Sunday, January 18, 2009

All you who have not loved her


From the coast we began to climb into the High Country. The Alpine Way is gorgeous with a rocky creek bubbling beside the road. The mountains are high by Australian standards and more pointed than those here in the Blue Mountains, some cleared, so again the brilliant green of grassland.

"All you who have not loved her, you will not understand". This is the small town of Omeo, nothing special to most but special to me because my Mother was born here. Her grandparents and her great grandmother (my great-great grandmother) are buried here. Her forebears were part of this little town back in the early days droving sheep and cattle to the high plains for summer pasture. Others followed the lure of gold. And for others the 1890s depression pushed them out of the city into this remote bush town.

The nearby gold town Sunnyside where my grandmother was born is no longer there, not even a ghost town is left. It is now silent, just a rough track through the tall mountain ash forest.


Musing:
From The Roaring Days by Henry Lawson
"And when the cheery camp-fire
Explored the bush with gleams,
The camping-grounds were crowded
With caravans of teams;
Then home the jests were driven,
And good old songs were sung,
And choruses were given
The strength of heart and lung.
Oh, they were lion-hearted
Who gave our country birth!
Oh, they were of the stoutest sons
From all the lands on earth!

...

Ah, then our hearts were bolder,
And if Dame Fortune frowned
Our swags we'd lightly shoulder
And tramp to other ground.
But golden days are vanished,
And altered is the scene;
The diggings are deserted,
The camping-grounds are green;
The flaunting flag of progress
Is in the West unfurled,
The mighty bush with iron rails
Is tethered to the world."

5 comments:

  1. A special place indeed Joan. What a foundation for your family history.

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  2. Such a soul-restoring view, JE. Good to read the family connection: makes the image deeper.

    I have not read much Lawson, to my abashment.

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  3. I find that photographing my hometown endears it to me all the more and I supposed while reading this posting that you felt the same. I don't have deep connections to my family history but I feel them deepening as I write about my daily life and what it references. I'm glad you had to chance to visit. Do you still have family there?

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  4. No immediate family there now. Though I am sure there would still be members of the extended family in the region, my great grandparents had 14 children!

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  5. And stop at every wayside post and think of people not far from here ... who have endured more than I can comprehend.

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