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.
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.
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!
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.
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