Hello to Readers of/Listeners to alisonearlsALOUD!
This month’s addition is a brand new short story, written during a trip to Australia’s Northern Territory which included a visit to the vast Kakadu National Park. No one could fail to be impressed by the expanse of land and different terrains and ecosystems that exist across it. The connection that the indigenous people have to the land was born and still thrives in places like this and we who live in cities can overlook what seems obvious until we stand on red earth and see no traces of man for miles in any direction.
So, although, the history and the stories of the first people of Australia can never be matched or replaced, I felt inspired to write something about man’s connection to nature, to the land. And since part of the visit included an illuminating tour with one of the traditional owners – who told us that his grandfather had lived in a tree in Arnhem Land – I wanted to try and write something that wouldn’t seek to mimic or take the place of the words of those who know the land much better than I ever will, I wanted to try and put something in my own words to acknowledge what I’d learned and experienced during my brief time at the heart of the Australian country. I know “Of The Land” is as insignificant in the scheme of Australia’s storytelling history as I felt standing looking out over seemingly infinite flood plains, next to towering rock formations and alongside people who have lived on and for the land. But I hope the story provides a few minutes of reading/listening that might inspire you to seek out the true stories of a country and people whose 50,000 years of history puts my own firmly in its place. And that you might one day – if you haven’t already – visit the regions that can inspire and intimidate at the same time.