a young mum in her early 20's) organising collections of goods for flood relief!  I am proud to be an Aussie when I hear the great stories of mateship coming out all the time in the film and news articles we are seeing from here on the other side of the world!  I am proud to be an Aussie when there is a wonderful family stepping right up to help and support my children as they move forward in their lives (not flood connected)!  I hope you realise how much your love and support means to them and me!

My cousin recently put the second verse of this poem on her facebook page and it reduced me to tears!  I guess this poem really talks to me and, I have to say, always has done.  So I just had to add it here:

My Country
by Dorothea McKellar

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies -
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

Tasmania 2004

 Kakadu, 2008

Wave Rock, Western Australia, 2006

Barrington Tops,  2007

Barrington Tops, 2007

Barrington Tops, 2007

Being Aussies, like this little guy we will just keep on moving forward, across the hurdles to something even greater!

Stay safe!

Oh and this morning one of the great characters I work with said:
'Bruce, I know why the floods are receding in Aus!' 
My answer 'Why's that?' 
'Well mate, they have finally stopped crying about losing the Ashes!'
My answer after stopping laughing 'I love your sense of humour!'
'Well mate I need it.  I am British!'

1 comment:

Jane said...

beautifully said Ali.
J x