Friday, April 25, 2014

ANZAC Autumn

Not able to make the dawn service this year I decided to head to Mt. Wilson for my own contemplation. As luck would have it, the weather alternated between fog and rain. Fog produces amazing atmosphere but the constant drizzle had made the fallen leaves a skating rink. My childhood holidays were spent breathing the invigorating mountain air and striding along paths to lookouts. There was an aura of excitement when surrounded by so much natural beauty, and of course, a child's life is carefree. I yearn for the mountains of my youth, unlike today's tourist mecca. I should have known better than to attempt a visit during such a popular time but I'll know better next time and ensure I arrive before dawn and leave before the first onslaught of visitors. The fog created an otherworldly atmosphere with many of the trees looking as though they belonged in some prehistoric landscape.
In spite of the noise and colour pollution created by the picnickers, I still enjoyed my rambles and was able to rejoice in reasonable solitude once again in Breenhold Gardens as I'd done the previous year in almost identical conditions. The bonus this year was the fog and a chance encounter with the gardener. He divulged the location of some giant red spotted toadstools beneath the chestnut and pine trees. Toadstools are something I'd not yet captured successfully so I'm guessing this was Nature's bounty for the day. As I explored beneath the giant chestnut tree and uncovered toadstools of all shapes and sizes, childhood memories of Noddy and Big Ears surfaced. 

How I yearned to experience living in a cosy little toadstool or midst the roots of cavernous trees. To be able to emerge with the fairies at night. I often think longingly of those days before political correctness soured childhood perceptions, and I am thankful that I experienced a safe, free childhood and that my memories allow me to relive those moments with incredible clarity.

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