Don’t get me wrong. I loved being in Melbourne. The Conference was terrific. I especially enjoyed socialising with old and new friends before the Conference started. I even saw a new release art house movie, something that is impossible to do on Mitchells Island.
But I was homesick almost before I left Sydney. I found the pace of the cities took me away from a quiet, peaceful, internal space I’ve come to cultivate here in the country. It’s probably platitudinous to say the noise, tempo and congestion in both cities jangled my nerves and made sleep elusive.
The lack of beauty and greenery was shocking too. We’ve had so much rain in the Manning Valley that everywhere you look, you see emerald green and unseasonable lushness. No urban parks, historical monuments, or amusement parks can compete with nature.
And especially cannot compete with the daily wonders that nature serves up. On the beach yesterday I saw a shearwater floating around in the surf. It let me approach as it drifted on the tidal water, at times spinning with the spiral flows. It must have flown a very long distance and was exhausted. Today I saw a sea eagle fly over with a big fish in it’s mouth, looking for a good tree limb to savour his meal undisturbed.
And then, there’s our new neighbour who moved in while I was away – Charlie Brown. A red pony with a blonde mane and tail. I’m working on seducing him with carrots and apples, but he’s still a little cautious. Not to worry, I have plenty of time.

Charlie Brown