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Journey over Brown Mountain

The majestic tree ferns entangled in the native vines of my regret – a pair of gang gang cockatoos flap across the landscape. The serene valley beneath is stilted in my conscious mind evaporates the stress of my everyday life.

Rocks slotted across the wiry mounds – a mass of baby fir trees emerge – hopeful of the burgeoning rains. Their hope is unjustified in the stillness of the cloud-less skies. Above the range clouds peep up teasing the arid canvas – scalloped by a tinge of promise – another day melts into the next and desolate days fill the calendar of regret. The twisting vines of yesteryear are ardent in their survival of the great drought. How can the valley survive? How will it make it through another minute?

The lazy mist lays dormant in the sleepy valley beneath the eagles nest. At 5:40am the first curtain call of the day reveals the deafening stillness of the valley in REM sleep. A mauve aura clings to the ridges – comforting, encouraging; suffocating. A tiny flock of sheep lost in the thicket groveling for food; a nutritious morsel in the ribs of the despot ranges. Gaia please offer one tiny green blade to ingest an attempt to keep the haggard skin falling off their beleaguered bodies while a tiny lamb bleats a pathetic cry in this alpine region of Australia.

Monarch butterflies offer a colourful distraction. The land is emerging from its winter hibernation and rushed headlong into the worst precipitous of drought. The lack of rain has cast an evil jacket on the mounds of optimism. Our earth Mother has been subjugated to the outer realm of Hades and now the Devil walks along the ridges of torment pounding his malevolent chest.

Off in the distance storm clouds are rising from the coast. The wind swings around and ushers them toward the brown impoverished mattress. Starving creatures lift their heads with a whiff of a promise of the rejuvenating elixir from the heavens. A sprinkle of rain dances gently over the dry and domestic creatures – they stand – a vanguard of honour for the replenishing rain that will give them respite for another day.

A magpie splashes in a dirty brown puddle; throwing the water over his feathers – an indulgence sublime beyond comprehension. He cocks his head and invites his mate in for the ultimate spa. She responds and pecks his wryly cheek.

The rains have come. The trees bow in gratitude; indigenous animals and domestic creatures of all breeds give a collective, “thanks”. Our car drives through the watery wishing well forging a path to the cabin of hope.

Peace and Love,

Julia Ashton-Sayers

Journey over Brown Mountain


Joined March 2008

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