Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The lost seasons

As always, it would be nice to have the time to fully research and write about some of the subjects that I plink into this blog which - to some extent - is not really written for "public" view, more like reminder "notes to myself" if and when I get the time to write about them in more detail.

The four days of "Easter" have just passed, and yet again, another reminder of how much of the Northern Hemisphere cultural traditions have been imported and - sometimes quite inappropriately - imposed on the subtle (and fragile) Australian landscape, quite often to its detriment. Rabbits are one case in point. While the bunnies may well be "cute" in regions where ample rainfall and lush grasses can support their prolific fecundity - they are a disaster in regions where the fragile native grasses are tuned and timed to respond to the sparse and intermittent rainfall that occurs across much of this continent.

While Freyashawk writes with great beauty, detail and insight about what is essentially a "spring" festival, we in Australia are in danger of losing the indigenous notions of weather and seasonal changes developed by the Australian Aborigines.

There are very few regions in Australia which experience the stark, and sometimes extreme changes in season that are the basis of much of the Northern Hemisphere mythology - the Australian weather and landscape is much more ancient and subtle. There are theories and essays around which indicate that the Australian "immigrants" are also adopting and adapting this character from the landscape and original inhabitants, but trying to find them would take some more time.

This is the reading list from Google - but this - "The lost seasons" - is where I would begin.


Anne Johnson said...

We at "The Gods Are Bored" heartily endorse the gods of the Aborigines. We're sure they're far more capable of managing Australia than that other god ... although he did come from a desert.

I too hate Aussie bunnies and cane toads. I heard y'all have had to ferry your native wildlife to an island offshore to keep it all from being eaten by cane toads.

Anything that kills a quoll is an enemy of mine.

GreenSmile said...

thats beautiful, Thanks.

I may be stuck at this desk 'til my traveling days are long past. That makes closer looks like this one a treat.

BBC said...

I remember as a kid that there was a lot of rabbits in this country, in the west anyway, they where splattered all over the highways.

Seldom see one anymore.

I moved where I live after a dream, the weather is always mild here, not extreme one way or the other.

Davo said...

Anne, am not really sure if the Aboriginies HAD any "Gods" in the sense that we have come to understand them - apart from the "Rainbow Serpent", which seems to be the idea of the "originator" of all things - everything else was "dreamt up" by their ancestors.

Methinks it would be far better, and make dialogue much easier, if the European Religions would recognise and acknowledge the fact that their faiths and traditions were "dreamt up" by their ancestors and NOT 'written into a book by the hand of a "factual" God'.

I really should spend some more time thinking about, and looking into this comparative philosophy.

Yves said...

Thanks for your links and thoughts on this vital matter Davo. The world has been too porous to these kinds of colonisation, whether of species or ideas. It's astonishing when we look back to discover the education that was provided by the British to their colonial peoples which cut across all their local history, geography and customs.

Davo said...

Whatever their faults, Yves, I still think that Australia was extremely fortunate to have been "colonised" by the Brits. Who knows how we would have turned out if the Portugese, Dutch, or French (or anybody else) had decided to stay and set up camp. It's an interesting exercise in imaginative thinking.

Haven't looked too deeply into it, but am under the impression that all the Brit "colonies" (apart from Zimbabwe) have turned out rather well, considering.

Am, at the moment, just thanking lucky stars that we weren't colonised by "the Americans".. heh.

Australia is a unique land, historically, and the Aborigines are a unique people.

Yves said...

Interesting example of bias there Davo. Rather like a wombat wondering how it would have turned out if both its parents had been crocodiles.

On the other hand, I expect that these days many Americans feel shame that their country has come to this.

Davo said...

.. or even if one of them had been a crocodile .. heh.

When I say that Australia is unique .. pretty well every other continent/country in the world has developed its culture/defence/warfare systems through countless generations of invasion, incursion and trade.

Australia, and its peoples, existed in complete isolation from all that for roughly 40,000 years, until Arthur Phillip and his tiny fleet set up house on the shores of Sydney Harbour in 1788(?).

While the "resources" that we use today were always here, the Aborigines existed among themselves without any discernible warfare, no notable outside trade, and also without any 'domesticable', or any large predatory animals. They really had no pressing need to "invent" very much (and, as such, were a "pushover" for the European colonists).

Even considering the past 250 years or so, we've always operated under a stable system of government, law and order, no "invasions", no "civil" wars nor insurrections (apart from Eureka, but that hardly counts). On top of that we have a very comprehensive written record of it all (well, for our bit of it).

Will write a longer essay on this if and when I get around to it ..

Yves said...

Well, your remarks have stayed with me for some time and there is great depth in your observations because I believe that human culture may be largely derived from topographical features and climate including its annual cycles. In the next few hundred years humans may be forced back to surviving on local resources and that seems like a good thing to me.