Saturday, 9 November 2013

Balm for mind and soul

It's quite some time since I posted anything at all on EG. Not because I "fell out of love" or anything sinister! Rather more prosaically, we spent the best part of 2 months overseas and since returning, for one reason on another I seem to have been chasing my tail. Meanwhile as I see on the site, other worthy members, led by the indefatigable Dale, have been fighting the good fight on behalf of our farming friends; as well as the odd bushfire! Thank god for people who care and put in.

Health / quality of life - wise, my immediate family has been fortunate to enjoy some pretty clear air for some time, but more recently a very severe illness has raised its ugly head, in the same way that all families encounter, some randomly (and unfairly) more often than should be their 'share'. I am not all that frequent a visitor to such philosophical thoughts, so I know it behoves me well to stop and think, just how lucky we are in many small, insignificant ways. One of these is that while we live very close to the CBD in a major city on a river which wags from Qld especially delight in saying "runs upside down" (haven't they ever looked at the Brisbane, Burnett, Mary, Fitzroy ........) we can escape from it all via some nice nature walks. I recently sent the following to some friends by email, and thought I might share it with you:

"Aren’t we lucky that we are only a short walk from the Yarra, from where we can meander for hours, up and down, either side, on real bush tracks, safe from lycra warriors of both sexes on paved paths, training for Le Tour, the world mountain bike championships, or whatever. And that we are able to do this, while not taking the future for granted, Late this morning my wife and I set off on a typical, 3 hour walk in weather that alternated between windless, sunny and balmy, to rain driven by semi gales as a series of fronts came through. Afterall, ‘tis Melbourne in Spring :-)

It all reminded me of the great poem by wonderful 19thC English poet and Jesuit (no, not Tony Abbott!  :-) Gerald Manly Hopkins. You know, the one which ends with the following verse:
What would the world be, once bereft
of wet and wildness, let them be left.
Oh let them be left, wildness and wet
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet

Yes, even in the very heart of C21 Melbourne.

So here are a few happy snaps, to show you what I mean – with a hint of civilisation showing through here and there. It was a 12.5km meander, and we are grateful that at our ages, we are able to do, and share such things  ;-)

Cheers  al and barb

PS For non Melbournians, the Yarra is fresh above Dights Falls (nowadays, a small weir) which was the site of the first woollen mills. al


  1. Enjoyed this reflective post of yours, Al. It's good to have some diversity on the site. I would like to write a wider range of subject matter than what I do but find myself that busy that I often write about what I'm dealing with

  2. What a delightful (and in one respect sobering and thought-provoking) account, Al - a pleasure to read.

    And how amazing to be able to take such a wonderful nature walk just a 'stone's throw' from the hustle and bustle of the city. Yes, you and Barb truly are fortunate.

    Thanks for sharing those great photos too. The peace and serenity is almost tangible.


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