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That Special Place

I first encountered wild nature in Australia when I was four years old. My mum and her sister, Aunty Karen, took me on an excursion to Kondalilla Falls atop the Blackall Range in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The dense foliage and fast-moving water was unlike anything I had ever seen. I can remember running along the forest track and being filled with such bliss that I proclaimed, “I want to live here. Please can we live here”. But my mother and Aunty didn’t share my enthusiasm to build a home in the rainforest. I cried in the car all the way back to Brisbane.

I decided then that when I grew up I would live somewhere near that special place. One day, I would call the Sunshine Coast hinterland my home.

Strange how the universe works.  For it was twenty years later that my childhood dream came true. I moved to Maleny, a small village in the Blackall Ranges inland from the Sunshine Coast, and there I lived for almost seven years. When I moved away, I did not think it would be almost ten years later that I would return to live there again. But that is how the world works, I guess. Sometimes we find a special place, on the land, in our heart, and there we return throughout our life, time and time again.

These are the places that speak most deeply to our sense of community, to the need we humans have to belong, to the special connections we experience as children with the natural world, connections that linger somewhere inside our adult selves until one day we find ourselves once again walking the pathway home.

Where is your special place?

Where does your inner child wish to wander and play?

Where is the land, the people, the culture, to which you know you will always return?

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