We recently travelled north from Melbourne to Brisbane, a journey that unearthed memories from over thirty years ago. My parents, long gone, undertook this journey to visit us. This piece is a collage of my impressions on the road.
Up the Newell
Up early after a scrappy sleep,
Our bags are packed, Christmas gifts safely stored.
New Years Day:
Eerily-empty roads stretch out in front of us.
The Newell Highway, the inland route.
Hours pass looking out at the scenery
Time lacks dimension as we settle in for a day driving.
Hungry, everything’s closed except the roadhouse at the other end of town.
A greasy lunch,
The first of many.
NSW stretches ahead of us longer than the daylight.
It’s been wet…
Un-seasonal rain slashing off the tar, lying low in the gutters.
Stubble living evidence of the grain glut.
Stock-piles under blue tarps await sale.
Much of the land is low, flat, eternal.
Water birds, breed in the newly created wetlands,
Challenging the current ‘el Nino.’
Hills blue and mystical appear on the horizon
The road curves and we climb them.
Trees change colour, green to blue
Straw coloured grass is tinged with green
Under the grey skies.
It is cool, 27 degrees.
A cheeky emu stands proud in a cereal crop,
Only in Australia!
Flat, shrubby, red soil, chocolate loam.
We cross the border into Qld,
The arms of home welcome me.
Cunningham’s Gap lies ahead,
An inspiring range, stunning views of the cool tropics.
Our excitement mounts,
Soon we will be home in the arms of family.
Reunited over with coffee and rainbow cheesecake.