Art. Photography. Gratitude. Life.



Saturday, 17 August 2013

Heart of my land.....

It is an unpredictable land in which we live.
In primary school we had to learn a poem off-by-heart,
I chose "My Country" by Dorothy MacKellar.
the words of that poem rang so true to me as a 12 year old,
and even truer now, to me, as a woman.
True not just on the pages from which they are read,
but TRUE to the heart and core of living in this land.

We have blistering heat,
long hot days where the sun sears
turning green to brown,
drying up the last of the muddy puddles in the billabongs,
forcing all living creatures to seek shade,
leaving the earth cracking open, bone dry,
and one wondering......
while looking to the sky, burnt a pale blue by the sun,
if it shall ever rain again.

Just when you are hand feeding the cattle,
and giving up on a summer crop,
down she comes.
Ahhh blessed rain.....
As you give thanks,
the words of gratitude barely leave your lips
and the words of that poem haunt the corridors of your mind:
"A land of droughts and flooding rains".
And so comes the rain,
and so comes the flooding waters.
All in their fierce path all is washed away.
Loved Ones.
In the still of the moonless night,
 as the flood waters rise.
There isn't the sound of a single living creature.
No night time serenade of crickets and cicadas
No chorus of frogs and toads
Just the bone-chilling roar of swift water.
Our small creek that is dry most of the year
and meanders lazily through the farming flats of our valley
becomes a ferocious beast
roaring across the landscape
scouring with its claws
gnashing with its teeth
taking all in its path
like an angry beast on a wild chase
hungry to reach the ocean.

Our little creek travels miles and miles before it joins a river.
As it makes it's way
it is joined in its ruthless march by unrecognisable rivulets, streams and gullies.
Each new recruit swelling its ranks...
swelling its capacity,
swelling its volume,
swelling its banks,
swelling its force.
One is left speechless...
Strangely, ironically,
with such savagery also comes strange beauty,

We choose to live in this land.
We choose to live on the land.
We choose to make our living from this land.
We choose to be part of this of this land.
We choose for this land to part of us.
This ancient land of great contrasts.
This land that seeps into your bones
and takes you from breathtaking to breathless
all in one day.


  1. I love it Melissa... so true. She's gentle, she's cruel, she's beautiful, she's frightening... she's ours.

    1. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting Amanda. And you sum it up beautifully. x

  2. Oh my friend. This is a beautiful post. My heart is swelling for you. You are incredible.

    Lots of love.

    1. Ahhh my lovely Tash, thanks so much for your swelling heart and kind words. x

  3. There's so much strength to be found in the act of choosing. (((♥))) Such an amazing journey, and the heartiness you all show in the midst of everything is life-affirming and inspiring. It feels like an honor just to be witness here.

    With so much gratitude and respect for all of your choices, xoxoxo Aho woman.

    1. Charlie, thank you for taking the time to visit and to witness. I am honoured that you are part of my journey. x

  4. such a heart-opening journey in word and picture you've offered here... thank you for showing us your fierce, tender choices and beautiful soul. i love the way you love your land, this earth, this home. hugs, sister.

    1. Hali, my sweet friend, thank you for honouring me with your visit and your heart-felt words. I am pleased to be able to share like this. x