Friday, January 14, 2011

Steep Learning Curves

The train station escalator at Parliament Station, Melbourne

Request to a Year
~ Judith Wright

If the year is meditating a suitable gift,
I should like it to be the attitude
of my great- great- grandmother,
legendary devotee of the arts,
who having eight children
and little opportunity for painting pictures,
sat one day on a high rock
beside a river in Switzerland.

And from a difficult distance viewed
her second son, balanced on a small ice flow,
drift down the current toward a waterfall
that struck rock bottom eighty feet below,
while her second daughter, impeded,
no doubt, by the petticoats of the day,
stretched out a last-hope alpenstock
(which luckily later caught him on his way).

Nothing, it was evident, could be done;
And with the artist's isolating eye
My great-great-grandmother hastily sketched the scene.
The sketch survives to prove the story by.
Year, if you have no Mother's day present planned,
Reach back and bring me the firmness of her hand.
A ride at the water park adventure playground in Geelong, Victoria

 A limestone sinkhole garden at Mount Gambier, South Australia

A cliff view near the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road, Victoria

We encountered lots of steep situations during our holidays which required us to hold hands.  They made for great holiday photo opps.  Reflecting back, it reminds me of how many different sights we saw despite the long sameness of the journey.   New places sort of sneak up on you when you are on the road.  Shifting three kids out of the car at every sight-seeing stop and buckling them back in was a bit fatiguing, and after a while they started to moan (except when a playground was involved).  "Aw..not again!"  They'd make good coach travellers on whistle-stop tours.


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