Wheatbelt musing

"They're a hardy lot, these Wheatbelt folks," writes Young Travel Writer finalist Nakita Harvey, of the Great Southern Institute of Technology. 

The Western Australian Wheatbelt is visible from space. 

The golden-brown farmland runs into dark green forest to the south and, to the north, fades into red sand. 

Salt lakes either side of the Goldfields Pipeline freckle the face of this old land. 

The strong trunks of the salmon gum glow pink in the light of the rising sun, while on the other side the trees’ shadows paint their picture on the dry road. 

The land appears to be still, until streaks of light shine through, exposing the moving dust. 

In the blue, the green and the gold there is no sweeter sound than that of the music in the branches. Before too long you can be sure to hear the screech of passing galahs. 

The stark granite rocks resemble mountains on the flattened paddocks. Scrub survives at the feet of the rocky landmarks collecting little moisture, hiding from whipping dust and biting wind. 

They're a hardy lot, these Wheatbelt folks. Uncle Kim makes far too many jokes.

He knows the rain could make or break them, impatiently waiting for the season to change. Only then is his land transformed from gold to green. 

Far from the rocks and brought in by the rain, the reward of each spring is well worth the wait. 

Lakes fill in the lower parts of the land; we catch a glimpse through the roadside scrub. A glass mirror reflection of the big blue above, uninhabited by nature. 

A speeding boat breaks the peace across the warm water, a girl behind on her single ski. It breaks the untouched surface, ripples flowing to greet your toes at the water's edge.

A day spent here is not hard work. To brush dry salt from your eyelashes means fun has been had. 

As Uncle Kim tells stories of harder times, I still can’t help wishing I could stay. 

I leave on the train, which moves effortlessly on the track that has scarred the land. 

Beside it, flowers blossom in every imaginable colour.


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