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