Happy Australia Day, everyone!
After the energy depleting heat and humidity over the last couple of days, Australia Day Monday is turning out to be a cool and grey one in Sydney. The patriotic pork pie hat one of us was planning to make another one of us wear today is still lying flat on the bedroom floor. Resting gently on a pillow and blankie that are going to be getting a lot more use today.
Plans for a day out embracing the sun, the water, barbecues and lamingtons to a soundtrack of great Australian music have been put on hold. Instead, quiet music is streaming from my ipad and my kindle is sitting fully charged in anticipation for a day on the sofa reading, reflecting and trying to stay away from the Australia Day online sales (which seem to have gone global this year).
This Australia Day, my gratitude and love for my country is also an ode to my adopted city, Sydney.
I love that I'm never far from the water, wherever I may be relative to the pulsing bridges and motorways that somehow get us all from A to B, often with detours and drama, but always onwards to the B... The water calms and strengthens me whenever I gaze at it. No matter what my frame of my mind when approaching it, I leave in awe of a greater presence that has guided me well through life so far.
I love that your festivals and concerts cater to Australians of all ages, tastes and attention spans.
Epsecially on days after a less than optimal night's sleep, I adore the multitude of ways in which you enable us to enjoy our morning coffees. From rustic cottages in the middle of urbania,
to soon to be opened and keenly anticipated converted 'facility blocks' like this one that happens to be across the road from my work.
I love that while I can walk the streets of Sydney and have a strong sense of the past and the people who toiled to give us what we effortlessly enjoy today, I can also be caught up in the frenzy of global retail, even if it is only as a window shopper.
And as an aside on the global shopping point, I am deeply appreciative of our efficient and friendly postal service. That we don't have to worry too often about things going 'missing' and that our fellow Australians in regional centres get their post and parcels in a timely manner.
But most of all, I'm most grateful today for the space we have in and as Australians. The intellectual space to dream and create without political repression.
The physical space to explore and experience the new. Immediately. Unfiltered. Safely.
And the personal space to be both Australian and human. To be united in grief and also tolerant of individual religion and sexuality.
Thank you, Australia. For everything.