To be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d like it. It was quaint. But dinky. No place for a city chick. The roads were narrow. You could hide an orphanage in the potholes. And it was creepy, all those doilies.
Nonetheless, house prices were right. So I bought a place in the village of Nothing. And I’ve now realised…um…
I was wrong. I stand corrected. Here is my apology.
Bundanoon, I love you.
I love all of the things you reveal when I slow down for a minute.
I love your jasmine-fragrant air in Summer, your explosion of flowers in Spring, your postcard frosts in Winter and the whip bird that comes when I play Mendelssohn.
I love that pedestrians, cyclists and dogs rule your roads, that cars need to arc widely around them, and that’s the way it should be.
I love your inky velvet night and your polished constellations.
I love your procession of cumulous puppetry and the orange fingers of sunset that bring us to bed.
I love those nascent, autumnal tree limbs in arboreal yoga.
And I love that you’re a Refuge of Giants, old eucalypt skin draping outstretched arms in thanks for Salvation.
I love your doodles, the coded pencil drawings on the mascarpone flesh of your scribbly gums. Tree-speak LuvU 4Evas on a couple that diverges from one base. Or the tattoos of a Rubenesque woman in the seductive curve of her hip.
I love your sage-coloured shrubs that are flecked with cream, either in the puffy kerbside helmet variety—like hairdos of women called Beryl—or cheekily peaking between the dusk-hued gums in the magical stretch to the monastery.
I love your April carpet of red and honey leaves— nature’s joyous confetti—that lines the gutters and kerbs and skips along sandstone steps celebrating Renewal.
I love your shaggy red-tipped hedges. Your tiles, your vintage posters, your statuary, your reminders of my grandmother’s rambling hilltop cottage. I love discovering your views that reveal the splendour of dips and valleys, and the remembered splendour of the gardens down to her sun-house.
I love your cords of green veins that string their hands over houses and sheds, like they do in Giverny. I love your maples and their giant cones of fluffy lemon, orange, and cherry foliage. And your slender protective pines that vault skyward like spears.
I love that your buildings look creamy and crumbly, and textured like a biscuity cheesecake. I want to give the old pill factory a lick, taste flagstone toffee paths, and enjoy a blue-vein rock wall fence with a crisp water-cracker.
I love your higgledy-piggledy fence line of weathered wood and rusted wire that runs crookedly across the pastures. It may be a veritable zigzag, but why should it be straight? It is what it is. And then I realise, like a supportive arm around the waist, the fence is accommodating the trees.
Most of all I love your Community.
I love your makeshift movie house, the vintage-looking ads that win applause. I love the funny bits when the room bursts into glorious uproarious thunder, which sweeps you up, whirls you round the rafters like a dervish and alone, not knowing anyone else, it’s family.
Bundanoon, I love that you’re a time warp, but you aren’t backward. You’re creative, generous of spirit; you are quiet and kind. You don’t lose your temper, but if threatened, you know how to find it.
Alain de Botton says to try and find beauty in what’s familiar. In a place like Bundanoon, that isn’t hard. Of all the beautiful places in the Southern Highlands, you are truly the gem.