Gosh, it got to be Monday again fast. Saturday was Australia Day and I must confess to mixed feelings about it. There’s been a lot of flag waving and I don’t like our current flag. When we are a republic, I look forward to waving one that more clearly reflects our independence. One without a Union Jack. I love the Southern Cross though so we can keep that bit. Australia Day commemorates the landing of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788 and the moment of sovereignity of Britain over the country. Not such a great moment for our indigenous population as it turned out and there have been other names for Australia Day including a Day of Mourning, Invasion Day and Survival Day. All reflecting elements of truth. Whatever it is called, and even though there are genuine attempts to include EVERYONE in the celebrations, I am not a flag waver at the best of times. The patriotism can descend into racism and bigotry. And unfortunately, in the past it sometimes has.
Out here, a spell of cooler weather meant we could head to Mutawintji National Park just under 150 kms away, and spend a couple of days in a place very sacred to the indigenous population. At Mutawintji, there is evidence of continuous aboriginal settlement for thousands of years. The area was apparently a meeting place for many of the kinship groups around and the spectacular gorges and rock formations are very special. The Homestead Creek campsite was nearly deserted-this time of year would normally be too hot to contemplate staying-but it was just lovely and I even needed the sleeping bag at one point during the night. There was a full moon and a lovely Australian version of a trekking guide even helped put up the tent and bought me a cuppa in the morning. What more could a woman want?
The Park is home to emus, wallabies, lizards and four species of kangaroo including the endangered Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby. Not sure if we saw any of the latter but we saw heaps of the other fauna. A wonderful wedge tail eagle soared, to the west appropriately, as we started the Western Ridge Trail and flocks of almost luminescent budgerigars snapped past in formation. Fabulous.
Tragically, the Park is also home to thousands of feral goats. Trapping them is not even touching the sides of the problem and I do wonder what will happen. On our walk into the Mutawintji Gorge, a really special place with a permanent waterhole, you would not touch the water which is more a goat poo sludge than water I think.
I love the colours of our Outback and so today’s arrangement (my Monday Mindfulness thing for the new readers) is a celebration of those fabulous colours. (Observant readers will spot a beloved shaligram in there too!) I found the gumnuts on runs or they are from trees in our garden and I especially love the little yellow ones that look like they have been piped from the icing bag. (That was a very slow run that morning) I’ve made earrings from the orange ones in the past and naturally feeling a Mutawintji necklace coming on. Unfortunately, to be truly authentic, it will HAVE to incorporate polymer goat poo. But that could still be decorative. I’ll keep you posted.
And I haven’t forgotten the necklace draw. Stand by for results! But don’t fear, the winner won’t be getting a faux poo necklace.