It isn’t my best attempt at photography, but yes those two photos are meant to be side to side. Yes, that is a storm front you are looking at stretching from horizon to horizon like some great wave across the sky.
Needless to say, I got wet. Very wet even.
I tell you what though – I loved every minute of it.
This is a good example of how things like this happen down my way. It is a beautiful tropical day, shining sun and a bit of a sweat on your brow. You make plans to meet someone, go to the beach and talk for a while. The sun gets a bit too hot so you start walking along the cliffs next to the ocean and come to a bench seat in the shade. You sit and start talking again.
Then one of you looks at the sky.
The sun is hidden behind a curtain of clouds and from further south there is this massive veil of grey being drawn across the sky with this solid mass of nothing behind it. Just like that you’ve gone from strong memory of Summer to surprise hammering on the door from Autumn.
Its a quality of Australia that I really do secretly love. There is this constant intermixing of hot and cold, humid and dry going on that really whips you about and leaves you feeling exhilarated. I’m pretty sure someone has said it before but I’m going to say it again – Australia is the land of fire and water.
From a less meteorologically slanted perspective and a more Pagan and Heathen slant, I am left today with a bittersweet tang in me because seeing weather like this today has reminded me that there is so little that remains from the people that lived here before… well, before us. I could be lots of things and claim some kind of connection to the people who lived here before me because of certain genetic facts, but its not something I am going to do. I’m not prepared to go down that road yet, there are lots and lots and lots of things that I feel need to be addressed before I even think about claiming that connection much less whether I should or not.
A lot of people, even Australians, think that just because there are some aboriginal Australian cultures that have survived more or less intact there are not many things lost to the colonisation. Really the truth of the matter is not so simple. Aboriginal Australian culture, much like so many similar cultures around the world, was not a unified entity. Each tribe had its own… well, everything. Yes, there were lots of things that were similar or sometimes the same across groups of tribes, but that was not a continent wide thing. Groups from the Lake Eyre would have had virtually nothing genuinely in common, culturally speaking, with people in the Kakadu national park area. Hundreds upon hundreds of cultures are lost in their entirety, more to the point those who once inhabited what are now the most populated areas of Australia are the ones who were hit hardest.
This all winds back around to Paganism and Heathenry by dint of the question: Would the people who lived here in the past have had a spirit or deity or equivalent for the weather seen today? Did they have any religious ideas or practices or concepts around the hot/cold wet/dry weather that Australia experiences?
There are so many questions that could, technically, be answered but those answers really loose their impact the further away from the lands of the people those answers came from.