All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,
“You owe me.”
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.”
When I lived in the Kimberley many years ago, we would often experience the most amazing skies on a routine basis.
One very early morning, while the world was still dark but most of the staff were up having breakfast and getting ready for the day, my Aboriginal Auntie and some friends arrived. They joined us in the Mess for breakfast. We had no condensed milk so Cookie put out a big tin of Golden Syrup for Auntie to use in her tea. She loved her brew teeth-achingly sweet. After she had made her mug of sweet milky tea, Auntie grabbed me by the sleeve and led me outside.
“Look,” she said, pointing up.
The sky was golden and ablaze with light. It was one of the most spectacular sunrises I had seen, and I would have missed it if I’d stayed inside eating my breakfast.
“Wait-a-bit,” she said.
The sky soon turned pink as the sun poked its way above the horizon. Gold fingers of light spilled out from a central source and the clouds all billowed pink and gold.
Auntie sighed contentedly.
“Dat a Jesus God Mary Sky,” she said.
“Jesus, God, dey in dat gold light. Spreading all over da world. Den da pink come. Dat Mother Mary’s love for us. She’s all loved up. Make me feel happy inside knowing dat. Dat love all around us.”
Auntie had grown up on a mission, and held two faiths in her heart. The Christian faith, and her own Dreaming and Spirits. Both lived there side by side, enriching and informing her days.
The clouds slowly softened to a dull orange and soon enough a vivid blue with a scurry of pale pink and white clouds was all that was left.
“Come on now. Back inside. Eat. You got syrup today. It good on eggs and bacon. I’ll show you. Come on.”
When I went outside this morning, here at my farm, many many years later, we had a Jesus God Mary Sunrise. It brought back a sudden rush of remembering Auntie. But when I looked up and saw those pink clouds, I didn’t think of Mother Mary. All I felt was Auntie’s love for me. Tears streamed down my cheeks and then I came back inside and made myself a mug of sweet tea that she would have been proud to drink herself.
My heart is full to bursting.