My Country

Groote Eylandt is an Indigenous Protected Zone - meaning that to go most places on the island you need the permission of the Traditional Owners of the land. The people who belong to that place you're going. Whose ancestors breathed the dusty air and walked across the sand. Whose spirits will one day wander along a songline back to the origins of their Dreaming. 

We went camping, on the east coast of the island - pitched our tents just far enough from the water's edge that the salt-water crocodiles wouldn't find us. We hoped. We fished for dinner, collected salt from the rocks, and made coffee in the mornings. Tortillas and eggs one morning, to go with that amazing hot sauce Alex made.

I thought about my country. Where I grew up. Is my Dreaming the sound of the wind through the cornfields? The wide, muddy Mississippi swollen from rain? Bald eagles fishing on the frozen river? Do I even really understand where I come from?

And, when I die, will my heart travel back to Iowa via all the places I've loved? The hot wet forests of Cape Tribulation, the red rocks of Punta Tombo, the iridescent lakes of British Columbia? Will I re-visit the sea turtled corals of Kona, the wild green of western Scotland, the quiet sunny avalanches of Mt Salcantay, and smell the pines of Colorado mornings? Will I run naked through the trees on a cool Alaskan afternoon?

Or is this my country now? Will my heart come full circle back to this wild and warm and sandy and dusty place?

I'm ok with not knowing, not expecting. With feeling peace in so many places. It gives my little soul options, after all.
Amanda xx


  1. Beautiful photos and beautiful thoughts. You are braver than I to camp in a tent while crocodiles may be lounging in the water not too far away!

  2. @Paula Thank you, Paula! We did select a campsite up a little sand hill ... figuring crocs with their stumpy legs wouldn't make it to us ;)

  3. Amanda, you really should write a book. Your words and pictures are so beautiful and eloquent. I think you are very brave for camping so close to crocodile territory - much braver than I!!

    Hugs Xx

  4. @Donna Cosgrove Why thank you, Cuz! You're not biased, are you?

    Or maybe you own a publishing company? ;)


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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx