There is something wonderful about stopping and taking a moment to breathe the fresh air of the country. To hear the birds chirping in the high branches. There is a peacefulness here that is precious and trusting. Every so often you hear a distant car rumbling along the single main street, or a child on the school oval, shouting victory at a goal, but otherwise it is the leaves dancing in the wind that sing a clean melody.
There is a soft, cold chill on my cheeks. A freeze that is gradually encasing the land. It runs up my legs through my tights as evening creeps ever closer. A stillness falls. The twilight hour tinges the sky mauve. How do you describe the tranquillity of being under the shadow of a mountain as protective and cloistering as the great Mt. Remarkable. It is a guardian to the small town that hugs it’s skirts. I wonder of the tales the mountain could tell us, if it could whisper them on the wind, of the lives that have come and gone under it’s shelter. Of the hardships the first settlers faced, battling against a foreign land, carving their mark for future generations. South Australia is young, Australia itself is an infant compared to the elders that surround it, but the lives of those European pioneers were harsh. The land threw every torment it could upon them, and yet they prevailed to give us the South Australia we have today. Why, I have to ask, is it that I must seek the legends of their times myself, when their tales are still so young?
As I turn from my walk, heading back the way I’d come, to seek out the warmth of the hearth waiting for me, I pause and stare out across the green pastures, and yonder them, to the bright yellow canola fields. The mauve tint of the sunset has turned, and grey clouds is what remains, but it is still a startling beautiful contrast against the green and yellow of the meadows. I wonder what the settlers of yesteryear would think of us now. Would they be disappointed in their children, or glad of what we have made here in the land they toiled upon?
From my Journal – 24/8/2017
This past week my sister (Melissa) and I went to Melrose. It was a trip to partly get away from the hustle and bustle of life, but to also do some research for a book I am currently working on that is set in the District around Melrose and within Melrose itself.
While I grew up in Whyalla, and we stayed in Melrose a few times while I was a kid, I didn’t have the clearest memories of the area so it was wonderful to have a chance to return.
And it was beautiful. So beautiful. What a glorious time of the year to visit the Flinders. The canola fields are in bloom, the wattle blossoms are in bloom, and everything is green from rain. Melrose also boasts some gorgeously large gum trees.
I didn’t get the chance to do any hiking — I didn’t want to do the 13km hike up Mt. Remarkable on my own without a workable phone. Also, apparently, it’s super steep, and my knees are still bad, so everyone told me not to do it. BUT. I just really like conquering mountains. I really need a hiking/camping budding! However, even though I didn’t do any hiking, I wasn’t really there for that. I was there to spend time with my sister, to get away from Adelaide, and learn about Melrose. I felt those things were achieved.
Mel and I stayed at a utterly beautiful place called Bluey Blundstone Accommodation – it was once the old Blacksmith Shop of Melrose, and the owners have been gradually renovating and restoring it. I cannot recommend it enough, it’s amazing what they’ve done. Every night we sat by a little open fire, sometimes chatting, sometimes just quiet while I wrote. It was beautiful, peaceful and away…away from everything…
My phone didn’t even work! What luck! ^_^ I was really away from everything. (Though it was a good thing my sister’s phone worked, we’d have been a bit lost without Google.)
There is one memory I have very clearly of Melrose from when I was a child and that is the Swing Bridge. I recall this bridge being really, really awesome in my mind. The coolest thing EVER. I remember running across on it, being totally awed by it, freaked out by it, thinking it was HUGE.
I told Mel about it, saying how amazing it was, that we had to go and see it…
Well, my memory was shattered into reality.
Yeah, nah, it’s actually tiny and not that awesome. (Don’t get me wrong, childhood memory me still thinks its amazing!!)
I think Mel thought it was all pretty hilarious. But I am pretty hilarious. If you can’t laugh at yourself, what’s the point, right?
I am very grateful to have such a wonderful sister to go on adventures with. Who is immensely understanding of my physical condition and illness, and who puts up with me being a pop-culture nerd. It’s great to be able to make the most of the moments we are given. Times change, slowly, rapidly, who knows…but they do change. It’s nice to have memories to treasure forever.