Some time away

My Country

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.

I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.

Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!

Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold –
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.
An opal-hearted country,

A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

~ Dorothea Mackellar ~


A poem that I learnt in childhood that still remains close to my heart this very day; It describes the wonders and beauties of the land that I am lucky enough to call home in this lifetime. As much as I may like the modern conveniences that living in the city offers I most definitely am a country boy at heart, I feel most at home outside of the city surrounded by trees and the sunburnt red dirt of the land.

I have spent far too much time and energy wrapped up in things that have been going on in my life recently and it was time to get away from all the people of the city, get back to my roots and recharge. A weekend away was just what the doctor ordered.

For anyone that is looking for a good day out for a picnic, or place to camp I highly recommend Lake Leschenaultia; Located in the hills at Chidlow heading east entry is free for the park and aside from swimming and canoeing in the lake there are plenty of tables, covered areas and free barbecues. On top of the lake there is beautiful bush land surrounding it, with walking trails around the lake and into the bush. For camping, a booking is $20 and prices are $6.50 per person per night in 2 separate camp grounds, you receive a key to the park so you can come and go outside of opening times and they have power, cooking, laundry and shower/toilet facilities available definitely great value for a place to camp away for the weekend/longer.

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Got to spend a decent amount of time with very few people, explore some dirt tracks and trails in a mate’s 4WD and generally enjoy the silence, clean air and underlying energy of our bushland. A very grounding and revitalizing few days and it was just what was needed, and a stark reminder that I do need to get out to the land more often than I have in recent times.

Sitting back at home now, there is the electronics and buzz of life in the suburbs but I have brought home the peace and tranquility of the bush and am ready to see what new challenges and experiences the next week will bring.

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