Posts Tagged ‘ bayou ’

The Devil’s Pool

Local legend: The cool waters of the Babinda Boulders habour many local aboriginal legends and stories.

On first glance the small town of Babinda, south of Cairns, may to be nothing more than a sugar mill, pub and a few houses. If you look a bit deeper into the area, you will discover it contains some of the region’s most special treasures.

While naturally traquil and beautiful, local aboriginal legend paints a more tragic picture of this special place.

The story goes like this: A long time ago, the Yidinji tribe were the sole occupants of the Babinda Valley.  The isolation created by the surrounding hills and jungle made visitors rare.  However, there came a time when a wandering tribe entered the lush green valley and was made welcome by the Yidinji people, who were in a state of celebration.  It seems an elder of the Yidinji tribe named Waroonoo was about to marry the beautiful Oolana.  The marriage had been arranged to combine the knowledge and wisdom of Waroonoo with the youth and beauty of Oolana.

The wedding went ahead as planned, but the following day it became obvious that something was wrong.  Oolana had disappeared, as had Dyga, a handsome young member of the visiting tribe.  A search party comprising both tribes searched the area for the missing lovers.  It was not long before they were found camping by a stream running through Churichillam, now known as Mount Bartle Frere.

After a furious struggle Dyga was captured, but not Oolana. 

Overcome with emotion, she threw herself into the stream.  From then on, the previously peaceful waters erupted into swirling torrents of white water as the ground burst open, spewing forth huge boulders to mark the place of the terrible happenings.  Aboriginal legend says the spirit of Oolana remains in Devil’s Pool to this very day, calling to any young single male visitors to the area who may go to the mysterious waters.

 

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The Porch in My Dreams

I talk a lot about dreaming of the south and while most people know I’m from Idaho, I was raised with a lot of southern influence in my life.  From fried green tomatoes, fried okra, a garden that grew vegetables so fresh you could just tear an ear of corn and eat it straight from the cob while  the crisp and succulent kernels exploded with flavor in your mouth…

I dream of living in a world where family matters; where friends and family alike gather together for BBQ’s, game nights, and joyous times filled with the sounds of joy, laughter, and the squeals of children running and playing in the grass;  warm summer days spent sipping lemonade while sitting on a wrap around porch, paper fans to cool the sweet sticky sweat dripping down the back of your neck, and waiting for the sun to go down to feel some semblance of air.  Crickets squeaking in the distance, frogs bellowing out to eachother…all the sounds of night minus the sounds of the city.  I dream of going to the lake and jumping from a rope hung from a mighty oak and yelling to the top of my lungs in my best Tarzan voice…

I dream of a time and place where children are outdoors exploring, running, chasing their imaginations…where the women gather to discuss children, recipes, or just sit around and share the town gossip…where men gather around the BBQ or get together to play a friendly game of football in the yard; or even just gathering together to watch a fight on t.v. or a basketball game; drinking beer and talking spit… I long to belong to a place with roots; a place to begin my own history…

I remember as a small child running through strawberry patches, watching my mother plant flowers or doing some sort of yard work all the while I’d try to hand her up mud pies made in my easy bake oven. As I grew older, I remember sitting in the kitchen watching my step-grandma who was from Arkansas trying to teach my sister and I how to cook or how to sew.  She encouraged the “artful” side of us…often joining us to do paintings…on canvas and material… the whole time we’d be squirming to get outside to play.  I look back know and understand she was trying to teach us how to be ladies, how to care for our future families….the southern way filled with spitfire and hospitality.

I remember not having to worry about locking our front doors…summers spent down at the canal…riding our bikes all over town…playing croquet…family gatherings: BBQ’s, picnics at the park…I have so many fond memories of my childhood.  There were times I was bitter or resentful of growing up on such a large property and all the responsibility that went with it.  It was a family affair and just because we were children did not mean we were exempt.  I used to hate all the “chores” and the upkeep that came with our property and our acre garden, the fields, the lawn mowing, all the weeding, and all the dusting that had to be done in that big house…especially when the wind storms would kick up dust everywhere….but looking back I realize we were being taught the importance of hard work, of learning responsibility, etc. 

I remember on wash days we would hang our sheets on the line to dry.  There was nothing better than going to sleep on the crisp, cool, sheets kissed by the sun.  Sunday mornings used to be my favorite day of the week.  We would wake to the smell of fresh ground coffee, homemade biscuits and gravy, fresh bacon (well, that was before we became SDA and turned vegan…) and always to the sound of the Everly Brothers shouting, “Wake up a little Suzy, wake up…”

(*came across this blog I wrote awhile back that was saved in my drafts…I will post and update at a later time…)

Vintage Art

Growing up Southern is a privilege, really.  It’s more than where you’re born, it’s an idea and state of mind that seems imparted at birth.  It’s more than loving fried chicken, sweet tea, football, and country music.  It’s being hospitable, devoted to front porches, magnolias, moon pies, and coca cola with peanuts for dessert.  In the south, the breeze blows softer…neighbors are friendlier, nosier, and more talkative.   Its a different place and a different way of life.  Our way of thinking is different, as are our ways of seeing, laughing, singing, eating, meeting, and parting.  Our walk is different, as the old song goes, our talk and our names.  

  “All I can say is that there’s a sweetness here, a Southern sweetness, that makes sweet music. . . . If I had to tell somebody who had never been to the South, who had never heard of soul music, what it was, I’d just have to tell him that it’s music from the heart, from the pulse, from the innermost feeling. That’s my soul; that’s how I sing. And that’s the South.”  — Al Green