A Letter to the Riverland from Amanda Schubert

Listen to Amanda read her letter here:


Dear Riverland,

Today I did something I haven’t done for quite some time – I sat by the river. That’s it. Nothing grand or extreme or wildly unusual. I parked my car with the full intention of sitting in it while I brainstormed some ideas for my next book – a standard exercise for me.

But today felt different. Today I didn’t want to sit in my car. I wanted – I needed to get out. To sit underneath the mighty gum tree, huddled beneath it, tucked safely in the perfectly-formed cocoon of its roots. The river flowed effortlessly beside me. The branches above me waved gently in the slight breeze. It was photo-perfect; Insta-worthy, for sure…

I left my phone in the car. It had no place here, not in this moment.

This moment was my time to listen. To just be. To see the beauty around me; to immerse myself in it, rather than see it through a shield of glass. The birds trusted me in this space; they came close enough that, had I dared, I could reach out and touch them. From magpies, to galahs, to parrots. Birds on the water, and in the trees. I listened, and I observed.

Riverland, when was the last time you listened? Truly listened, without distraction, without the drive to be doing something – anything, just to fill time? It had been too long for me.

I am a Riverlander – the river flows in my veins.

It welcomed me like an old friend.

And I was honoured to listen.

From Amanda


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