It is always a joy to publish your writing, Ian – you are one of the pure in heart, mind, and spirit, my dear internet friend. It is truly a privilege to know you.
(Image Credit: Fairfax)
As the snow on the roof gets whiter, the fire on the hearth banks down to a bed of warm, comforting embers and St. Peter has booked you into one of the cheap seats, you tend to take a more expansive, perhaps more perceptive, view of life, of politics – even your own backyard.
I went down the backyard yesterday. I needed to ask a question of the “folk” who live in the patch of remnant bush just over the fence. They’re indigenous and I know their proper name, though I do not speak it. It is not my earned right. The “folk” will suffice. They didn’t appear to be around so I sat on a garden bench. Enjoying the warm sun, I looked at the back of my house.
(Image Credit: Wild Watch Australia)
I saw the faded, stained cement tiles of the roof. Years of birds, overripe mulberries and various attacks by footballs, cricket six stitchers and benign tennis balls had left both their marks and memories. I then looked to beneath the tiles. Imagining seeing the joists, bearers and beams that had supported them for 70 or so years. Had all this timber come from the same forest giant? Does it retain in itself the memories of hundreds of years of growth? Have those memories enabled the roof to fulfill the integrity of its purpose? Scorching heat, cold snaps, high destructive winds. None has budged the roof … not once. The integrity of its purpose is strong. Perhaps as a political philosophy should be.
(Image Credit: DeLange)
The stains gave me cause to remember the mulberry tree. Sadly, gone now. A victim of the damage it caused to pipes and paths. The wonderful shade on a hot summers day, the sweet fruit, the pies and cordials it made. The screeching, raucus cacophony of flocks of corellas after having tasted the delights of fermented mulberries. The quieter dawn chorus when the corellas, purpled stained heads firmly under wings, studiously avoided the warblings of magpies, gentle calling of doves and the unrelenting chittery chattery of indignant wagtails. If I were given to name the flock of corellas….it would be “the Press Gallery “.
(Image Credit: Aussiebirdlife)
The rest of the garden just melts into itself. Each section a memory and part of the whole. The sour, acidic soil of a rose bed where, among the insipid pale hybrids, a strong red blossom evolved, thrived and was eventually weakened.
(Image Credit: The Amateur Weeder)
A transplant to the old, yet strong, arbour has it thriving again. Perhaps the enthusiastic input of the miniature roses whose bed it now shares has helped. I leave the sour acidic ground as a reminder of what damage can be wrought by a poison and will speak no more of it. The vegetable and herb beds take my eye. The herbs in particular.
(Image Credit: Sprout Magazine)
They’ve grown into the greenest, healthiest herbs with a depth of flavour that leaves palates with the understanding of what heaven can be and, most assuredly, is. They grow in a bed that started life as a fish pond and morphed into a wishing well. I believe the plants are fertilised with memories of wishes fulfilled and where dreams are begun. Could it not be that the filling of a wish sets free an unrealised dream? One day, perhaps, the wish of a child may lead to dreams of a nation. I wish it so.
The “folk” haven’t shown themselves and I haven’t been able to ask my question.
“How can we strengthen ourselves against the darkness creeping across our land?”
Somehow, I feel I have an answer.
(Image Credit: Reuters)