reaches Melbourne sluggish and brown
as it would be even without the big city pollution.
My mother lived and played near here as a small child,
swinging over the deep waters on a rope although she never learned to swim.
I too played near the river as a child; although I could swim in the sea it was forbidden in the river.
My uncle tended the Yarra Bend golf course so lots of family visits there.
And all the while the river flowed over its bed of clay between its muddy banks,
polluted water from drains would have oozed into the once pure depths.
Rubbish was thrown into the river, sank to the bottom.
Old trees lined the river, whispered.
Would it have looked so different in the early days of white settlement, or long before that?
And now in the second decade of the 21st Century family and friends are present here at a picnic to farewell the special woman, Virginia, who is going back to the tropical lifestyle she favours. My grandchildren are the children here today. Their mother and father and his sisters, and nineteen year old Savanna have not forgotten how to play like children though.
I was inspired by Django to swing on the huge branch of an old oak tree. My feet on the earth grounded me, my arms high in the branches were wings to freedom.