So much positivity in Victoria Harbour


By Stella Barber - Victoria Harbour

The last time I wrote for this column we were in the midst of a lockdown, but we came through.

However, we do need to acknowledge that some families suffered the tragic loss of loved ones or the loss of employment and to them we all extend our sympathies. So much has happened to all of us, in Victoria harbour, in Victoria, in Australia and globally. Yet there is a taste of positivity and promise in the air as we look to the future.

Many of us were moved by the words of the talented young poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, at Joe Biden’s recent inauguration as incoming President of the United States. For those that missed it, maybe Google, “Amanda Gorman inauguration poem” – it was a powerful and stirring address. There isn’t room to quote all she said, but many of her words apply to us far from the United States:

“And so, we lift our gaze, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another. We seek harm to none and harmony for all.”

How inspiring it was to listen to and watch that young woman express herself with such poise and eloquence. Her message was one of hope and unity and we can take so much away from this.

Closer to home, I am delighted to hear the children’s laughter as they run around Buluk Park, excited to be able to be out again in the fresh air, catching up with friends and family. People are laughing again and exchanging smiling greetings. We have all endured months hidden behind masks and so smiling with our eyes, but smile we did, taking extra care in kindnesses to others. We have come through this and we have the long hot summer ahead of us to warm our hearts, with the hope of new friendships to be made and older connections to be renewed.

We need to be grateful for all the positives we share in Docklands and in Victoria. Yes, many have complained about the government at state and federal level, I was occasionally guilty of this myself. But truly, here we are, one of the most fortunate nations in the world in terms of the effect of the pandemic. There was no procedure manual for enduring a pandemic and I believe we should be grateful that we have emerged comparatively well and that our governments have worked hard to keep us safe.

In Victoria Harbour things are slowly getting back to normal. Cafes are as full as they are permitted to be, and we are enjoying eating out again. People are out and about on their bikes, skateboards or pushing prams, walking and jogging. It’s been an added delight to see the proliferation of bird life. I loved seeing the ducks waddle about in the park and the majestic black swan parents guarding their young near the Webb Bridge. Seagulls seem pleased to have people back again, eating lunch along the foreshore, leaving crumbs behind. There seem to be more people than ever walking dogs. I have seen more long-haired dachshunds in Victoria Harbour than anywhere else, maybe they are the new preferred pooch? No doubt pets have kept many people grounded. I know my two cats, Chloe and Gerald, have been a constant source of comfort and happiness.

The Portarlington and Geelong express ferries are operational again, trams again are seeing greater numbers travel into the city for work and shopping. The Dragon Boaters are back in training on Victoria Harbour, with their strident drumbeat often echoing into the early evening.

2021 is already in full swing and there is so much to look forward to in the coming months. It is time to celebrate the positivity of life in Victoria Harbour •

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