The Hidden Gems of the Tasmanian Bush

On a crisp, bright winter’s day, I decided to explore the bush nearby my retreat. My sole companion, Meggie, relished the chance at a two hour walk along the track to the waterfalls which was barred to local shooters and mischief makers in this solitary part of North East Tasmania. The colours of nature on this island south of the mainland (which the locals quaintly refer to as Australia), are somehow purer, more vibrant and even the tiniest specks of moss, stone and leaf sparkle like gems arrayed on an earthen showcase.

Meggie, in her polarfleece- lined bling covered coat, added to the natural sparkles of light and bush as she waddled along in front of me.

Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are ‘patches of Godlight’ in the woods of our experience.”

C.S. Lewis

Arriving at the falls a shy rock wallaby tentatively watched us before disappearing down the hill

On the way to the falls, I concentrated on the unique beauty of Tasmanian nature, but on the return journey I let my thoughts wander. I became aware that the solstice, a turning point of the year celebrated by the ancients, was due in a few days and them memory of last year when I was in France, returned.

“It would seem from this fact, that man is naturally a wild animal, and that when taken from the woods, he is never happy in his natural state, ’till he returns to them again.”

Benjamin Rush, A Memorial Containing Travels Through Life

Last year, in the heat of a French summer,I was fortunate to find myself in the Cathedral Sainte Etienne in Bourges, just as the light of the sun of the summer solstice pierced the high stained glass window at midday and appeared to flow down the column to the exact spot which marked the meridian.

H

How much has changed since that moment! In me, the world, my family, friends, goals and dreams. But all life is change as nature well knows.

I just got back from a beautiful eve of winter solstice snowshoeing. my heart was lost and enlivened by both the hush of the mountainous snow world Iand and irreverent fun with friends.

So in the spirit of the year–happy solistice! may there be ever present and growing light in your life as nature unfolds the same in the upcoming months.

George Meredith

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