The prison tree
In spite of being scarred by the passing of time and generations of men, this old boab tree still stands proud and strong .
Its feet are firmly planted in the dry red dirt and branches raised to the sky as if in challenge to any who might try to defeat it.
Like the pages of a history book each of the scars on its massive trunk tell their own story.
The deep gash down its side is a painful reminder of a century ago when men were imprisoned within its trunk.
this was the “prison tree” , a temporary prison for men in transit.
Men who for thousands of years had been guardians of this timeless land,
but were now shackled and marched in chains across this country, to be
imprisoned for crimes they couldn’t possibly understand.
With this sad history now behind it,
this seemingly timeless giant watches and waits as generations flash by.
For a microsecond of its life, we stand together before this scarred, majestic old tree.
Never realizing that like the many that had passed this way before, our time was almost done and there would never be another space and another time when we could re-live this moment again.
The guardians of this country had a rich history of story-telling, the “dream-time” stories were handed down from generation to generation.
To guide them in all their spiritual and social rituals.
Their many paintings provide a visual representation of their dream time stories and rituals.
There are also many that depict the plants, animals and other elements in their surrounding environment.
Each plant and animal having a special significance in their stories and paintings.
they understood and lived in harmony with their fragile environment.
They had lived in this timeless land for many generations so they understood how important it was to maintain this delicate balance in order that they and their world could survive.
(Note: most of the featured artistic images were photographs of murals painted on public buildings in Wiluna)
And so it was that Anna and I also fell in love with this land of such contrast and beauty, constantly searching and yearning for new and different landscapes.
It suited our rhythm of life and we both felt comfortable , spiritual and safe as each year we searched for new and different places.
Who could have known of the breathtaking scenery hidden behind each turn of the road.
who could have imagined that hidden away in those seemingly dry red hills were deep gulleys filled with cold pure water.
And of course the flowers that at certain times of the year would transform that harsh red soil into a breathtaking medley of colours.
We had heard of this wall that nature had built over thousands of years but could not have imagined how perfectly nature could possibly have constructed this wall, through the basic elements of heat wind and rain -and the slow rhythm of time.
We had so many places yet to see
and yet our time was brief and so precious
Like the fading traces of the rock paintings left by those who guarded this land,
memories and details of my past life with Anna s sometimes become indistinct and surreal
As time passes my mind in its own cruel way taunts me because as memories become less vivid it too seems to questions her existence.
It is then that I dredge through every memory, over and over again trying to recall the smallest detail of our lives together.
It hurts as I re-live each memory, but the pain of remembering is easier to bear than that fear that possibly one day I might wake up and be unable to recall her face, or remember that we once had a shared life where we loved and existed as one.
And so I like precious drops of water in that parched red earth I continue to recollect and store each precious memory confirming that in spite of being separated by another dimension beyond comprehension.
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