Getting back into place
Updated: Apr 15
I bought my 5 acres just out of the suburban part of Riddells Creek 12 years ago. I bought on impulse, driven crazy by the construction work around me in a rental in East Melbourne. I was desperate for quiet air.
Out this morning in a mild autumn day, I did the rounds of the blackberry, which has kicked on with this damp weather, but I let the morning’s tasks take as long as they took, and kept myself open to a kind of speculative, wondering state of mind.
I’m very happy that, as I retire from paid work, I can stop and sense a bit more. I’m still busy of course, but that is of my own choosing, and I’m weaning myself of doing as much as possible in any quantum of time, which was one of the tricks I used to keep myself going when I worked for a living.
I spend more time listening to the place where I live, and it never stops offering me invitations.
We are always living in a place. The physical place of Riddell is easy to talk about: the space, the skies; big trees and the hillside etched in green, the wheeling cry of cockatoos. A town is a social place too: a place for conversations in the main street, or walking a dirt road with family; the sound of kids playing in the Lions Park and the hoot of the train. Friendliness is in the air.
What is less obvious is that a place is made by the people who live there. What will I get involved with here in the place where I live, to really become part of it? The primary school, the sports clubs, book clubs, knitting groups: each gets something important done, each makes our social life, each is our conviviality remade.
By the time this edition of Riddell Roundup is out, our new website will be up (www.riddellscreeklandcare.org.au). I’ll post things we’re into this year. If you have the time and the interest, join in.
If your time and willpower is fully absorbed wrangling children and getting to the station each day, or to the desk at home, you get a pass, and more strength to your arm.
Ross Colliver Riddells Creek Landcare