Posts Tagged ‘HanSuyin’

And the rain my drink. Han Suyin.

March 19, 2021


Annette and I were planning to visit my brother up north  for this week-end but she  pointed out that the weather predictions were dire, The advice was to limit all driving to the essentials only. Pictures of flooding roads are already on the news even before the bulk of torrential downpours have even started. Red lights are flashing and the latest on the news now use words like ‘calamitous and dire’. Not at all encouraging especially considering giving up on a romantic week-end catching up on love and family. Still, the car being swept up into a raging torrent would not be anyone’s idea of romance or re-kindling family ties.


Some residents are now advised to leave or risk having to be evacuated from rooftops if the predicted flooding  eventuates over the next few days. It is often one thing or the other in Australia. I copy a famous poem by Dorothea Mackellar.

My Country – I love a sunburnt country

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft, dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of drought and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold –
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

Dorothea Mackellar

The above photo is our first house that we lived in between 1968-1973 and like all the places we lived in, very unique and beautiful. It looked out over the harbour towards the famous Sydney Harbour bridge. The bank manager giving us a mortgage thought we were mad; ‘it’s nothing but a shed’, he said.