Are you taking time to order your inner life? Are you standing still or racing around? As I drive away from Brisbane and the busy life with babies and toddlers, I find myself thinking about my week ahead back in the country, in particular the Australia Day long weekend.
Being at peace with yourself and finding a quiet harmony is something I strive for. So when Bill mentioned to me let’s go to Kilkivan, I was in. The heart was singing. Pack the car with absolute essentials. Esky. water, books and a pillow. Kilkivan is a country town 30 km west of Gympie. The Australian bush is right outside your door. There’s a unique frontier feel with rolling hills, open spaces, and it’s home to the Great Kilkivan Horse Ride, a spectacular sight attracting over 1000 horses, riders and horse drawn vehicles every April. You can look up the meaning of the town and more of its history.
Bill and I stayed in a shed on acreage. Bliss, peaceful with only the birds to disturb us. From the heat of the day to the cool galaxy of shining stars at night, we felt recharged. A walk into the town saw us buy a newspaper, sit and talk to the locals, browse the collectibles shops and read some signs. We also enjoyed a pub dinner with music and friendly locals.
There’s something clean and pure about country air that relaxes the heart. The wide streets, few cars, the pace. The sky. Even the large rain clouds looming.
Inside the Kilkivan pub there’s a different vibe. The local drinkers, the retirees listening to music and the pregnant dog scavenging beneath the tables, Ned Kelly armour, a portrait of vintage nude women on the walls and the pokey machines. Having a good old fashioned Angus steak meal with a tender silverside and white sauce/ veggies and mash also added to the charm of the place.
Later that evening we were to discover the fun at the Killy’s Ute and Boots at the Show grounds. Now if you want to see sunburn at its best, visit the ute muster events and mud gulley run – both entertaining and fun. Bill and I wandered around watching people and events, taking in the atmosphere and eaves dropping. The tattooed arms and legs, riding boots, Stetson hats and sweaty armpits, kids kicking balls, up on shoulders, were the scenes that stood out. Plus the mud!!
The mud bog run was marvellous to watch. Up on the stands Bill and I watched as the four wheel drives including jeeps flying the Aussie flag accelerated into the slimy mud to control their vehicle. They had to cross over an area to the other side in one piece. Of course some got stuck. Revving fast and hard, backwards and forwards, mud flying and drivers swearing and eventually relying on the four wheel drive tractor rescuing them. It was so much fun to watch.
The filthy cars were worked hard – sometimes at a ridiculous level of persistence. I dread to think of the damage that some engines and gearboxes suffered in the groaning and clashing of the young drivers on the wheel. Water too! I imagine that cleaning the cars would take many litres of water.
As we drove out from the Show grounds smiling, I had to reflect upon this unique experience. Back to the shed, the sheep and a glass of wine, we settled down to the quiet star lit evening of solitude.