Canowindra Calling

My darling sister-in-law and sweet friend, Vivien, took her life on Sunday 2 August. I write about Vivien on my other blog Every Cloud has a Silver Lining. Suffice to say, the last few weeks have been a traumatic and profoundly sad time for the Robson family.

After the funeral, Justin and I grabbed Lucy, and went on a short road trip with his elderly mother and older sister to Canowindra, where they were to stay with a family friend on his farm.

The trip was unexpectedly cathartic. During the six hour road trip, there were times when we talked, questioned and remembered. “Why didn’t you …”, “If only I could have …”, “She was so …”, “I will miss …”. Other times we were very quiet, each withdrawn into our own thoughts.

Road trip with Mum, Fi, Justin, Boo Boo and me.

Our raw emotions were reflected in the rugged Australian landscape. We travelled across the Blue Mountains along Bell’s Line of Road through the pristine wilderness of Mount Tomah. The traditional owners being the Darug people.The deep mountain valleys exposing millenniums of sedimentary rock layers, as well as our sorrow, hurt and regret.  All the while we could hear the high pitched ringing of Bell Birds.

Welcome as waters unkissed by the summers
Are the voices of bell-birds to the thirsty far-comers.
Henry Kendell

The land is healing. I never experienced that before. I am more the type that is drawn to the ocean and walking along beaches than to climbing mountain peaks or  gazing upon wide open plains.

The expansive space, big sky, bright light and sheer unending size of this Australian land is comforting because you realise how small and unimportant you are in the scheme of things. That for millions of years this country has existed, and it will go on for millions of years more. We are mere observers passing through; we see it only briefly. But we are also one with all of this land, sky, nature. We breathe it. We eat it. We walk across, over and under it. Nothing leaves this planet. It is all recycled and reused. “From dust to dust” … and so we return to it, again and again.

Travelling the Bells Line Road, Blue Mountains
Travelling the Bells Line Road, Blue Mountains
Monkey Creek Cafe for lunch - highly recommended! (Gluten-free options for everything!)
Monkey Creek Cafe for lunch – highly recommended! (Lots of gluten-free options for Fi)

family

Once over the Great Dividing Range, we head down to the Central NSW tablelands – so flat, so wide, so big. We pass wineries and towns leftover from the prosperous gold rush days. Today they remain to support farming and ranching.  We see farms with sheep and cows, but also alpacas. There are also crops such as canola – its all very green, they must have had lots of rain.

Canowindra

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Our view out the front of the farm at sunset.

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View out the back window of Lucy at about 6.30 am.

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Imagine owning property this big? Our farmer friend Tony manages 3,000 hectares! “Ummm, how many football fields is that?” I ask. “Probably about 4,000,” he guesses. I still can’t picture it.

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Boo Boo very interested in cows
Boo Boo very interested in cows

We stop overnight at the Big 4 Caravan Park in Bathurst. It’s near the highway, but surprising very quiet. The nights were -1, but we were very warm in our little caravan.

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Time to go home.

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