To Sum It Up… Australia


 If I had to sum up Australia in a texture, it would be corrugated steel and roses.  If I could bottle it as a smell it would be spicy smoked flowers.  The color would be the brilliant, assaulting blue of the sky.  Everything is overlaid in a rich, intense wash of life.  Coming here is like waking from a dream to find that I’m still dreaming.

Today I’ve officially been here three months.  It’s been long enough that I no longer feel bewildered every time I handle money, but new enough that I still find myself shocked often.  Walking to the shops I marvel at the unfamiliar bird songs, the immense variety of flowers and the feel of the sun, still waking up into spring but already flexing his molten muscles.

The thing I think I love best about here is the odor.  Strongly floral, the air is literally drenched with flowers on my walk, but underneath the enticing smell is a foundation of savory woods, baked and hard.  It’s a smell that says relax, but stay awake.  Be soothed, but be aware.  Chill, but miss nothing.

I came here at the end of a wet winter, and my first impressions were of wild green growth, mad with life exploding out of every inch of ground.  Now it’s calmed, settling in to wait for the bake of a long summer.  I’m calming too, waiting to see what the long, hot days to come are bringing. 

If I had to sum Australia up with a phrase, it would be wholly vivid.  Every aspect of the senses is awash with a zest for life but in a steadfast, unostentatious way.  Life is meant for living, drinking deep and savoring the smell of sun baked flowers.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher, and author with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. She co-publishes Space and Time magazine with author husband Ryan Aussie Smith. For more information visit
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