It’s been 10 long months since I last step foot on my Dulguburra Yidinji country… The place where the green grass grows on the side of the basking hills, where the rainforest sings with its gentle sway and where the fig tree’s sit and watch the world go by. Dulguburra Yidinji, my home.
Burruburru is my bush name, given to me by my Aunty Syb, representing the water gum tree in my Yidiny language. The tree is a messenger tree, a tree that sits on the banks of the creeks and rivers and when it’s time, it flowers its bright yellow flowers, signaling that you’re now allowed to eat what’s in the water. Burruburru is a healing tree, it is my lore and my responsibility to my family, my bush name, and my connection to my Dulguburra Yidinji country no matter how far I might roam.
I grew up with all of my cousins and my family on our country. I swam in the fresh water creeks of Far North Queensland from the moment my mother dipped my head under the freezing mountain waters as a new born. I have played on the farms next to the cows, walk through the rainforest, got told the stories of my mother’s up bringing, those of my grand parents and great grandparents and those before them. I grew up walking the same country as my ancestors and was raised with Aboriginal pride and passion. North Queensland isn’t just a place, my Aboriginality isn’t just a title or percentage, it’s a way of life and it’s who I am.
Since I moved away from home at 17, I have been out on my own and have travelled around the country and the world. I have met different people of difference cultures and races and visited some of the most amazing places on the globe, but nothing compares to my own Dulguburra Yidinji country. Country to a blackfulla is a part of our soul, it’s apart of who we are and what we represent. Our bloodline is the oldest in the world and we belong exactly on that piece of land.
Life gets in the way and reality means I have to live a city life for opportunity but even though I travel near and far, my country always calls me back… I hear it speak to me in my darkest moments; when I sit quietly on my own in the city, I hear and feel my country calling me, giving me peace. See when the world gets too much, I have a place; I have a place in the world where I can go and recharge my soul, my life source where I can go and feel good again. Standing on country after so long away is always emotional.. When I arrive back home after months away, I take my shoes off, step out of the car, take a deep breath and walk on to the patch of land where my ancestors have walked since the dawn of time, the place where my bush name was given to me…Burruburru…. I belong here.
In the sways of the Kauri pine trees at Lake Barrine, I stare up, touch the bark of these elders and feel my mother and great grandparents and ancestors spirits with me. I feel their eyes watching me from the surrounding rainforest. I don’t speak, I just listen and feel. After months of chaos and stress, of money issues, of work, relationship drama and life’s daily grind, all is forgotten when I step foot on my country and all of a sudden, I feel my cup slowing filling back up.
See my country isn’t just a tourist destination on an Australian map, it isn’t a place I grew up and left; it’s a part of who I am, a place that calls me back even when I’m a million miles away from it. When I visit, I feel like I’m visiting an old friend, my country is always waiting for me. When I see my country again, it greets me with open arms, with it’s warmth and love and tells me everything is going to be ok. My Dulguburra Yidinji country takes care of me, it’s me who I am; burruburru Dulguburra Yidinji bunya.