Oxley To Beyond


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Oxley To Beyond

  1. 1. OXLEY and BEYOND From Lake Innes on the Tasman Coast to Lake Mungo where an ancient shore receded 20,000 years ago. © Colin Perrott, 2008 Wild Oxley Rivers
  2. 2. OXLEY AND BEYOND: From Lake Innes to Lake Mungo In this virtual tour we take the route across northern New South Wales taken by explorer John Oxley in 1818. But we travel in reverse direction; from Lake Innes on the Tasman coast up the Hastings River inland to climb onto the New England Tablelands near Apsley Falls. They are spectacular! Others slightly to the north measure among the highest in the southern hemisphere. Further to the west, we encounter the Pilliga region behind the coastal ranges. Then at Dubbo, we leave Oxley’s route, and head out into the western plains toward Cobar. Ann regards this as the ‘real’ New South Wales – the place where she grew up. It is flat – and once the bed of an expansive ancient sea. The elevation typically falls only a few inches per mile traveled. There is little rain, but a vast aquifer persists below the alluvial plains. So, colonization by white Australians brought sheep, cattle, rabbits and much desertification. Since then extensive cropping of wheat and cotton has been added in particular areas. It is fragile, this land! West of Cobar is the territory of the Ngiyampaa peoples with its treasures of magnificent rock art. Finally, to the south of Broken Hill we find Lake Mungo. Sand hills eroded as a result of occupation by white man, the sheep and the rabbits he introduced; reveal an amazing wealth of history. This is one of the cradles of human civilization and was occupied some 40 to 60 millennia ago. It dried up as the last ice age receded, leaving the indigenous Australians to cope with steady and inevitable desiccation all around. For me, the ultimate lesson in humility is the existence of human imprints preserved in the ancient lake bed and dating from around 20,000 BCE. More than 250 footprints, including those of family groups, still mark the edge of this vast ancient lake. The people were tall by our standards and so apparently well nourished. They had established traditions of ritual burial of their dead – and like many early human civilizations, they practiced inter-tribal marriage as a basis for genetic strength and also simply for harmony and preservation of the living history of our kind. Arguably, that civilization was at a similar stage of development back then as Europe. However, the adverse climate changes drove it surely onto a different course. No, we should not presume any superiority from the route of development our own forebears followed! Yes, it is highly appropriate that all Australians have now shaken hands and agreed it is time to build our nation – as one. Colin Perrott 8th December 2008
  3. 3. A New Beginning (to compassion) In the beginning we knew the danger of greed. But every limit becomes a challenge to exceed. So we stretch the bounds at increasing speed in a drive that consumes us all, yet fills no need. We are swelled in frantic pursuit of conquest and turn upon each other, just to have the best. In sensing achievement, we lust for even more. At the end, control is the one target we strive for. Those who are shrewd will let us charge past because it is true that a tyrant’s days never last. But the Earth just cannot move safely aside. So we destroy our home with each selfish stride. How might we think this makes any sense? Quite likely we will assume a mighty defense pointing to destiny reserved in some fine place, existing for elite members of the human race. But in the beginning we all rose from the land, flourished and grew as if held in nature’s hand. Life was not easy, and the rules were but two: Take what you need; let the remainder renew. What you might need reflects what you think. It isn’t measured in sustaining food or drink. Notice that bigger vessels are harder to fill, and jealous minds even harder still. In the beginning we shared with compassion, a quaint old notion now quite out of fashion. When desire consumes at an escalating rate we approach all obstacles impatient and irate. Once we were secured by strong family roots across our valley and its many offshoots. We gained strength and took time to create. Now refined, we revere the tyranny of hate. Amen. CMP Chimacum, 2nd Dec 2008 © Colin Perrott
  4. 4. Apsley Falls
  5. 5. Waterfall (to infinity) A torrent of water rushing down the cliffs today! It is beautiful in its own way. Down the cliffs at infinite speed, it becomes part of me. Then drained out, it slowly rejoins the clouds, and once more it falls down the cliffs, and this cycle is forever going on doing what it has been doing forever since it started one day in the past. JCP Lake Innes, 14th July 2007 © Jeremy Perrott Photo by Jeremy
  6. 6. Flight Granted the wings of a butterfly, I’d let my spirit soar. Given its sight, I’d find new colors and scenes to explore. In its dainty and fancy dress, I’d be a picture of awe. But with a life so short, there wouldn’t be time for more. Nature’s wonders were not designed just to please our eye. Without them, there is no doubt our inner souls would die: Mountain peaks and flying birds surrendered to leaden sky: Spring’s cradle for newborn life holding but an empty sigh. Pause for a moment: do not consume in relentless haste, lest this enchanting world transforms to desolate waste. Do you imagine our kind can survive - living without joy? We are only one part of it all, this planet we’re out to destroy. CMP Chimacum 9 th July, 2006 Warrumbungle Ranges © Colin Perrott
