Being welcomed into the Albany Shire as a traveller and freecamping life-styler has been a great experience. We have spent two weeks in the region (and quite a few bucks) in exploring the towns, sandy tracks, shores and inlets of the beautiful region. Our friends, finding little welcome in recreational bush camps in Esperance Shire, joined us in Albany Shire and together we explored many of the sandy 4×4 tracks, inlets and bays looking for good fishing and camping spots as well as seeking out local pubs and eateries for a lunchtime feasts and roving snacks. It was a LOT of fun!
What we discovered also were traces of our ancient Australian Lore and pre-history in legend that dates back into the ice ages, the last of which was some 20,000 years ago. I love that Australia has such a long history evident in this region. I love that I am so close the bedrock of creation and I love seeking out all those wonderful legends of creation, which can be found simply in the land around us. Legends and Lore which I try to bring to readers in my novels of The Dreaming Series and the growing series of tales of The Spirit Children.
Like all things you soon fall into a pattern for life around a new camp and so it has happened around our first big camp. Our pattern is not entirely new to us, but it holds certain elements that bring us a huge amount of entertainment. The pups of course offer their own entertainments and travelling with dogs has some huge advantages and a couple of quaint disadvantages too.
I have told you about Tuppi, my little miniature poodle once or twice. She is my companion, my friend and my guardian. Our other pup, Scotty Dog, is strictly speaking not ours. He belongs to the Baby Boy (our 3rd son) but while maintaining his loyalties to his owner and master has attached himself to hubby. This created a dilemma for us all when we decided it was time to ‘hit the track’.
In Australia, when we are taught of our pioneers in Australian history we are told that they were sturdy folk, those who struggled to survive against often great hardships and indeed most were, if they weren’t they commonly died. They were also of many different elks… some convicts, some emigrants, some pastoralists or squattocracy and others a mixture of all of the above and including the indigenous Aboriginal cross cultural people. Emphasis here is on the world indigenous (born of the country) and of any mixed cultural heritage.
Australia’s most forgotten pioneers, those who pioneered the culture and nation we now all enjoy and benefit from, were those too of aboriginal descent, often of mixed race or dispossessed of their country. They, more than any other group should be considered as Australian pioneers as they were seen to belong to neither the aboriginal people, nor the colonial population… they were a people unto themselves largely who were disdained by other cultures because they were of mixed race and culture, in many ways they were the first true-blood Aussies. I have heard it commonly said that cross-cultural sons and daughters were too white for the blackfella and to black for the whitefellas.
We recently had one of the more humorous experiences we have ever come up against in our lives in regards to skin colour. It was a question of race, or more appropriately one of skin colour. Racial identity has become a very blurred issue since the arrival of the interactive global community and this particularly in Australia where we have something of a melting pot.
Australia has always been part of Asia, no one just moved the place here… the land has always been here and despite being a country where our natural skin colour should be brown-black, we are governed by what is seen as a largely white skinned democracy. This statement in itself blurs the lines of reality. It is a theology rather than a fact. Parliament is supposed to be dominated by our representatives even if it would seem women don’t live in Australia anymore if you go by the number count.
Does the question of race really exist anymore? No doubt for some trapped in an economic socio-merry-go-round it seems to. But in the broader view, is it at all really relevant?
But first, let me recount what happened so you can understand where I am coming from.
Living in the sub-tropic coastal fringe on the east coast of Aus… albeit a sketch an a bit inland, we are busily now welcoming the arrival of spring and it is glorious. The flush of spring colour in the gardens, the fruit flowers on the mango tree promising a great crop. Soooo…. hoping the bees are busy.
While the Northern hemisphere is sinking into their winter we are busily emerging from ours and if the weather patterns are anything to go by it is gunna be a hot, wet summer. For Aussies, summer brings the Wet up north, the time of floods and cyclones of which we get the end of as they bounce down the eastern seaboard. This also brings a new step, a corner on the horizon for an author. New thoughts, new projects and new ideas particularly as you have rounded up old ones over the winter months now passed as I have.
I love the storms, adore a good electrical storm with fires the air and is a magnificent display of mother nature’s power, as much as I love a new idea or a good plot. It is the storms, which cradle the legends of the Dreamtime and there is nothing quite like sitting on the Kakadu Plateau and looking out over the vastness of the wetlands while different storms travel across the land. Yes… your view is so very vast up there in the Outback that you can watch the storms individually, they are like actors on stage yet in different plays performing for the privileged.
I adore the legends and myths of the Dreamtime, those that touch the reality of our lives and help mould who we are.