I once worked for historians. It fostered a curiosity in me. I don’t believe it is depressing or unhealthy that I’m drawn to pioneer cemeteries and memorials. I want to know among the dead, who is in there and sometimes, why. There is so much one can learn from the past.
It may sound ghoulish but it is one of my favourite places to visit when I’m in Geraldton. It sits atop a hill, overlooking the town and the ocean beyond. The HMAS Sydney II Memorial is a place of quiet reflection. The HMAS Sydney II was lost off the coast of Western Australia in November 1941, taking all 645 lives with it. Each silver seagull, a memory. In that space of the dead, they fly free, forever together, in sky and sea.She turns her back on the Eternal Flame, her frame larger than life, just slightly larger. The wind catches her dress. She holds on to her hat. That’s all she has for now. Her scan of sea, unwavering.The powerful emotion written across her face, of concern and dare I say hope, is of a woman who has loved and lost.
In the quiet of the night I wonder, have we learnt from history?
Until next time
a dawn bird