I have just spent the end of September and the first few days of October at my sister-in-law's property in Bowral, in the middle of the very green and grounding Southern Highlands. It was a time for walking more slowly, breathing properly, dreaming up future biro projects and revelling in the magic of family.
Throughout this time away, it was fantastic to immerse myself in and around the landscape of my sister-in-law's home. Most days, gang-gang cockatoos, yellow-tailed black-cockatoos, pacific herons, yellow-rumped thornbills, straw-necked ibis, eastern whipbirds and lyrebird-imitating satin bowerbirds were my companions as I walked by copperhead springs, lavender plots and giant pines. Mist, rain, perfect cyan firmament, gutsy winds and temperatures from 7 to 34 degrees showcased the schizophrenic nature of Highland weather.
For an hour and a half, one flawless morning by the zen face of the Wingecarribee River, I caught up with Burradoo's wordsmith and teacher, Mark Tredinnick. We talked about the Australian writers we admire and question, Australian geography, Highland bird calls, the heavyweights of U.S. nature writing and the delicate art of penning good poetry well.
LJ, October 4 2008.