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.
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.
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.