floods · Mum · Tweed Valley

My Country

There’s been an awful lot of rain in my part of the world lately; rain, along with cooler temperatures.

Some areas of Queensland have flooded, while others are on flood alert.

The roads in northern New South Wales, where I live, are full of pot-holes. Apparently, the Tweed has been listed as a disaster area.

The rain is predicted to continue. Already it has been gauged that Australia has just had the wettest spring on record. Many of the dams throughout the country are full to overflowing.

An Australian politician has even declared, “This is a disaster of biblical proportions”.

Is there any good news?

Okay world, that all sounds like bad news. So how about some good news? Isn’t this a blog about “Everyday Inspirations”?

Yes, we’ve had a lot of rain, mostly in the sub-tropics (where I live) and further north in the tropics.

It’s summer, the cyclone season, the wet weather season. This is typical summer’s weather for these parts.

What isn’t typical is the cooler temperatures. Do you hear me complaining? Not a chance! We get enough heat in summer, on a regular basis. These cooler days are pure luxury!

The dams are overflowing. For many years, up until just recently, most areas that I know of, on the eastern side of Australia at least, have experienced water restrictions, due to drought. Livestock and plants have gone to God, due to lack of water.

We should be dancing and rejoicing in the rain!

The rain has prevented the usual outbreak of raging fires throughout the country. Hallelujah!

Has it always been this way?

During my lifetime I have lived through both fires and floods. My family was evacuated from our home when I was ten years old. We lived in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, an area prone to fires.

From nature’s point of view, fire is necessary to rejuvenate the bush!

From a human point of view, fire is destructive. It takes lives. It burns down houses. My Godmother and a close friend’s home were both destroyed in the aforementioned fires, but they survived. So I’m thankful.

When choosing an area to live in, isn’t it wise to find out if flooding is likely to occur? Or if the area is prone to bushfires? Or if venomous snakes have been sighted in your area? Or if the local aeroplane flight path goes over your home? Or if the during the burning of the sugar cane, ash is likely to litter your back yard?

That’s Australia.

Australia is Australia. It’s a harsh country. And that is the way it’s always been.

One of the most famous Australian poems is “My Country”, written by Australian born Dorothea Mackellar in the early 1900’s.

A rather lengthy poem, containing six verses, Dorothea began writing the poem in 1904, during a bout of home sickness. She was travelling through England and Europe and missing her homeland.

The poem was first published in the “London Spectator” in 1908, by its original title, “Core of my Heart”. It was republished in Australia at a later date and has been a favourite with Australian’s ever since.

The first verse of the poem refers to England. This is the second, and most famous verse of “My Country”.

“I love a sunburnt country,

A land of sweeping plains

Of ragged mountain ranges

Of droughts and flooding rains.

I love her far horizons

I love her jewel sea,

Her beauty, and her terror ~

The wide brown land for me!”

~ Dorothea MacKellar (1885-1968)

If you would like to read the full version of “My Country”, it can be found on the Official Dorothea Mackellar Website.

Wikipedia also has further background history to the poem, along with information on Dorothea Mackellar herself here.

A Diverse Climate.

Australia has always had, and no doubt always will have, a very diverse climate. When you call Australia home, you learn to live with it, you get used to it, and yes, you love it!

P.S. The photo credit for today goes to my Mum. Yes, that’s a fifteen year old “me”, as my family prepared to batten down the hatches at the store we owned, in Murwillumbah, Northern N.S.W.

I was heading to our neighbouring business, (either to ask for or offer help, I don’t remember which). The river, only approximately 50 metres away was predicted to break its banks at any time.

My mother’s contribution during this time of crisis? Taking photos for posterity, of course! (I wish she were still here today to thank her!) 🙂

6 thoughts on “My Country

  1. I love the photo! I’m so glad your Mum had her priorities in order. 😉 (I would have done the same.)

    I’ve had similar thoughts over the years about the “changing climate” and weather disasters. It’s not as if these things are new to the world. What I think is new is that we have the media focused on the bad news. The hyperbole is, well, hyperbolic. lol!


  2. You’re so right, Robin. The media talks, viewers listen, repeat the news, it’s passed on, and on, before you know it, you have a “big fish” story! And the exaggeration isn’t confined to stories about the weather, unfortunately.

    That’s why I now choose NOT to listen to the news! 😀


  3. Hi Joanne, I didn’t realise you were also in Australia, I chuckled at your photo of Murwillumbah and the rising water, my hubby and I were considering moving there until recently when he lost his job there. We’re on the Gold Coast.


  4. Just up the road from me! 🙂

    I lived in Murwillumbah for three years and I have a soft spot for the town. It’s a very pretty place and I have wonderful memories of walking everywhere when I lived there. Walks beside the river, with that beautiful mountain backdrop were superb!

    You probably wouldn’t want to live in Murwillumbah though, if hubby isn’t working there any more. Perhaps it’s a tad isolated.


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