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The Mentor of Mambray Creek

18 November 2019

This gentle giant of a redgum tree stands earnestly in the middle of the campground at Mambray Creek in the southern Flinders Ranges of South Australia. It reaches up cathedral like, open to the sky on a series of broad flat pillars. The size of this giant only readily apparent with a human by its side. This great mentor teaches us that the fountain of youth is but a fleeting moment and that we are old for so much longer than we are young, and importantly, that old is beautiful. This is perhaps an anathema to a youth obsessed modern world.

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This tree would have been a companion to the local Nukumu peoples who must have lived beside it for generations, perhaps even sheltering under a broad canopy or within its walls.

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It is hard to imagine what it would have looked like one hundred years ago, or perhaps three hundred years ago when it might have been in its prime. But maybe it is most impressive now, and what it has been through more important than what it was.

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It's sad to see so many of our river redgums struggling through over exploited river systems and the terribly dry conditions currently being experienced over much of Australia. Let's hope this one is still around at Mambray Creek for a few more human generations yet, the world could certainly do with some more mentoring.

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