January 16, 2016 at 7:56 PM #158
I found Mungallala by accident. That was the weekend the flood happened in September, 2011.
I had just taken a drive from Brisbane to Birdsville and back without crossing a road twice. That journey was a story in itself, but it isn’t part of this story.
I had been told by the officer in charge of Birdsville Police, of the death of my Uncle, at almost 90 years of age, from mesothelioma.
He had died the night before, I was told, while I was on the wallaby. In fact I had been camped at Betoota the night he died, so I was in a state of some confusion, as I had been asked to do the eulogy at his funeral.
Driving was involving periods of thinking and reminiscing, about what I had learned from my uncle, and periods wondering what to say about a man who had essentially adopted me as his fourth son.
It was late afternoon, around 4:00 PM, the sun was at my back, I had driven almost 700km since leaving Birdsville, and saw the pub, and the sign for a camping area, and thought “that’ll do me”, and pulled into Bruce and Margaret’s yard, to be greeted by a barking dog, and Bruce with his inimitable “g’day mate”. I think it was a Thursday but that’s just a guess.
So I camped that night, after asking to go out to see the last of Bruce’s shearing going on, and started the journey to being here. At 4:00 AM the next day the rain started, and so the trip to watch the shearing didn’t happen, but I left with this feeling of being part of something bigger, even if for a short time.
Heather will add her bit to this but I told her about Mungallalala when I got home and she found it and began using the old post office in her Uni courses, as a case study, and that in fact was how we came to make a deposit in mid 2015 for the property, and that sale will complete in May 2016.
So here it is January 16, 2016, I’m back and this time alone, but still enjoying the easy friendly nature of those for whom Mungallala is home. John at the mill has started talking to me about why he is here, after he asked why I am here. It’s a conversation I believe will take us a few years, but a conversation I am happy to be a subscriber to.
The question for anyone coming late to a rural area will always be asked. I was wondering the other day whether that’s about people just not getting why we want to have 4467 as our postcode, or whether as “newbies”, what ever makes someone who has spent years in the city want to get out of the madness, and try to begin again at a slower pace. I’m not convinced that I have discovered a great love for the place yet, but I feel something going on that I want to explore.
I will add to this as I search for the real answer.
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