I spent yesterday in the Western Australian country side visiting with a client who grows grain and raises sheep on a large farm near the town of Katanning. It was a beautiful day and there was a magical quality to the light as I drove home. The vistas were vast and it was good to stretch my eyes to a far horizon.
Farmland near Katanning in Western Australia.
Then I finally stopped to take a picture of this old abandoned farm house that I have driven past on previous occasions. I thought about the lives lived here. The house is crumbling but a few trees planted around it by the pioneers of the district are sprightly and healthy. I imagined children in bare feet and scabbed knees playing under the trees and then running to the kitchen door for supper when Mum calls.
Abandoned mud brick farmhouse near Kojonup
Then the very next day I flew to Melbourne to attend a meeting of our leadership team. That is a four hour flight across Australia in an Airbus. The sun was setting as I checked into my hotel. The view from my hotel window tells many stories - including two competing churches on opposite corners on Collins Street, and the buoyant towers and construction cranes in the background.
Twilight in Melbourne from my hotel room
I have been tossing the clash between the two worlds in two days around in my brain. We are an urban culture and our towns and regional communities are shrinking. Yet there is such raw power of Nature's life out there - can we see it and feel it in our cities? Or have we lost our way a little?