I’ve been fortunate enough to live in fairly natural settings most of my life. Even when I resided in the concrete jungle of one of Sydney’s suburbs I took refuge in the beautiful Mascot Memorial Park. When I wrote recently about May Gibb’s Snugglepot and Cuddlepie (as it related to a school excursion) I came to realise that the Australian bush had its own character and it was that even more than Gibb’s characters that I related to.
Take the humble Banksia for example. There’s a basic shape and form to it, and yet if you look at any banksia tree you discover there is an endless array of variations to the theme.
It isn’t hard to see how a banksia with strategically placed seed pods could resemble one of Gibb’s Banksia men.
It is funny I grabbed my camera to take a photograph of something completely unrelated to the bush. I just doubled back through an old childhood haunt and the next thing I knew I was taking photographs and climbing trees (something I probably haven’t done since I was 12) and having so much fun. The bush itself is breathtakingly beautiful and forever changing in subtle ways, but I couldn’t shake this feeling that so much residual imagination existed there – from my childhood and the childhoods of other people. There are still makeshift cubby houses and forts there because kids today it seems do the same things we did as kids fifteen years ago.
My creativity – and my life – has been quite devoid of fun lately. I want to reconnect with that spirit of genuine wonderment and youthful enthusiasm again. And I would very much like to climb a few more trees!