Alice Springs 1

It rained today in Alice Springs.

The Todd River flowed for the first time since Dec 2012.
In Arrente language there is a special word that describes the beginning of the river flowing.

As I stood in the  dry river bed to watch, tiny, delicate tendrils of precious water reached out tentatively across the sand towards me from further upstream.

These silently, gradually swelled to become fingers that grasped around red river rocks.
Then they began to swell into huge arms, the shoulders, then a chest, flattening out to form pools of water beside towering river gums.

Suddenly the whole  body of the  river arrived, full of bubbles, spilling  joyously over the causeway.
Laughing, gurgling ,connecting  with the riverbank and the crowd of  smiling faces . Such a collaborative network of flow.

I wondered if coming to the AFN conference in Alice Springs will be like this for you.

First , perhaps, an  idea to come to the centre of Australia. Then, may be, only may be, a tentative idea of a presentation or not – either way is just fine.
Then, perhaps thinking about one of those cheap Tiger flights. Then, wondering where you are  going to stay.

Then all of a sudden
you are here.

Just like the river

Sue Gregory

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