Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Desert to vineyards

Today we left NSW for the second time on our journey. Reflecting on our travel over the past month I realized that we’ve been in 1 Territory and 3 States (SA, VIC, and NSW) all in 4 weeks! Interesting facts about our journey aside, we left Broken Hill early this morning and crossed the border back into SA (does that make it 4 states or 3?)

The landscape around Broken Hill is shrubby, dry, flat beautiful desert. As we traveled, more and more trees began to dot the horizon. After a few hours we were driving through yellow fields of wheat and a few more hours later we were in wine country driving past row after row of grapevines. Certainly a day of contrasting landscapes!

We arrived in Kapunda and were cheerfully welcomed by the locals. The parish playgroup’s regular meeting coincided with the Cross’s arrival so there were plenty of young families present. Some of the little babies were wearing specially made WYD SYD t-shirts which was very sweet! The cross was surfed down through the parishioner’s hands, over the railing, into the car park and onto the street for a procession.

We moved onto Riverton where people had gathered at the State High school. We processed to the primary school and to different Churches in the town. As I spoke with the locals a common theme of our conversations was gratitude that we brought the Cross to their town. They remarked that not much comes to Riverton so they felt very blessed by being in the presence of the Cross and Icon.

We drove deeper into the wine region as we entered the Clare Valley. The Riesling Track is a 25km walking track which meanders through the valley from Auburn to Clare. The Cross was processed down a short section of the track to St Aloysius’s which is in the Seven Hills Jesuit winery. Mary Mackillop’s spiritual director was based at the Seven Hills so she regularly visited the area. The whole environment is very peaceful and I could well understand why people go to the winery for retreats. The added bonus of the presence of the Cross and Icon made for a prayerful reflective evening.

Thank you, Jess

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