Heading photographs by Harry Whaite (1912-2011)

 

 

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Marie Byles
from 'Sing With the Wind'
Published by Envirobook 1989

Down Into The Valley

To The Bushwalkers

 
Return to the valley, oh my spirit!
To the humble common ways of life;
Leave the mountain heights, their wondrous glory,
And their task; of strength, of toil and strife.
 
Wander in the valley, oh my spirit!
With the hale selfless thoughts of love;
Leave the glowing mountain tops behind you
With their adamantine might above.
 
See dream's firm strong finger pointing downwards
From the lovely upland you will roam;
Them is moonlight on the valley's snowfields
And there's light enough to take you home.
 
Leave the tempting way up to the mountain.
In the future you may map its height
But tonight your way is by the lowland,
And the moon gives just enough light.
 
Marie Byles 1944
 
 
 
The gold of gompholobium
Above a dimpled sapphire sea,
And pink of eriostemon
Beneath a twisted grey gum-tree!
 
And fair as flowers and ocean blue,
And Joyous as the springs caress,
My comrades of the bush are you,
Bright keen and fresh with happiness.
 
It is not shape of form or wealth,
Or youth, or strength that makes you fair,
But kiss of sunshine gold, and health
Of free fresh purifying air.
 
Oft have I watched the dawn s pale hue
From on my bed beneath the sky,
And love the earth the more for you,
Who loved the same wild things as I.
 
Marie Byles March 1942
 
1900-1979

Marie Byles immigrated to Australia from England in 1911 at eleven years of age. She was one of the first women to graduate in Law at the University of Sydney and was the first to set up practice as a solicitor in Sydney. She was also a committed Buddhist, writing many books on the subject and establishing the Buddhist Society in Sydney with her friend Leo Berkeley. The Eternity story focuses on Marie's passion for the bush and the fledgling conservation movement of the 1930s and 40s. She helped establish Boudi National Park in 1935 and, along with Paddy Pallin, established the Bush Club for people who loved the bush but were unable or unwilling to meet the stringent requirements for entry to existing bushwalking clubs. The story features her bushwalking compass from the National Historical Collection. More...

from MARIE BYLES, UNPUBLISHED AUTOBIOGRAPHY, ‘MANY LIVES IN ONE’