by Anna Blanch on January 8, 2013


There are things I notice when I’m on trains that I don’t notice elsewhere.

I notice the children playing in the river below the railway bridge as they jump and wave, hoping to connect to the large tube filled with people rushing past. It reminds me of The Railway Children.

I notice the neatly order rows in the cemeteries we glide past. I feel a pull in my gut as I think about those I’ve lost in the last year.

I’ve noticed the detritus and junk that collects in people’s yards: the piles of unwanted stuff haphazardly spills all over bare dirt.

I’ve noticed ow much I’m attracted to the rugged beauty of less ‘ordered’ or fussy clumps of trees: the control seeming too much as neatly spaced trees become a barrier without offering much shade. I like the way nature and time and livestock often work out their own best ways of making the landscape and the inhabitants work together.

I notice the curves and ridges and slopes of the mountain ranges with their patches of Green visible.

Today I travel south again musing about the things that trains teach me. And though I revel in reflecting on the good and the beautiful, there is something more ominous afoot. Today there are thousands of Australians who are facing catastrophic fire danger warnings. This truly is a land of droughts, fires and flooding rains. My thoughts and prayers are with those who will risk their lives to protect the lives and homes of others, who will have to make difficult decisions in the process, and those who will feel the fear the waves of flames and smoke will bring. My thoughts too are with those who have lived through these fires in the past, my friends in Canberra, Kinglake, and Southern Queensland, for whom these emergencies give rise to painful memories.

This morning I said good bye to this little face – a face that wouldn’t say goodbye back but descended into giggles everytime I smiled at her and caught her eye.


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