I’ve spent quite a bit of time in rural NSW this past year, the Riverina district in particular. This is the land of Mr Books and also where I spent four years during my uni days.
We’ve loved having days of open spaces, long sunsets and watching the changing seasons unfold around my father-in-laws property. It has been a hard year, saying goodbye to him, but one of the unexpected joys has been realising that we are both still country kids at heart.
Sheep Country in Spring
THE FLOWER SEASON fills the crescent hills
and spring is the colour of all the earth!
a bird cries HOORAH to pierce the lake-bright sky
because the wind shakes the dam in its mirth!
And this day, this spring, this amazing bud of the land,
you and I are you-and-I are us
together again in such skyblue happiness
only tried lands in the spring possess.
The country is strong and alive and, being acquainted with drought,
now exclaims massed daisies beneath the trees.
From our hill all the grazing mile-flowered territories
are us, after drought, in the earned spring’s ease.
by Thomas W. Shapcott From Time on Fire (1961)