Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wonderful - Day 4: At home or abroad

I've spent 9 years of my life living overseas. Four of them were spent in Papua New Guinea as a little girl, and five were spent in the United States as a BYU student. I probably have more vivid memories of my time in the USA than of my time in PNG (it was so long ago now!), but I have treasured memories from both periods and I'm so grateful for those experiences. They taught me a lot and gave me a greater understanding of the world we live in. I'm very aware, for example, that I live a life of unimaginable luxury compared to so many other people on earth. And having seen first hand as a little girl what everyday life is like in a third world country, I've always felt a deep since of gratitude for what I have and a desire to share where I can.

I've also loved the traveling I've been so lucky to do, and the wonderful things I've seen. But - and this will sound cliched - no matter how far or how wide I roam, I still love to call Australia home. I'm more grateful than I can possibly express to have been born here. They call it the lucky country - and I'd have to agree. The older I get, the more I start to realize just how much it means to me to be an Aussie.

I really love the Dorothea Mackeller poem 'My Country', it feels familiar, and as I read it I can almost smell, taste, hear and feel the landscapes. It stirs my blood and leaves me standing just a little taller :) These are a couple of my favourite stanzas:

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold -
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand -
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

xo Tammy


emilysuze said...

I often wish that my babies were old enough to enjoy the places we've been able to travel to in the past few years and the things we'll be seeing in the upcoming years so they could feel that same love of a homeland and gratitude for the opportunities that we've been provided.

love you!

p.s. am not pregnant. huge sigh of relief!!! :)

Sandy M. said...

Amen! :)

Bec and Michael said...

Ha Ha! I thought I'd commented on this post but it had wiped it after I clicked 'post'.

I too, had said 'AMEN' :)

Beth and Robbie said...

I love Australia too! Though I haven't really been anywhere else that I remember besides a few days in Vanuatu, I'm so grateful to have been born here and live here!


Abby said...

Aw I love this!!! I love Australia!! :) I feel like singing 'I still Call Australia Home' - I swear I get teary every time I hear that song lol. I loved visiting with you when you were overseas but I LOVE that you live here now and we get to hang out and be sisters all the time!!! xoxoxox