The first forty-six years of my life were spent in Ipswich and Brisbane; the territory has imprinted itself at the deepest level of my being. The Queensland that my children and grandchildren know is still imbued with the same sense of place, though they make their own associations with it and the personal climate of their being is suffused with the atmosphere of now, not then. We do share this, though: to wake up in the morning with the freshness of air still to be beaten into by the sun, or to welcome the afternoon sea-breeze in summer as if it were an old friend, or at least something too good to be taken for granted. To live in that part of Queensland I come from is to know that everything is predictable, but nothing is. They say Queensland is a land of extremes, and within limits that is so. But there is also a sense that everything has happened before; wait long enough and the patterns become clearer – like the forty-year flood pattern that always takes us by surprise yet also seems inevitable.
I suppose this is why the political climate has touched us all so deeply, yet has not really touched us at all.
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