I didn’t write this; it appeared in the local paper about a month ago. A nice introduction to Mt Nebo for the uninitiated.
As I sit here on the back deck at Mt Nebo surrounded by rainforest, I wonder how many times I will come back to this place before my time is gone.
I pat Winston the dog from up the road, who was named after the famous British prime minister, or so I believe.
Winston is one of the many animals who frequent our house. I am impressed with his efforts to keep the turkeys away. Those annoying excuses for birds who scavenge our deck and ravage our gardens.
I must say I was slightly disappointed when the king parrots and lorikeets flew away at Winston’s arrival. I have always found great pleasure and relaxation in hand-feeding them.
It took many years to build their trust but now it does not seem to matter how long I am gone, they will always be there eager for seed from my hand. This is unlike the possums who must have been pre-trained by other mountain inhabitants.
However, it is the dingoes that fascinate me most. All my years here, I have encountered them walking along our back path on just a few occasions. They stop and look, wondering what we strange creatures are doing and then disappear into the night.
I sit here and relax surrounded by the peace and quiet of the mountain that is interrupted by only the occasional scream of a motorbike as it races along the road below. It is a road that is unrelenting and indiscriminatory in ending unsuspecting lives, although without it this mountain community would not exist.
In the 15 years since I first came to the mountain, many things have changed. In a way they are subtle changes compared with surrounding areas but changes nevertheless.
Once this was a community of alternative people, some who would rarely venture off the mountain. Now I realise there are many less familiar faces and many less community events. Even though the numbers have not changed, many people have come and gone. The mountain spirit is still there but it seems to have taken a back seat to the advances of our world.
But alas it will not be long before I am gone. At 22 this is one of the nine places I have lived over three different countries but the only place I have left twice and returned.
I love this place and always will as it is away from the city rush and stress. My stay here this time has been short. Soon I will be back in the heart of a city but I will always have this mountain to retreat to when my body and mind need to rest.
This is the mountain that moulded me. This is where I grew up and no matter how fact I travel or where I end up, this will always be my home.
Ben Rough, Mt Nebo.