Who’ll come a-waltzing with me?

January 27, 2010 suesbent
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This Australia Day I found myself sitting by a billabong, opening my tucker bag, being nourished by the real Australian landscape. It was a warm sunny day in the country. The grassy hills have yellowed from the summer sun and the sky was an unblemished blue. The breeze stirred the eucalyptus scent from the ‘coolibah’ trees, where birds dozed in the quiet of midday. Now and then a Kookaburra would snicker or a Corella would squawk.

I was surprised no other people had decided to picnic here today.

This new life in the country is rejuvenating my soul. The wide open spaces, free of ugly man-made structures, refreshes my tired eyes. The wind on the breeze carries no sounds of traffic. Queues of impatient people waiting for service have vanished and there is time to chat and ponder.

There is space for animals: koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, rabbits, birds, birds, and more birds. Marine life too is visible and in the short time I have been here I’ve seen seals, dolphins, stingrays, fish – and these have all been sighted from the land. (Not here at the billabong but along the nearby coast).

I feel more Australian now than even before in my 50 years of life here. That is quite impressive and inexplicable to me. While my heart aches for some imagined bliss in the south of France, perhaps the serenity I seek can be found here in the south west corner of Victoria. If only more people spoke French.

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