Today is Australia Day. Across the country, millions of Australians are celebrating our wonderful country, and new Australians join us. We are Australia, and our second name is diversity.
Down south, in the cities below the Tropic of Capricorn, the weather is sunny and warm. It’ll be a perfect night for the fireworks in Sydney. Up here in the tropics and in the thirsty west of Queensland, we’re having some rain at last. Not floods of it, but a soaking fine rain and strong wind. Perfect to give the ground a drink after such a long Dry. We’re promised more for the next couple of days. Celebrations of a different kind, and for a different reason. The farmers will see a film of green on the bare brown paddocks in a few days. Dams will fill and the animals will have something to drink. The fire risk will abate out west, and a few more farmers will save their farms to hand down to their children.
It’s been too dark today to do much sewing; the lighting in my sewing room isn’t good and I rely on strong daylight coming in at the window, but with black rainclouds overhead, I’ve set it aside for a while. So, here are some more words, which I feel are appropriate to the day:
I stopped my world
And I got off, and left behind
Grey clouds, blanketing
The cold Northern skies.
I flung myself, rejoicing,
At a younger nation and purer sky,
At newborn days and glorious nights,
A cleaner slate to write upon.
I said goodbye, unhesitating,
To Orion, Ursa and Polaris,
And find myself blessed
Under the Southern Cross
I’ve been in Australia ten years, and a citizen seven of them. I don’t regret my decision to come for a second, and you couldn’t pay me enough to make me go back. I love this country, for its faults (and there are some), for its ridiculous, excessive beauty, for its diversity and for its people, of whatever colour or origin.
Happy Australia Day, today (the real day) and tomorrow (the public holiday!)
And a happy snap of the Southern Cross constellation, which I don’t think I’ll get a look at tonight.
Southern Cross constellation:
Alpha Crucis, Beta Crucis,
Delta Crucis and Gamma Crucis