Winter in Mt Buffalo
I guess that’s what it’s like after living on the road..
Think of the variety of your own life. Consider the sheer abundance of everything surrounding you – you’re reading this on an LCD screen either stored in your pocket permanently or fixed to your desk at home, your desk at work, or your coffee table. Your home is adorned with a myriad of collectables, some you use frequently whilst others get dusted off every now-and-again..
Much of what you possess is beyond luxury to most of the human population of earth. Some countries of people struggle to eat, let alone sit down on a frosty sunday morning in a cafe nestled at the foot of the great dividing range to consider how lucky they are. Most of us understand this, yet struggle to maintain a strong appreciation for how fortunate we were to be brought up in the lucky country..
It isn’t something to be ashamed of – I believe it’s a simple human trait that anyone blessed with even minimal luxuries will eventually take them for granted within a generation or two. Think of your grandparents, and how they would use every skerrick of food in the cupboard, never wasting a scrap. Now, each of us own fridges stocked to overflowing and we choose ‘convenient’ eat-out options rather than figure a meal out for ourselves. Our grandparents would kept the lights off unless being in that particular room, to save on electricity and money. Now, we’ll design our houses around permanently alight fixtures – sometimes even on the outside when we’re not even home! Or, consider house sizes – my dad was brought up with five other brothers and sisters, and they shifted around the inner city with their folks from richmond to collingwood, from carlton to fitzroy. that’s eight to a (small inner city) house, and also probably the reason i chose to take up residency in the same areas myself. And, funnily enough, i never ventured further west than north melbourne, nor further south than the yarra river, just like dad. And now these days, homes are built two, three, four times the size as the nuclear family shrinks to four or five to a house..
It may be obvious but it remains important to explore – we live in a permanent state of sheer abundance, and the trend is demanding more on a daily basis. and we take it all for granted..
I’ve come to appreciate the simpler aspects of the world, and most importantly, my own backyard of victoria, by taking to the road and living a simpler, less-materialistic life (if you’d call it such). Take the past weekend – I lived out of the boot of my car, cooking meals on a gas-camp stove in picnic grounds in the ovens valley, sleeping on the back seat (it only takes a night to adjust), and putting off shaving until this evening..
Now, in the aforementioned cafe at the base of the great dividing range, I can sit in complete warmth (still with wet socks I’ll add) and enjoy the first warm drink I’ve had in three days now. Admittedly, this route of life isn’t prime for my dietary choices, but I’m happy as the positives much outweigh the negatives. Come the forty-eight hour mark I’m struck with a revitalised perspective on what it means to be lucky..
This leads me to contemplate the importance of a preserved natural world by first ignoring the biological and ecological significance, which surpasses human needs and instead focuses on the needs of all other living (and non-living) things on earth. Anyway, we know the icons of the australian landscape – the kangaroos, the emus, the echindas, the platypus, the burrunan dolphin – all each depend on a healthy world around them. it’s important to us because our culture depends wholly on a healthy world..
If we all offered ourselves a chance to experience something different that wasn’t a new television show. If instead of waking up in the same bed we do every day of the week we instead opened a tent fly to behold a land cloaked in fog or a river in winter flood. If we could all escape our lives a little more often, and appreciate the beauty (and absolute freedom) offered by the entirety of the great outdoors, then maybe we’d be beyond satisfied with the abundance that we are blessed with..
A cultural revival, as we return to the bush, to the sea, and to the mountains..
Our landscapes don’t teach us anything new, but instead remind us of what we’ve forgotten – that a simple life is such a quality life..
Photos from this trip over the incredibly beautiful plateau of Mt Buffalo can still be viewed here.