May, 25 2010
Parnngurr
William L Fox
Writing

On our way back to town and just as the sun is sinking below the horizon, we stop so everyone can walk out from the vehicles to collect long stalks of grass for basket making. The sky is going all mackerel above us, a quilt of clouds flowing in from the Indian Ocean. Usually that would mean rain, but at this time of year and this far inland, maybe not. The land here is so flat it simply floods and you can't drive anywhere for days, but we're not concerned. The big moon comes up over the tall grasses just ablaze with last light, the women bundling the stalks in their arms and calling out to one another. It's not that this is a simple pastoral life, and we don't fool ourselves that it would be easy to live here, but there are moments like this when you're just not concerned that you might be with these people for awhile. You know you'd learn something.

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