Getting out into outback NSW always reminds me how fortunate we are to live in such an amazing country. It’s challenging in so many ways as it yawns out in front of us, resplendent still in colours of grey and brown.
We’d been warned about the drive from Coonamble to Walgett and told to watch out for the uneven surface and kangaroos with no road sense, so as we set off at 7am (after a great coffee from Al’s café) it was with a little trepidation. Our fears about the condition of the road were thankfully unfounded although it was littered with kangaroo carcasses providing food for other wildlife.
Paddocks either side of the road looked as though they’d been prepared for planting and were just waiting to see if there is rain anywhere on the horizon. Stands of distressed trees stood wilting under an early sun and the sky just stretched on and on and on.
BIRTH AND GROWTH CONTINUE
Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw an emu and her chick striding proudly on long skinny legs with her baby running to keep up. After a very careful u-turn (we saw another car on the horizon) we were out of the van and snapping photos like well-honed paparazzi. Yes, I’ve seen emus before but when we were here in February this year we saw few emus, a small mob of skinny kangaroos and no birdlife to speak of.
So this morning it was a joy to witness an emu and her chick and know that despite difficult conditions, birth and growth continue.
Walgett is a sprawling country town boasting very hot summers and a population of around 6000. I last arrived in Walgett some years ago driving very slowly on a puncture. We limped carefully to Walgett Tyre and Machinery Service and despite it being 4.50pm on Friday afternoon and with only 10 minutes to closing time we were greeted warmly and welcomed in by a young Indigenous man who set to work on the tyre. We were very grateful that he didn’t tell us to come back on Monday!
EVERYONE’S STORY MATTERS
So, here we are at a Your Life Matters workshop for Walgett locals. Everyone has a story and everyone’s story matters. The sun’s shining, the street is busy and the morning tea looks delicious.