Land of my birth. The land which my past generations toiled on, explored and whom were amazed by the great expanses, the heat and flies. The land that has given a new life to many, and who has taken up the pain of its people as they were exploited by the newcomers.
It is the land I choose to live in, on and part of.
Today it is Australia Day. Or Invasion Day, as those who have lived here as long as time can remember, call it.
Australia, like many countries, has a past. A history that my past ancestors (white as they were) ignored for many years: it was too painful, and had too many pointed fingers, to be recognised and asked forgiveness of. Ignorance was truly bliss for them.
That does not make it right. The cost of their ignorance was marked in lives, in blood, both of their own, and the aboriginals whose heart beat as one with the country they had survived in for many thousands of years. The cost too, was felt in knowledge, in the innocence of those who did not ask for any of it, on both sides.
The Prime Minister asked for forgiveness last year. After many years of ignorance, light came to Australia. But was it too late? Is it too late? Has too much pain occurred to those broken and battered by the ignorance and foolishness?
There have been babies born now that will never know an Australia where forgiveness and reconciliation has begun to occur. They will never know a government that does not recognise the bitter hate and ignorance of past generations. I think that there is hope for that generation, on both sides.
But as to older generations? That is more difficult. I think there is a place that they will meet, certainly. A compromise on both sides.
Australia is a great country with a past that still scars the present. Maybe, with more time, and more steps, the scar will fade to vague remembrances: mumblings of a past that encourages us to be ever more open to sharing, to hope.
So today is Australia Day.
Land of my birth.
I have so much hope for you.