Thursday, January 26, 2017

What does it mean? Australia Day.

So, what does it mean, this thing called,
Australia Day.
Okay, so we will know that on this day of January 26, 1788 the First Fleet of British Ships hit our shores at Port Jackson, New South Wales, 
and the Union Jack was raised.
Yeah, okay got that, but what does it mean, now?
Do we celebrate those ships in respect and acknowledgement of the past?
Well, yes, partly, but the day has evolved to a greater sense of appreciation and deeply felt gratitude of what it means to be Australian.
Observe the world climate for a minute or two and you will understand what I mean.
We are fortunate, lucky to be here, by birth or otherwise.
That is not to say we are perfect. It is not to say that there are still not problems.
There is much to learn, and much to bridge in balance and understanding between the native people of this land
and those who have chosen and come to be a part of. 
The face of Australia has indeed changed.
Image result for Opening the window to Australia day
A land separate and not separate at all.
A country built from people across the seas,
the same seas crossed then that are crossed now. 
We open our doors,
to greater and lesser degrees,
and the faces of Australia have changed and continue to do so,
and bring with it cultural shifts and a greater understanding of our acceptance and place.  
I was not born here.
I speak differently.
I have had different experiences.
I have seen cities burn.
I have not met Donald Trump. 
My skin is white, but it could have perhaps been green, pink, brown, black, blue, polkadot,
for all that it matters.
This is my home,
adopted yes, but with a link not every immigrant will share.
 My own children come from a rather long line of Australians.
Their great grandfather fought in two wars. Their grandfather frequented the local pub.
He's buried in the local cemetery. Their father rode these streets when they were dirt and beach and not much more. Our extended family of cousins and uncles and aunts come from a very long, long line of Aussie stock.
I don't --
for all that it matters, this is still my home.
And so, we stand back on this day in appreciation and value of all that as been,
and yet to become,
and still to be grown --
And, in unity we hope.
Happy Australia Day.
Image result for Faces of Australia

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