tirra lirra by the river ...

"I think the kind of landscape that you grew up in, it lives with you. I don't think it's true of people who've grown up in cities so much; you may love a building, but I don't think that you can love it in the way that you love a tree or a river or the colour of the earth; it's a different kind of love." 

[Arundhati Roy]

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, 
for it's not the same river 
and he's not the same man." 


I check in each time I arrive at the river.  Which birds are calling out today? The Olive-backed Oriole, the Spangled Drongo. Which trees are in flower or fruit? The fig.  Is the water level higher or lower than last visit?  Where do the currents pull today and how strongly?  What gifts has the water washed in for the eye to admire?

I check myself each time I arrive at the river.  What was happening in my life when last I stood here, in this place? What has changed in the time that has passed since?  The longer I live in Far North Queensland, the more I become attuned to the teachings of its rivers.  They are the place where I am reminded so perfectly of impermanence, of the folly of trying to own and hold onto moments.  Of the inevitability and beauty in letting things go;  f l o w ... 


eventually even the largest rock shall be weathered away, with water, wind and time
boulders dislodge and shift downstream;
this too shall pass... 

In recent weeks, creek explorations have bought new delights with wet season rains clearing out branches and leaves and bringing forth new delights.  On my most recent visit, these took the form of numerous pink sedimentary shales, released through pounding rains upstream and washed down to rest in the calmer waters of the valley below.  Along with these shales was a ready supply of flat smooth granite pebbles, warmed by the rays of the sun and the perfect size to be cupped in one's palm. 

Gathering these shales and nine of these pebbles together, I spent the morning moving them into numerous configurations, to the sounds of children playing and water coursing over rocks. 

“A river seems a magic thing. 
A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.” 

[Laura Gilpin]