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Silver Wattle Silent Time

Sitting in the sun behind an abandoned shed, I’m conscious of myriad sounds: cockatoos shrieking in nearby eucalypts, wind blowing across the lake in wintry gusts that make my hands cold while behind me, half-tethered sheets of rusted corrugated iron rattle in the wind. A lull in the wind brings a sweeter sound; tiny wrens twittering to one another like Friends after meeting for worship.

My sea-green eyes observe a broad canvas: grassy lakebed where a dozen kangaroos graze in the distance. Every now and then they raise their heads and look in my direction as though alert to the slide of ballpoint pen over notepad. Next, the backdrop of low hills draws my attention. Denuded of all but a few trees by pioneer farmers, nowadays they are decorated with wind turbines, white sails turning fast in today’s strong wind.

Not a blot on the landscape, Joe Hockey, for me they symbolise a sustainable future. I believe if we no longer pillage the earth, she may recover from our excessive exploitation.

I would not choose to live in this landscape; the drying lake, brown hills and stony ground feel too harsh for my seashore-nurtured sensibility. Yet even I, who have long professed a dislike of inland Australia, admit there is beauty here on this first day of spring with trees budding and grass green from winter rains.

These hours of silence are familiar friends; I spend lengthy periods alone in my studio, words my only companions. But this is different, more a kind of worship. Quiet observation stills mind and body, lulls me into spirit-led contemplation.

Lay down your pen, industrious writer and just be.

1 September 2015 (Written during the ‘Writing your Life’ course)

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