Some Western Australian land and flora is hard to appreciate aesthetically if you’re a member of the species Homo sapiens which comes from high nutrient laden lands with greater rainfall. However, if you understand how it is adapted to survive extremes here – as Barbara York Main illustrates so well in Between Wodjil and Tor (1967) – that is, if you understand how nature here works, then that will put you ahead in your effort to appreciate the natural world here. If you look at the micro patterns of the flora here that will help. If you look at the birds that will help. And so on.. if you leave the coma of the concrete and if you open your eyes. And if you stop seeing nature here as something out there hours car drive away, then you could ride your bike to the local park or area of bushland or river’s edge and take it into your life. I’ve done these things myself, and it has changed me. Made me more grounded, more appreciative of the world I wake up into every morning. If you do all these things you will no longer have a Eurocentric outlook which sees the Swan River as drab and ugly, but will have gone a long way in learning to love this place.
We need a society which farms native and eats native, has native flowers on its tables, more native common plant names, grows natives in its gardens, has native frogs in its ponds…. And… then… one day, has visual and literary art which celebrates these things. This is where Australian society must go if its people are to heal their souls and not be just materialistic and lost and drifting urbanites.