|Photo: Harrison Lambert|
My thoughts turned to my own being here in this land. As one of many second peoples who have called Australia home, I reflected on emigrating to Australia some 35 years ago. My parents brought me to this land for a fresh start, a new beginning. We were not fleeing a war torn land as many who come today may be, but we were certainly in search of a better life. I will always be grateful to my parents for making that choice. I would have it no other way. But I am also grateful for those people we found so welcoming when we arrived and settled here.
As I looked out at the sea, which was getting a little choppy at times, I thought of those risking their lives to seek refuge in our land. I wondered about the welcome (or lack of) that they might receive here in the years to come. I hoped that some day they might feel this sand between their toes too.
And so, I haven't felt the need today to seek out some amazing fireworks display or buy cheap Aussie bits and pieces that were all made in some other country. Instead, it has been important to remind myself of this sacred land in which we live. We can become so caught up with who owns this land, who it belongs to and who is allowed in that we have forgotten its sacredness. Millions of people have walked this beach before me, fished for their dinner and cooled off in the clear ocean. Millions of people will follow in the future. I belong here, but this sacred land does not belong to me.