Thursday, January 26, 2012

happy australia day!

{ALERT ~ no craft or screenprinting in this post ~ it's all a bit patriotic!}

I've always been a proud Australian, but after living overseas for the past 6 months, I have a new perspective on Australia Day (today) this year. This year we will be celebrating how truly lucky we are to be Australians, and really mean it.

Last night, I was reading an article about Australia Day and the writer admitted that she admired the way in which Americans unabashedly express their love for their country - on any day of the year! I don't think that will catch on here as much (the Australian way is a bit more understated), but there is some merit in being aware of how good we have it on a regular basis. It's true what they say ... distance makes the heart grow fonder; the grass always seems greener on the other side, but it mostly isn't; and, it's all relative!

Lastly, I've read this poem many times, and heard it read even more, but I finally really understand it.


The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

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!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die -
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold -
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand -
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

by Dorothea Mackellar

Normal programming will resume on this blog after we've sung the national anthem, thrown a few snags on the barbie, listened to the Triple J Hottest 100, played backyard cricket, downed a chardy or two, eaten some pav and had a good lie down!


Bigprint Little said...

Ha! I imagine you'd need to put the billy on and have a good lie down after all that!
Have a great Australia day with your family Nic -it must be nice to be home.

Tania said...

Amen to all that :) Snags, pav and some Aussie music here too today.

Bianca said...

Ditto! Even though I wasn't born in this country, I'm very patriotic about it. I feel Aussie ;) Happy Straya day.. we'll be putting some prawns on the barbie too.

Wombat's Picnic said...

Nice - and yes living overseas really does change your perspective. Have a wonderful Australia Day! Cyndy

PS I should mention that I covet your tea towel:)

Sally said...

Lying on the couch with bad pool hair in my bathers/swimmers/cossie watching the cricket and tennis with the fan blowing and Hottest 100 blaring. Yay!

Funky Junk Antique Show said...

Awesome! Happy Australia!!

Caroline said...

Amazing that poem, isn't it? Hope you're all recovered from your very Aussie revelries.

Shabby Vintage Junk said...

I hear ya loud & clear Nic....I arrived home on Australia Day 1996 after living in Texas for 6 months....Peter Allen's 'I still call Australia Home' was playing on the PA as I walked through the international terminal to awaiting Friends....Tears were streaming down my face & I remember as if it was yesterday thinking, "Thank God for Australia....I am so glad to be Home"....

We are SO very VERY lucky hey....**wink**....!

Tamarah :o)