  7. 7. Pilliga shoreline
  8. 8. Outlook When you gaze out upon the world you are not captured by the scene unfurled. Your inner spirit, your every sense is under attack by those objects staring back. Though what you feel and then become is driven by their beating of your drum; it is your choice, you’re the one free to select the images that you most respect. Look into a raging storm at night, be captivated by lightning’s might and deafened by the crushing sound of thunder stalking angrily around. React with fear or come alive, depending how your emotions drive, but do not think the message is pure; it’s your thoughts that you endure. Hear the rustle of the breeze on a summer’s evening among the trees. See how gently the branches sway, dancing for the close of day. Watch the flower petals shutter; swing with the resting birds’ flutter. Feel the dusk with its lingering hue; sense the early morning dew. But if you burn with inner desire to stare down a raging fire; wait until the passing of a winter’s storm, so all around is cold and torn. When you know those boughs outside are stripped of anywhere to hide; then you will have your real solitude, in the comfort of frozen attitude. CMP Lake Innes, 14th August 2006 © Colin Perrott
  9. 9. Cobar
  10. 10. Cassini (to emotion) Day’s orb falls into darkness, yielding its light. Time stands still. A breeze rises to fan the chill of cold stars and the feeble moon of this night. Now only wolf is about, calling from a distant hill. And the man crouched with eyes that gleam as he plans attack on those at peace, now asleep: To hear breath reach its end in a piercing scream; to prove his strength by making life so cheap. A cold smile softens his lip, as death is wrought. Sightless loyalty and wild passion both upheld: now stamped on another so primal fear is taught. Yet, he will not conquer but cause minds to weld in floods of anger whose swift tides rise unabated until every soul is lost, servant to blind hatred. CMP Chimacum, 13th Dec. 2007 © Colin Perrott
  11. 11. Ngiyampaa Walkabout
  12. 12. Claudius (to sharing) Spurn the dust rising to blow o’er the plain From the feet of armies driven and stressed, Choking, unable to breathe for the strain, Naught left but desert, sad and depressed. Share with another treading the earthen road, So images you carve and smiles that you wear Reveal the inner fire making light of your load; the radiant glow igniting a living jewel of care. Warm concern upon the lip and the tear that springs, show fully the depth of communion to be shared and that will thrive, stamped on life the future brings. Love from the hands that rock to those hearts reared, given so freely, it inscribes the tablets of eternity: Lasting in memory; the deeds to tender humanity. CMP th Chimacum, 12 Sept. 2006 © Colin Perrott
  13. 13. Ngiyampaa Walkabout
  14. 14. Esther & Jeremy 2007
  15. 15. Of Mungo’s Sands Dance to the shimmering patterns borne by heat over the plain. Hear the rhythm of nature and let its power seep into your brain. Study those truths known to the ancients and absorb their refrain. Listen to the pulse of tradition; grasp the passion so it can repeat again. Stride in the way of wisdom; leave your footprints on the sand. Rise high and walk straight, in harmony with all in the land. Lead as an example for others; let the might of your spirit expand. Guide in tones that are mellow and tender, showing total command. Share the lore of your past with each generation so it can last. Bring distant images to mind from beyond the horizon of time. Genuine legends from the beginning uplifted by ritual and singing teach bonds that remain unbroken, reaching deeper than any token. Adhere to the timeless path now forged deep onto the earthen hearth by imprints others made - long before the light began to fade. CMP Chimacum, 8th July 2006 © Colin Perrott Mungo Lake has been cradle to Australia’s indigenous Barkindji, Mutthi Mutthi and Ngiyampaa peoples since the Dreamtime – from about 40,000 to 60,000 years before invasion of Australia by the non-tribal colonialists. More than 250 ancient footprints survive near this vast ancient lake.
  16. 16. ©Paul Dudley http://www.pbase.com/lambsfeathers/profile
  17. 17. Orpheus They grasped the Land Down Under, driven by an iron will as the kookaburra mocked in peels of laughter that rise still. The kangaroo observed in silence while standing in the shade and the dingo protested from distant ridge, in a lonely tirade. Magpies perched above, ready to defend in screaming attack but without effect as these people would never turn back. Some paraded in coats of splendor amid gardens like those of old, putting upon visible signs, reaching for class they never did hold. Foxes were brought for the gents to hunt and set their minds on fire. Ladies cherished lantana bloom, placing it center of fleeting desire. Soon the land choked as plants went wild and rabbits ran everywhere. None would prosper, nor barely survive, until they learned to care! Every march requires a compelling inner beat, pulsing deep and strong. So the Earth will feel no rest until we remember that we belong within those folds that nurtured our kind before human record. Then we will touch the skill required to write out the sharp discord, in new lines not sketched in black and white but tones of mystery since the future of all is now threatened – maybe even set in history. CMP Chimacum, 8th December 2008 © Colin Perrott
  18. 18. © Steve Demchinsky, 2007 http://www.pbase.com/demchinsky