The Outback

So far as the great aussie outback is concerned, where I’ve been working they don’t consider it too ‘outback’. It’s 1.5 – 2 hours (depending on your car) to ‘town’ so in terms of our outback’s, it’s not that far. However, it sure feels a long way when ones phone has no reception, but also in a funny way, freeing. There once was life before mobile phones! Yet, amid the dusty days, the blaring sun, drought conditions and vast horizons, I began to see and feel, what it is about the outback that people fall so in love with.

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Raising children in these environments is not without it’s challenges, home schooling, isolation from friends and other family, being ultra organised because your local shop is not around the corner are just a few. Yet there is something to be said for kids that are free to run around without their shoes on, to kick a ball without worrying it’s going to land on a road, to create new games to play and to learn to play nicely with one another. Children who are learning the value of friendship, of books, of ‘helping out’  and who read at night instead of watching TV or playing on I pads. Children, who look at the world as children, with awe and wonderment and that pure sense of adventure and imagination.

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And who are also learning team work with their parents, how to handle a horse and to muster cattle. These are life skills that are invaluable and incentive to get the school work done early!

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The outback, leaves an indelible impression on you, one that lingers, long after arriving ‘home’. It leaves its mark, helps shape you, give a fresh perspective. I’ve seen first hand, how hard life can be out there, long hot hours working in the blazing sun fixing fences or whatever problem arises. This attitude of ‘get on and do it’ is what helped to build this country and it gave me a deeper appreciation of my forefathers.  Yet it’s gifts, oh the gifts of nature, of the very heartbeat of this country is what would take me out again.

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Meet Mrs Dog.

Always watching, ready for a game. She may be getting old, but she’s as loyal as the day is long, just like her human companions. Salt of the earth folk. Real folk who mean what they say and say what they mean. And whose country hospitality also leaves a lasting impression which I’m so extremely grateful for. xx

Woop Woop

Recently, a friend came on facebook messenger,  asking me where are you’?  I replied ‘oh, out woop woop’,  then suddenly realised what a funny expression that was for anyone whose english is not their first language, like my dear belgium friend. She is probably scratching her head thinking ‘where the  darn is woop woop?’..

How do we explain that term, which rolls so succinctly off our aussie tongues?

Answer: A long way from the nearest town.

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We are not 10 minutes from the nearest town… we are 1.5 hours drive from Clermont, or  2 hours, depending on the vehicle your’e driving, or if you take a wrong turn. Believe me, out here, in woop woop, it’s easy to do. There is the time of day when one drives, that one needs to consider, because there are the roo’s  (kangaroos) hovering road side and the occasional family of bush pigs or cows,  who run out in the middle of the road, startled by your headlights. So they stop.  Right there, in front of you. One minute your driving  100 kms, the next you’ve hit the brakes, struggling to do 10 kmh.

The nearest neighbours are 10 kms away and the sky is a starry bright palette to which I am unaccustomed and when the sun goes down and the birds have tuckered down it is extremely quiet out here.  But that sky.  Mere words can not adequately explain it.

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It has been a grande experience, re connecting with people and children I care for greatly. When a 8 year old holds your face and says “you’re great and I love ya” it kinda strikes a place in your heart. ‘Awww’ as a reply, doesn’t really cut it. But I take away the love, the feeling which reminds me that most succinct experiences are not spoken, but are felt by the heart.

Naturally,  being out ‘woop woop’ is not without it’s challenges, one of which is the heat. (The isolation came in second place.)  Mid morning, the sun slaps your face as you suddenly realise, ‘shit, it’s burning’.. and scurry inside to locate your wide brim hat. (And slap on some sunscreen while your at it.)

Walking hand in hand with it’s seeming harshness is a raw beauty we are not privvy to in the city. Its a vibe, a slowing down, a feeling that I haven’t felt until being out here. Miles from nowhere. Woop Woop. Everyone should go here. My mother used to talk about the big skies and ‘fairy lands’ she discovered as a girl, living in a tin shed with flour bag walls out near Southern Cross, Western Australia.

I am beginning to know my mother a whole lot more, a whole lot deeper as I spend precious time out ‘woop woop’ discovering what she was privvy too, 70 odd years before me. Wow.

 

Adaptability

A few years ago I watched a film called “The lady in number 6.” It was a short doco shown at the Gympie Film Festival. In fact, maybe I’ve already referred to it before in another blog… The short version is Alice survived a concentration camp and what struck me so profoundly was when she said ‘you had to learn to be adaptable, if not, your life could be over in a split second.’

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Now, on another note, sometimes people call me ‘changeable’ because I’m a gemini. Yet once I was seeing a counsellor and always left his office feeling positive and self empowered, as he rephrased a ‘negative’ into a positive and called me adaptable. Some people put a lot of emphasis on star signs and ok, Im a gemini, ok, being changeable is part of our natures, but really, it is true for many. I’m not a big advocate of star signs because I feel we are all a mixture of many signs. You take a little of this, a little of that, but I don’t base my life along being a gemini with a pisces moon because at the crux of my being is a soul who is timeless and ageless and has no star sign. We are so much more than our star signs so why limit ourselves? 

A few years ago I wasn’t so adaptable. I remember sitting at my girlfriends house balling my eyes out saying ‘I no longer have a home’! I had left my partner, (finally) and in doing so, said goodbye to all our plans, goals and dreams. And my ‘home’. This is how I know Ive grown, because now I am so much better at going with the flow. My ‘home’ is wherever my pillow is. I’m now able to travel, to experience very different cultures, lifestyles and people and I love every moment even the challenging moments….

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My little car, full of my possessions no longer define me. I no longer long for ‘things’. I long for peace, wisdom, a deeper connection with spirit, a more thorough understanding of my self, my relationships and understanding the reasons ‘why’ things happen. Of course there is a fine line between wanting to understand and simply allowing. Not analysing and being in present time. It’s always a juggling act…