I’m posting today from the heart of wine country in South Australia.  The Clare Valley is an untouched corner of the world that feels like it hasn’t changed in a hundred years.  Easter in Australia is an autumn holiday, and the two lane roads are lined with gum trees, leaves aflame under a brilliant blue sky.

The fields of grape vines are being put to bed for the approaching winter, the sleepy sheep wandering the hills are looking unkempt with their thickening coats, and the olive trees are starting to hang their branches low under the burden of their ripening fruits.  I feel blessed to be here this holiday in country that feels more vivid and real somehow, like the intense purity fills everything with a vibrance I can’t find in the city.

The houses and pubs are handcrafted works of love, each stone carefully fitted by the man who intended to house his family there long ago, and handed down to his childrens’ children.  The air is an intoxicating vintage that makes me feel giddy, and I gulp in deep breathes greedily. 

Clare Valley is a pristine dream of a simpler era, a pocket of time that has escaped the plastic commercialism that plagues so much of our world today.  A place so pure that the lucky residents can still collect the rainwater to drink.  The stars spread out across the unspoilt night sky; a canvas of midnight velvet littered with stars of sparking white fire.  The Milky Way winds across the universe like a vein of magic, cold and clear, but somehow it warms me.

It’s Easter in Australia, and my world is upside down.  I’m on the opposite side of the coin, Alice through the looking glass, celebrating Easter in Wonderland.

By Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Ryukyuan-American, award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years in newspapers. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), two-time Bram Stoker Awards® Winner, and HWA Mentor of the Year, she shares Authortunities, a free weekly calendar of author opportunities at authortunities.substack.com.

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