Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Road Trip

 We arrived home last night after a long drive back from the Flinders Ranges and a big family gathering at a huge farming property over-looking the place where Abuelo's father's ashes are scattered. It was the place of many family holidays for them as a family of 7 children. Beautiful country, in a state of spring green, far from anything or anyone, but for the owner and the shearing team who arrived on our last day and let us watch them work. My phone battery ran out before I could take anymore photos, but that was part of the bliss of being way out bush - no technological interaction. There were 6 kids, one teenager, and 13 adults bunked down all over the place - Abuelo and I out under the stars, tents, swags, campers, and bunks indoors. Communal meals, campfire songs, mountain climbing, rolling about in the back of the ute on dirt tracks, holding goannas, cricket games in the dust, late nights, luxurious bush showers, brown snakes, emus, and plenty of family in-jokes....and the dear matriach of 79 years, marvelling at the people she has brought together and how well they all actually get along!

We did a lot of driving for a short stay but it was wonderful - I love a road trip; we crossed the Nullabor many, many times from the 70's to the 80's and spent a lot of time in the bush. I'm glad our kids can have a taste of that. I found myself (unable to read r do anything much whilst in a moving vehicle due to car sickness) spending hours gazing out the window at lonesome farm properties and deserted brick buildings, daydreaming about life out there for people way back then, and right now. It was wonderful to see healthy green crops, and fat healthy animals along the way. It is magnificent country. Big sky, many shades of green with patches of wattle yellow, Salvation Jane purple, and the golden light of my favourite time of day - dusk, transforming the view in front of the house. So many stars at night that Old Man Emu can be seen in the Milky Way....

Next time I hope we can stay longer. I didn't get to walk the rocky creek bed all shady and softly green. And I would love to paint and draw and take more photos; for us to sit still even longer until the city is out of our bones and the land unwinds us.

While it's lovely to be home with our animals and our gorgeous garden all abloom, I'm filled with longing for country life, self-sufficiency, home-schooling, cow-milking, scone-making for the shearers....Perhaps not so far out and away from people, and definitely in a place where water is closer at hand. Maybe we will have some small version of all that when our children are older and our  family arrangements are more flexible/ negotiable. For now we will turn to our wee urban plot and be grateful we are home safe and sound and the rain is plentiful and the tomato seedlings are up and all three chickens are laying.

What are you planting? What are you dreaming? 

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