Editorial - Monday, August 19: Wake-up call at home
FLYING back into the Northern Rivers last week after a whirl-wind tour of six Australian cities, I couldn't help but be awe-struck by the simple beauty of it all.
The rolling green fields flanked by distant mountain ranges, which are in turn embraced by countless rivers, lakes and waterways - all reflecting a rainbow of colours as I looked down from the sky.
Yes, I may have had my polarised glasses on (the next best thing to rose-coloured), but as anyone who has spent a long time away from home and family will tell you - there really is no place like home.
I wanted to soak it all in for as long as I could - before the reality of the daily grind once again became the norm, with changing nappies, washing and wondering "what's for dinner?".
It's all too easy to take the good life for granted.
But I know I'm one of the lucky ones, even if I don't stop and think about it every day.
I have a family who loves me and a warm, safe bed to sleep in at night.
Many around the world don't enjoy such experiences.
I'm constantly reminded of this when I hear news from around the world.
How fortunate I am to be born an Australian.
When I was travelling with my friend Olga, who came here to tour with me from her home in Moldova in eastern Europe, she was constantly saying she could not believe how friendly Australians were.
She also blown away by the natural beauty and the care most Australians have for the environment and wildlife.
Yes, there's a certain magic here that may not be seen unless you are looking for it.