Today it has been extremely warm and sunny, so I took a stroll around the vineyard. It was evident that spring had arrived in full force. People say it’s cold here and it certainly was in the winter, but the spring is amazing, I can sit out in the sun with a warm gentle breeze brushing against my face and it just feels comfortable. Sure it is not as hot as Sydney, but who wants to spend their time sitting in air conditioned rooms hiding from the searing heat when you could be out enjoying warm sun and fresh air?
I strolled around , up and down the rows of vines admiring how quickly the vines changed from looking boring brown and dormant to a vibrant green and so full of life, as if the leaves burst out from almost nowhere in just a few short days. After a while I found a spot among the rows where I could sit hidden among the leafy vines and survey the peaceful surrounds, breathe in the fresh air and admire the miracle of Mother Nature.
In the city my mind was constantly buzzing with everything that needed to be done, every place I needed to be, the constant traffic noise, and the struggle to drive even a short distance without having to allow an hour to get somewhere. Now I stare across the valley at the green grass covered hills, separated by a road where occasionally a car drives by producing a slight hum before the sounds of nature once again take over. I wonder how long it will take before the urban sprawl spreads this far.
In the short time we have been here I have seen Hobart spread taking in what was once a small town called Cambridge. Every time I pass through the town I see a new home which has just been completed and already a new family has moved in even though the new subdivision hasn’t yet been completed
Currently there is still a 10km stretch of road between Cambridge and Richmond where we reside, that still has a number of vineyards, farms, cheese and artisan chocolate outlets, however there are council murmurings that it may be prime land to subdivide. There is no doubt that that these rolling hills will soon be covered with new homes.
I take a deep breath of clean fresh air close my eyes and contemplate the noises around me, birds singing, and the distinctive sound of the heavy wings of the lapwing plover that flies overhead on its way to its nest nearby. It has had a new born chick hatch recently; I have watched this little bird family grow from early spring when the male bird started swooping me in an attempt to dissuade me from visiting his nesting area. Now that his young one is more mobile he seems to more accepting of my regular presence.
A fat yellow bumblebee flies past my face making me contemplate how different the wildlife is in this part of Australia compared to Sydney. I have never seen a bumble bee on the mainland I thought they only existed in New Zealand yet here they are in this magnificent piece of Australia. Such a beautiful rounded bee, although a bit too fond of the smell of my sunscreen for my liking as he keeps trying to land on my face.
In the distance I hear the children’s voices being carried on the breeze; they love this place so much even S has taken to playing outdoors in a way I could never have imagined just a few short months ago. She is often up a tree or swinging on a rope. When I first arrived here I was concerned that the school curriculum was lagging behind NSW, but after being here for a while and watching the way children play when they are bored I realized that they actually are more developed than their Sydney counterparts. As long as students know the how to read write and do maths they can do amazing things when they are allowed to just go and create and find their own solutions to problems.
They have no homework here and given that there is actually no scientific evidence to prove homework makes a difference I am glad, S has so much extra time to hang out in the garden working out for herself how to create a rope swing strong enough to carry her through her acrobatics. She has also created a rain gauge and an anemometer – this for the girl that claims she is not interested in science
I wonder where this great obsession of forcing kids into prescriptive learning for hours and hours a day including weekends and public holidays actually came from. While at the same time the Department of Education and the Government are concerned about how Australia is lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of innovation. My question is when they have got time to create and innovate if they are continually bombarded with homework and extra tutoring to keep them constantly busy?
I digress from discussion about how amazing it is to be out in nature, all I want to say is spend time looking at the natural world around you. Find a nice spot outside; mindfully listen to the birds and the sounds around you, clear your head of the chatter and you never know what great ideas will come to you.
And so it is.