Time out of mind

“Artefacts at the landmark, known by the European name of Point Ritchie and by Aborigines as  Moyjil, have already been identified in some research as at least 35,000 years old and there are indications it could point to civilisation 80,000 years ago.”  The Standard Newspaper, Warrnambool, Victoria – The Standard newspaper

Point Richie, or Moyjil, is at the mouth of the Hopkins River, Warrnambool, Victoria.   To get there I must drive through suburban streets to a pretty coastal park.  The modern ‘improvements’ of a toilet block, paved carpark and fenced walkways give the place a touristic feel.

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Recent scientific research has unmasked the site’s true significance.   In the carpark a new billboard has been erected describing the way the local Aboriginal tribe, the Gundijtmara people, used the area before white settlement.

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Looking back up river I glimpse the large homes sitting on the prime real estate on the further shore.   Modern life encroaches on this ancient site but has not destroyed it. Down on the sand the essential ruggedness and timelessness of the place re-asserts itself. 

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At the point where the river meets the sea the salt laden winds sweeping in from the Southern Ocean have carved the sandstone into weird shapes.

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DSCN9170 Little caves and crevices in the cliff face have the look of sacred grottos –

 

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Jagged cliffs rear up above them –

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and rocky sentinels guard the area –

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Away from the ocean the riverside is more sheltered.  Here the cliffs are worn smooth with time and there is more vegetation.

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Shells, rocks and charcoal found in the area indicate it the oldest site of human habitation in Victoria – perhaps as long as 80,000 years.  It is a concept that re-writes all previous ideas about how long aboriginal people have lived in Australia.  The geology of the area also indicate times of a very high sea level 125,000 years ago and a very low level 30,000 years ago.   Scientists from Adelaide University are still investigating the geological markings on the rocks.  Perhaps when they publish their findings we may gain further scientific understanding as to how sea levels are affected by climate change.

                                       hopkins river

Prompts:    3 quotes in 3 days challenge – I got tagged by  Indira for this challenge and decided to give it a go.   I have no idea if I’ve followed the rules – I may have been supposed to tag others for the challenge but I’m not sure how to go about doing that.   I guess I could offer an open invitation to anyone who wants to do it as my 3 days are now finished.    Indira might know more about the rules.  Smile

Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques #20 Paradox

‘One of the aims of haiku is to confuse the reader just enough to attract interest. Using a paradox will engage interest and give the reader something to ponder after the last word. Again, one cannot use nonsense but has to construct a true, connected-to-reality paradox. It is not easy to come up with new ones or good ones, but when it happens, one should not be afraid of using it in a haiku.’

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20 thoughts on “Time out of mind

    1. I am so mixed up on replying to comments. Sometimes I write a reply on my tablet then discover, when I go on my computer, that the reply didn’t send. Thanks for commenting and I hope you visit my blog again .

  1. You live in such a fascinating place Suzanne and I enjoyed reading and looking at the photos of this beautiful haibun .. your haiga/haiku is splendid … ad no doubt about it … quite a paradox!

    1. It is a very powerful spot. There is a strange sense of being part of an incredibly long thread of human activity there but you have to tune into it.

  2. An absolute fantastic history story Suzanne. I had no idea of the significance of this area when , with my friends as teenagers we hooned around in the sand hills and along the river bank and up and down the river in boats. I have heard that there is a cave somewhere along the Hopkins where fossil remains of Thylacines have been found, but this has never been made public. Its obvious that mouths of large rivers would be logical Indigenous sites of significance however this research is the first time the Hopkins mouth has been seriously studied. Now, what about the Merri mouth? this is where the legendary mahogany ship is said to have been beached. That is a historic story to be fully concluded. AND what a beautiful haiku.

    1. Thanks Denis – I am so glad you enjoyed this post and the haiku. It’s fun to hear of your boyhood experiences of the area.
      I’ve heard of that cave but not about the thylacine fossils – gosh I hope they find them. There are strange fossils down at Shelley beach. I have picked them up and marvelled at them (and put them back of course 🙂 ). I’ve wondered what animals they are from but I never thought of thylacines.
      This certainly is an incredible area. I’ve only been here since 2012 but in that short time I have fallen completely under it’s spell.

  3. Oh this is beautiful, Suzanne. I enjoyed your journey learning more about Australia and first nations people. There is something mystical and spiritual being in the presence of two waters meeting…river to ocean. I felt that at St Barth in the Caribbeans where Pacific and Atlantic meet. Your photos are truly stunning!!! Splendid job on the haiku…definitely a paradox. Now I’m off to bed. Have a great day!

    1. Oh great to hear you thought the haiku was a paradox – that’s a relief :). It must be amazing to be in a place where two oceans meet. Our planet certainly is a place of wonder.

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