Now As You Amble
Now as you amble along our highways with no particular plan or need to be anywhere by any particular time, then, you may spot some inviting rest area that you have not seen before and on a whim decide to pull over and stay for the evening. Once you have found the best spot to camp and settled in with all your comforts about you a leisurely stroll to investigate your surroundings and meet the neighbours seems the thing to do. It may be, by chance, that an old vehicle with a tarp slung across the roof is parked by a cluster of trees well shaded from the western sun, that you will hear voices and catch the gleam of a faded, once bright garment and then find a smiling man of the roads wearing his wide brim felt hat that is hopelessly out of shape battered by the rain and sun and wind and general mistreatment and constant wearing and with the usual tell-tale band of dry sweat stain and looking far from the way it was intended to be worn. I’ve often wondered whether some of these fellows wear their hats to bed! His dusky, cheerful wife will appear and greet you and all you need to do is to reply in kind and introduce yourself with a simple salutation. These friendly creatures are the salt of the earth. They belong to nature. And you will find that if you can converse in a natural friendly manner you are speaking their language and learning their ways. You will find out as you sit in their encamped area with a mug of very strong tea that will certainly make the bristles on the hair on your back stand up, why they love the green bushes, the parched ground and rocky dry earth, the blue morning haze as the oil escapes from the trees, the rocks and a constantly changing environment. You will find out why they are glad to fly from the cities of their birth to be free to join the joyous citizenship of the roads where everywhere is home amongst such rich company. I have been a stranger in an unknown place but I have never been so for long knowing that I would meet some wanderer with whom I shared a common bond. These are indeed humble folk but with nature they are always at home.
They are human but in their lives the wanderer is between man as he lives in houses and the wild animal as he lives in nature and I cannot help believing that those that have no understanding with them and the way they wish to live their lives; not interfering with anyone else and communing with the natural world; have non for the forest and the animals and the road itself and cannot be rightly familiar with the mesmerizing beauty of growth and diversity in an ever evolving world. There are many who would well-nigh die for a gorgeous western sunset reflecting off a red dusty carpet whose expanse goes on forever and be in raptures with its diversity of colour. Captured by a scene so perfect it will never be the same again Yet, the adaptable animals that survive in this environment along with the wanderer and the native inhabitant ever remain true to this majesty of existence. Just as strange to them are those who see the natural world only on their television sets or between 9a.m. and happy hour and can never behold in their allotted time slot, the fairyland of this complex simplicity.