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  • Samantha Wortelhock

Rain and vertigo at Possum’s Pre School


Rain and vertigo scattered my assumptions like a mini tornado this week …

I never made it back to Ballina to complete the beach cafe scene for the school. That joy awaits me tomorrow. And I trust the timing will be right.

Instead, I drove every day (except the day I spent at home unable to walk in a straight line) to Condong, a small hamlet four kms north of Murwillumbah to paint in bursts between downpours. The site; a ribbed Colourbond fence stretching along the busy and fast moving Tweed Valley Way. The brief : to show the magical life enjoyed by the children of Possum’s Pre School behind the fence where there is a meandering garden path taking children to nooks and spaces created by people who knows the importance of feeding budding imaginations.

Wollumbin, the extinct volcano that dominates the landscape of Murwillumbah generates wild weather. And so it rained on and off. A mural that would have taken three or four days consumed the entire two week school holiday.

Frustrating, time hungry but mysteriously perfect because it meant I had hours each day with my school aged son Ruben and our six month old puppy Duncan. My spinning mind was also given a pace-maker of sorts.

A highlight of the week: A woman stopped her car and crossed the road to me to tell me that she had been watching the mural unfold. She works for Sea Shepherd and she asked for my card and told me that it would be her dream to see seascapes and whales painted in the landscape.

My big picture moved her to stop on a busy highway to plant a seed (or in her case a pod).

I imagine that kind of germination happens every day in the magical garden for Possums.

Believe me, there is something sweeter than the sugar mill in Condong.

#magicallife #PossumsPreSchool #Wollumbin #Aboriginallife #publicart #schoolmurals #SeaShepherd #seascapes #sugarmill