Ivanhoe Crossing, Kununurra, Kimberley region, Western Australia
The Ord River, lifeline of the fruit growing region in Kununurra where there are km after km of mango groves, is magnificent in full flow. As I drove up here, some 8-10 kms out of Kununurra, I could hear the water but was unprepared to see the force of it. There is a curved sealed low bridge road that one can drive across the river when it is not flooded and some do attempt to drive across when it is. I’ve also seen folks fishing, standing in these waters where there are saltwater crocodiles. On one trip there was a couple knee deep standing on the road and fishing off it. He left his partner in the middle and walked toward us. I asked him if he was local, he said no so we warned him about the crocs. He glanced around and said, “haven’t seen any today”. Such stupidity is breathtaking. A few minutes later a couple of rangers came up to the site and directed the couple to another safer fishing spot. The rangers just shook their heads while these folks packed up. I’m not sure whether their casual attitude was stupidity or bravado. I’ve photographed crocodiles in a croc park and they are lightening quick. I managed to get some beautiful shots only because I was startled!
I’ve walked along here a few times and have been here on my own. I just love it. The birdlife here is pretty amazing. Big water birds sail these waters with ease. To be an observer of this force is a humbling experience. Nature does this. The added bonus is a mango farm on the way here that sells the most delicious mango ice cream and milkshakes.
Oh! I’m missing travel and being outdoors so very much! My days are a roller coaster of emotions. I feel vulnerable some days and others, stronger and resolved. I question myself whether I could have appreciated my experiences more than I did. Is it really possible? Ever hopeful, I guess I’ll only know once I travel again.
I love the anonymity travel gives me. I am often in small towns where no one knows my name and yet I have never felt lonely. Here in the city, I am consumed by a sense of being alone, so I put my game face on and plod through another day. I have always believed feeling lonely when in company, is a crushing feeling. I find walking through supermarkets or shops an unnerving experience. The automatic response of putting distance between folks is unsettling. I have a massage several times a month. I am an affectionate person with those I love so I have skin hunger like nothing I have experienced before! When I’m home alone working I’m oblivious to it. But if I go out and return home, it takes a while for me to settle into my skin so I plan each day, each week carefully.
During the day the sounds in my neighbourhood are a comfort. Children practicing their piano or wind instrument. The low hum of neighbours’ voices. The hammering, the lawn mowing, dogs barking. But the odd feeling of presence amid absence is disconcerting. I feel a pang of guilt writing this post when there is such pain around the world but on second thoughts I felt it was important to look at the human experience of this at a subjective level. If I cannot access this in myself, I know I will not be able to understand it in others.
I’ve decided to stagger whatever work that remains to be done to the home. It feels good to have someone around. I’ve found a good gardener who is enthusiastic about rejuvenating my garden. Once it is established, I know it will be a healing space. And, don’t we all need this?
Until next time
a dawn bird
In response to RDP – Tuesday – Bravado
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