Time on country

I was invited on a trip to country last week. This was my first opportunity to spend time with an elder on country and I felt very privileged to have the opportunity. We spent time at the site of an old mission, a life that many people remember fondly. The church here encouraged people to maintain their cultural practices and the life seemed to have been hard work but rich. I found myself imagining days passed and lamenting for time without electronic devices…

I found myself questioning some of my long-held assumptions about environmental sustainability. I learnt about how Aboriginal people have intimate knowledge about this country, including names for each beach, and exactly what fish to catch, where and with what tide.

I am Australian and I love this beautiful country. But I often look at it as a stranger. I don’t understand its trees, animals and rocks. It is my parents, great fisherpeople, who have taught me something about the land and sea. Their love for nature set me on my path here. But through this visit to country, I began to see the land and ocean as something alive and intimately linked with the people that know it. I understood, just a little, about how country gives and how it must be given back to and cared for. I feel like I am just beginning to know this place.

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One comment

  1. Angele Jones · · Reply

    Sounds wonderful!!

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