Travelling is like enriching the soul. It brings new visions, new experiences and opportunities to find new things. Hubby retired this week and we will hit the tar Aussie Style for extended periods in the coming January. We are going to join the Grey Nomad set – caravan division and I am so looking forward it. There is a lot of prep to do but we’ve been doing that for some time now… The reckoning has arrived. We reckon on being south for Aussie summer, once Chrissy with the over 30’s something set is celebrated.
I’m headed off with hubby next week though, in a period of adjustment for him while he gets used to the idea of retirement. The shock is still settling in as it has all come 12 months earlier than we thought it would due to the downturn in his industry. We are heading south to Coffs’ to link up with my Littl’ Sister in what is a busy country town which is on the verge of being quite a big city, one that sits on the edge of the Tasman Sea (Pacific Ocean to the lay person). Coffs Harbour is a city that gestates in the sunshine with its toes in the salt surf of one of the great oceans of the world. This was a trip I had planned solo but now ‘The Man’ is joining us and this arrangement has come at a good time for him.
I’m on an information sortie and after vegetating in Coffs’ for a short time to gather my thoughts and catch up with important people in our life we are headed to Sydney. When I say I am headed into Sydney, people who don’t know Sydney or even me well will think ‘tourist’, they think of all the great things Sydney can offer. The beautiful gardens of the city, Taronga Zoo, the ferries, Manly and the Corso, entertainments to die for, the harbour … ohhh that beautiful harbour! I so love the freedom of the sunshine, the weight of the droll heat of the city landscape and the southerly busters that can roar through the city in summer … so many things to do and see.
This time I am also not only dragging along hubby but also my littl’ sister again into Sydney with me and I can assure you it is not a hardship. Sis and I are gunna hit the ole’ town while hubby does the ‘famiily thing’ and us two girls will rat around Sydney in the fashion that only she and I can, on the cheap with money in our pockets for the important things. You see we both grew up in ole’ Sydney and I call it that because the city is full of so many ole’ memories for us.
We spent penniless years lazing along her southern waterways as ‘wild kids’ and tramping through her hidden landscapes. Treading along tar footpaths of the city as well as bush tracks made by wallabies and the footfall of ancient man, those along the Georges River and its tributary the Wanny.
As kids we floated old fouled mattresses dragged off the local tip that once edged Oyster Bay in a cul-de-sac of a riverfront village, using these and any other paraphernalia that might float for watercraft, while we raided oyster farms that are no longer viable as fattening farms, but exist as spawning racks now. We sank laughing beneath her river waters and trudged through the muds of her river shores as well as her golden sands that greeted the lap of the oceans.
We are older now, so our foraging is done at places like ‘Paddy’s Market’ at the top of the old China town precinct, where once we bought budgies and puppies with treasured pennies, we now buy trinkets and clothes. But we go there not just for the love of trolling market tables, but for the yum cha dens, for the buzz of city life in quiet shaded places often hidden well from the beat of the city and other delights to be found in the dry streets and laneways.
We once explored these places as kids on adventures over lazy day weekends and on days when we escaped the classrooms of childhood. I love the lap of the harbour waters against salted sandstone walls built by convicts an age ago and the rustle of the wind through the lanes of the city, those deep in the summer shadows.
There is a festival on in Sydney in the time we will be there and much of our time will be spent in the museums and libraries amongst the collections of another world from a more ancient time. The Sydney Corroboree is a celebration of Australia’s ancient history and I am looking forward to joining in and enriching my spirit and soul along the pier front of the harbour. Feeding the Shades of me that belong to my country, Australia.
I love to tread the path of a more ancient time, to look beyond the beauty of the city today that can be found in the Botanical Gardens and in The Rocks of Old Sydney along the harbour. Looking deep into another time where the ancient Spirits of the land ruled the day. There is an old and well-buried Bora Ring in the heart of the Botanical Gardens, nestled in the centre of the city and sitting quietly along the fore shores and this place I like to tread, as I feel the weight of a more ancient time.
I have made several million trips it seems, down to my old hometown, Sydney. Not only on family visits but often on research as I am currently bringing to life a story involving the Wolgaru serpent and the Djaranin Dogs, those dark dogs of death which hunt out the evil in man bringing the lore breakers to the point of judgement. You see ancient Australia is not about modern law, but about a deeper lore of the Land. Wolgaru is the serpent of the caverns and caves, the quiet and secret places scattered about this land and even those hidden deep in the secret heart of the city. A serpent of the Lore who judges and makes right the shades of men in an ancient justice no longer thought relevant, but one that is as relevant as the spill of sunshine is across this land.
Has he gone, this ancient lore-giver? I doubt it. He still lingers in the quiet places, feeding on the crimes of men and his minions the dogs of death still hunt out their quarry quietly in the shadows of a world I write about in my novels. There are some wonderful tale from this more ancient time, realities and justices that still press on the consciousness of men and women now walking across this land today. A people who are a mix of many cultures and many tales, but who still feel the call of the land. For the old tribal people no longer exist, but their spirit, the shades of who they were and are still lingers.
These are the things I love to explore and visiting these places across Australia, those that can be found from within the deepest wilderness and into the most progressive of our cities, these memories and stories still linger and live. This is what I am headed south to explore again and the anticipation is as rich as the reality is going to be, in unfurling the ancient things in this land.
Join me on my journey … The Dreaming Series & the coming Spirit Children tales of adventure.
Find out more about The Dreaming Series on my Web Site