Great Artesian Basin bore on Bollards Lagoon Station in the Australia Corner Country
Beyond the city limits lies a wealth of lessons in life
Adventuring beyond the city limits, deep into the outback and Australia Corner Country, can be a rejuvenating journey into humanity. The contrast in city and country values is clearly evident, enabling you to reflect holistically on the good and bad of city living, and how far you might have strayed from the essentials in life.
The obvious benefits in city living are access to education, incomes, services, entertainment and unbridled indulgence. For this we choose to live a life of permanent discontent, of unfulfilled expectations and ambitions most of us accept as normal.
The downside centres around pollution and noise, permanent distraction and demands for our attention, social decline and aggression within community, increasing reliance on government decree, detachment from nature. A virtual or artificial world constantly tugs at our primal being.
Should you be questioning the futility of life in the city and yearn to escape to a moment of clarity and restoration, you could well start by reading the classic 1889 poem by celebrated Australian poet AB “Banjo” Paterson, titled “Clancy of the Overflow”
“I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
Through the open window floating, spreads it’s foulness over all.
And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
Of the tramways and the buses making hurry down the street,
And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet
And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste”
In dreams of “Clancy” the cattle drover, Paterson’s poem strikes at the distinct contrast between city and country, a divide existing even to this day:
“For the Drover’s life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know”
“And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and river on it’s bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars.”
Step forward 131 years to this day, to experience the Australia Corner Country
Consider life outback in the corner country where three states share a common border and contemplate the lessons outback folk bring to our collective lives.
Beyond the city limits, 2.3% of the Australian population care for 82% of the continent’s land mass and produce 70% of our trading wealth. But that’s simply the economic argument.
Whether on a rural property or in a small service town, people are bonded to country and community as one. They have roots deeply imbedded in history and endeavour which leads to the security of “belonging”. In the city, many folk are simply passing through “root-less”.
Our First Peoples can testify to a deep-rooted “belonging” imbedded in their culture, one which recent settlers have largely overlooked for 200 years.
Whether through the “vision splendid” or farming struggles, adverse weather events or enterprising abundance, family life in the country revolves around a connection to nature, a practical awareness and dependence on conservation. Any neglect carries a direct personal impact.
Country folk draw energy and spirit from every dawning sunrise and setting glow, embracing a broad sensory experience without the intrusion of high rise structures or distractions.
They respond to a peculiar set of daily challenges city folk take for granted or are unfamiliar with, often challenges impossible by city standards.
Life centres around an awareness and care for others virtually on a daily basis and distant neighbours well known. Travel to any remote corner of Australia and you can’t ignore the adulation held for the Royal Flying Doctor.
Indulgence in the bush takes a simple form. There is joy in doing without or with less, while in the city we are victims of consumerism and “stuffocation”.
Evidence abounds in the outback, of difficulties overcome through personal enterprise and ingenuity, rather than expectations of a hand-out or entitlement.
Social events reach a new dimension leading to loyalty, courtesy and respect for leadership of the day (no matter how bad), a quality less apparent in the city.
While the pace of life may seem more relaxed, evidence of hard work and application, humbly delivered are widely apparent.
In this 21st century of global turmoil, country life is centred around humanity. This may be the deep rooted reason behind some discerning city folk now choosing an alternative lifestyle in small country towns across the inland.
Bridge the divide through a journey to the Corner Country
Guests joining us on our Corner Country Outback Tour have an opportunity to bridge the City-Country Divide:
Sadly, in each small country village city folk are seen motoring through, barely attuned to the character which makes each town or region of unique significance.
Scant regard is ever given to the Afghan Camaleers and their camel trains which once lumbered huge blocks of sandstone, heavy machinery and bales of wool across vast tracks of the Corner Country, in dedicated service to settlement and pioneering enterprise.
Rarely considered is the reliance inland communities have had on the supply of water from the Great Artesian Basin. Even the success of Australia’s first Hydro-Electricity engineering plant way back in 1898, lighting up a town like Thargomindah, was a world class engineering feat.
Rural dynasties give credence to strong family values, bonding and endeavour.
Family lives have come to a standstill and then regenerated beyond the ravages of flood, fire, pest invasion, over-grazing, land mismanagement. Recovery nurtured by character.
Applied innovation, design, intelligence and connection to nature in a quiet corner of the country has led to significant success in resource exploration and organic farming.
The curious characters, their feats of endeavour have led to a unique Australian Spirit.
While politicians and city folk are quick to sing the praises of Australia as the world’s finest multi-cultural nation, there is much to be said for more city folk investing time and energy discovering the Australian bush and the roots to which we are all collectively linked.
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