Ma Can Never-Never Leave It

“Fifty Tales from Ma’s Watering Hole”





Behind the Back of Beyond, in the Land of the Never-Never; in that elusive land with an elusive name—a land of dangers and hardships and privations yet loved as few lands are loved—a land that bewitches her people with strange spells and mysteries, until they call sweet bitter, and bitter sweet. Called the Never-Never…they who have lived in it, and loved it, Never-Never voluntarily leave it. Sadly enough, there are too many who Never-Never do leave it.

Others… will tell you it is so called because they who succeed in getting out of it swear they will Never-Never return to it. But we who have lived in it, and loved it, and left it, know our hearts can Never-Never rest away from it.”

 (We of the Never-Never: Aeneas Gunn, 1908)

The above offers the reader an explanation of the pull of the outback.  Ma comes from the sands of these bewitching red earths and now lives in the city.  She will never ever leave behind the outback.  It will always influence the way she thinks and behaves.

What are you pulled towards?

Kaye LindenMa Can Never-Never Leave It

6 Comments on “Ma Can Never-Never Leave It”

  1. Sheryl Dunn

    Why do you have to ask such a difficult question, Kaye?

    The easy answer is chocolate; the more difficult answer, for me, is to figure out whether anything pulls me, other than writing, books and publishing.

    I can’t think of a land or country that makes me want to sacrifice where I am now to go there, which isn’t saying that there aren’t places I’d love to visit.

    I miss Canada sometimes, especially now, as Christmas nears and they’re selling Christmas trees at the supermarket…the aroma of pine brings back so many memories – of lakes and mountains and a whole lot of green. Where I live, it’s dry highlands and brown, except for a brief period in late summer, and the so-called mountains in the distance seem like mere hills to me.

    Sometimes I think that beauty is what we remember from our childhood, what we’re used to. People who grow up in the kind of countryside in which I live think it’s beautiful, and while I can appreciate its beauty, it’s really not the kind of beauty that pulls me.

    1. Kaye Linden

      I can relate to your lovely descriptions, Sheryl. I am not a desert person but still love to visit the canyon lands in Nevada. The smells at this time of year bring back memories of family and friends. It is a difficult time for many. It is said that of all the senses, smells trigger the strongest memories.
      Bread baking, freshly-ground coffee beans brewing, incense burning, a log- fire, eucalyptus smoke, jasmine and honeysuckle….

  2. ellen herbert

    Your descriptions of Australia are so lovely and evocative. Setting is important to me as a reader. I prefer the exotic.
    I also like the idea of Ma as a refugee, a kind of stranger in the strange landscape of urban Sydney. She’s a wise woman who carries inside wisdom about the land of her birth.
    I look forward to reading this!

  3. bob knox

    I’m pulled toward something I call “the other place.” I think it’s the place that you (I, we, people, writers) write from. I don’t think it’s a physical geography. When I was young I lived some years close to big forested areas in western Massachusetts. You could walk in the woods all day and not see anybody. It was a good setting for your mind to run private little dramas, make up stories, replay the scenes that did not play well in reality, and let the spell of very old landscapes, trees mostly, take over your thoughts. In recent years, when we moved to a quiet neighborhood in a city, I planted a perennial garden primarily in order spend lots of time in the company of plants. It’s not the same thing as walking in the forest, but sometimes I think of it as “the other place.”

  4. Kaye Linden

    bob, you know exactly what I am talking about. The “place” is a feeling, almost a memory of a something long lost that we try to capture in little ways such as planting gardens. I love your comment. Kaye

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