I’m leaving for a town in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. A long drive of some 270 km, it is perhaps, the least favourite of my journeys. The roads are narrow, the speed limit at 110 km is dangerous, especially when sharing them with road trains, oversized farming equipment and locals who know the area well. Those familiar with the roads, don’t always follow speed limits and are impatient with those who do. Fatalities are frequent in this region. Five of the ten fatalities this Labour Day weekend have been in the Wheatbelt. It is a sobering thought for this expansive state that covers a third of the land mass in Australia.
Being a journey that demands alertness I have developed a love for the countryside. Endless open fields, solitary gum trees, carpets of pink and white galahs that find grain in the tall grasses or on open roads where road trains carrying farm feed have passed through, are distinctive features of this landscape.
There is nothing much to do in town. There is nothing much to choose from where meals are concerned too. In desperation, I know I will end up at the pub for a solitary meal with laptop for company.
What I do look forward to are vivid sunsets and sunrises across a horizon that is endless. There is something very humbling in these experiences. They demand silence. They demand consideration of life in all its forms. I recall my son, at knee high, who glanced at a painted Eastern sky, looked at me with eyes wide and in his small voice made larger by awe, asked, “Who did that?” Who, indeed!
I know I have your prayers and blessings with me on my journey.
a dawn bird