Sunday, 23 September 2007

Give me a home among the gum-trees....

I guess I've never really appreciated the Eucalypts before today. We're surrounded by them, they drop leaves and gumnuts onto the tin roof and fill the gutters, and they're not particularly attractive (not to mention providing a home for the possums..)

I say 'until today', thats because I was reading an article in my gardening magazine about them. On a hot day, the Eucalypt oil apparently evaporates into the air - which is why the Blue Mountains were so named - because of the blue haze that seemed to appear when they were viewed from a distance. More striking though was the comment about soldiers returning from the 1st and 2nd world wars - well before they reached Australian shores, they knew they were almost home by the strong smell of the Eucalypts. I was struck by the sense of joy they must have felt combined with the horrific memories of war they had escaped, and the awful sorrow that would have been inevitable when they thought of their mates, family members, of all those other brave soldiers who would never again get to smell the Eucalypts and know that they were home.

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