I’m 30,000 feet above a vastness that only one who’s driven around and across it can understand.
An endless stretch of red dust and outcroppings of rustic rocks breaking up the dusty monotony. A monotony that holds a depth and richness that can only be felt through your traipsing feet.
Deep ravines and gorges, streaming waterfalls, ankle high blades of grass that give the perception of barren lushness, and hidden waterholes destroying all ideas you thought were true about a desert landscape.
The Dreamtime vastness draws itself to the coastline, morphing into undulating valleys, craggy cliff faces, small mountain peaks and lush rainforests until it finishes in a burst of shimmering turquoise water, luminescent white and golden sand, and set of clean barrels that beckon surfers from around the world and carves an endless roll of world champs.
It speaks of sunshine and freedom only a spirit knows. It sounds like didgeridoos echoing across the valleys and lorikeets screeching at sunset. It smells of ocean air, and coffee beans and whiffs of sunscreen and tastes of ripe berries, sweet prawns and juicy mangoes.
I look out the window, my heart pulls and swells. Look at that endless space that I‘m a part of and will never cease to be a part of me.
You don’t understand it until you’ve lived it.
The endless blue skies that clouds forget to visit for months on end, the abundant bounty, and ancient beauty, tribal wisdom, and never-ending opportunity.
Safety, security, nourishment, love and wisdom. She teaches you to be strong and earthy, carefree, adventurous, yet gentle and humble.
You don’t know this until you’ve walked elsewhere and returned different. Gone to the endless space, away from the noise to figure out who you are and how you connect.
With eyes that don’t just speak from the aspect of birthland, but one that’s gazed upon higher mountain peaks, danced with tribal warriors, and swam in different oceans.
You return home changed.
Eyes tainted by the exoticness of different lands. You’re unsure if you belong together anymore and if it even matters that you have the same blood.
You promise to allow her to open you up and show you the truth. You build your dream. You journey from east to west, north to south and taste every corner of her surprises and delights.
You fall in love. True Love. Authentic love, not born from patriotism, but from knowing, like our traditional owners knew.
You couldn’t have done it without her. She’s your Mother and Father and Soul Sister.
I love her to a depth that one can only understand 30, 000 feet in the air connecting to the same expansive freedom – spirit to spirit.
This is what Australia means to me.
I acknowledge, celebrate and love her every day.
I hope we can move into an era where we love and respect her rainbow and diversity of colours and celebrate it on a day that holds no pain for anyone.