Taking a small break from a hike to Parliament and sitting by the river. I’m right next to the Australian of the Year walk so I’m surrounded by inspiring company. Black swans are fishing for food, either in the water or from me, paddling over and looking up in Pavlovian hope. They are disappointed.
Canberra, frankly, is a stunning city to walk through. I don’t know if the mystique would hold in driving, as the task itself is mundane so as to colour the experience but the joy of spying Parliament House in the distance and the impulse to traverse there has been a particularly good decision, I feel.
I was caught in similar moments when approaching Canberra. The surrounding environment leading toward our nations capital is pretty much a screenshot of every tourist pamphlet or website that isn’t of the outback. A dessicated lake, long since grown over with sheep and cattle grazing on its basin; the mountains surround on each side and the road leading up and over it – to arrive in what I could only describe/lampoon as An Emerald City – is something almost mystical.
The opportunity isn’t being wasted as far as photos go. Each shot of the scenery, be it the nest of mountains, the shining silver water or the magnificent flower beds has been captured on what will be at least two SD Cards. Each shot, I’m reminded once more of those responsible for providing the means to record this marvelous opportunity and I am grateful.
But more so than that, there is a profound awareness of the luck that providence has provided me; not just this time, but also for this year. I imagine I’ll wax lyrical over the balance of 2008 but while I’m reminded of the fortune I have in being in such surrounds, in such a country, and the grand company I keep, I’ll take the opportunity now to say Merry Christmas, or whatever celebration you’re engaged with and that the privelage is mine for meeting you all.