OPINION: Take blinkers off and view with fresh eyes

Raelene HallMidwest Times
Camp ruins.
Camera IconCamp ruins. Credit: Raelene Hall/Supplied

The “wander out yonder” message is resonating with many West Australians, who are taking the opportunity to explore further than their own backyard, wherever they live.

But how often do we really look at our very own backyard — not the State — but the backyard that’s part of our everyday life, whether it’s a farm, station, country town or suburb?

After 37 years, I often see my backyard as a bit mundane and boring, but sometimes our eyes lose the blinkers and find the view others find enthralling.

A visit from my German penpal and her husband, in 2004, meant we showed them as much of the station as we could.

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Visiting the lakes on our property I was puzzled when they made a comment about “so many shades of green”.

To me there wasn’t really much green at all, because green to me was the fresh grass that grew after a rain but when I looked around at the bushes, shrubs and other growth they were right.

I wasn’t seeing it because, to me, green was represented by that brilliant green of fresh grass after rain.

There’s no denying the beauty of our sunsets and sunrises out here or the contrast of the blue sky and the red earth but that’s just home.

We see it every day. To others it is almost miraculous.

With the advent of social media, I find myself sharing a lot more of our backyard via Instagram and have been really surprised how many people are fascinated by the simplest things about my backyard — lawns, gardens, sunrises or sunsets.

Just last week I took photos of some tumbled remains of what was once a two-or-three-man mining camp and the flotation plant used to process the mined copper.

Putting them on Instagram with a few lines about the history elicited a lot of comments about how interesting people found it and discussions of the hardships of the time.

It’s made me take the blinkers off and look at what, for me, is the common place — everyday sights here on the station — and see them through the eyes of others who may never have seen anything like it.

It’s also a great way to educate people about life on the land, and particularly, on a cattle station in WA’s Mid West.

Are your blinkers on or off when you look at your backyard?

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