This morning as I walked to my car I was pleasantly surprised by the heavy scent of Eucalyptus Oil from the Gum Trees in the parking lot. I stepped into a different state of mind and place just from the pleasantly familiar scent of the oil. Extended periods of hot weather cause the Gum Trees to throw off this oil. We are in the midst of a heat wave, while you guys are freezing. Adelaide especially, is enjoying the hottest March in 40 years. I lived there for eleven years and have experienced that dry, blasting heat and it's ability to stop you in your tracks and make you long for a visit to the South Pole.
In my introspective state early this morning, brought on by a serious altercation with my sixteen year old daughter, I find that my beautiful homeland means as much to me as it ever has. It is so easy to forget how amazing this planet is. I have traveled to other countries and I loved the feel of each different one. Reveled in the different textures of life and people in these far off places. The different cultures and languages still live inside me with vibrancy.
My land is a pulsing, breathing entity and when I take the time to notice, I am connected to this pulse. I haven't tuned into that in a very long time. The 'Out Back' is truly that. The vastness of burnt, red desserts, hidden gorges and water holes, that no matter what the city dwellers say, are the holder of the primal heart beat of this island and deceptively dangerous. Death from exposure, dehydration and heat are very common, as in any dessert. No breaking the rules here. Don't go into the out back without telling someone, don't rely on expecting to see another person for help. Many people have perished for the lack of water. Interestingly, water is abundant, but you have to know where. The contrasts of this country are stunning.
It is like stepping back into the beginning of time and so big that if you die out there, even your remains may never be found. Not a place to take for granted. I have stood in the middle of nowhere and listened to the deafening silence, been captivated by the unending horizon and the startling blueness of the sky and mesmerized by the richness and subtleties of the hidden life going on around me. In awe of the wildflowers and their carnival of colors just after a good rainy season. Left speechless by the richness of everything I surveyed and the lack of everything I was accustomed too.
Exploration of the ruined homesteads made me feel maudlin, ill at ease, because I wondered how these people survived the pitiless environment, physically and mentally? How the hell did they bear the silence and how did they bring up their children in this solitude and distance from humanity? I am experiencing the feel of it as I write this and thinking of the peoples lives spent there and their struggles to survive; tugs on the umbilical cord that invisibly links me to it all.
I think I was subliminally inspired by Gwenny's lovely guide to her state and Noony this is some Flora and Fauna just for you.....with love :)