Global Songlines

By Merindah Donnelly.

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48 minutes till London…

I slept pretty much the whole way, dreaming of mum and dad and the veggie garden back home. And because this trip is so epic, the loose plan of building up some reserve battery power by sleeping as much as possible seemed appealing. This last week leading up to departure has been a race against time.

Time. A concept that we’ve discussed reclaiming as part of our collective’s mandate.

Travelling reminds me of certain things I don’t always have time or space to think about. I have always wanted to understand the world from Indigenous perspectives, my ancestry traces back to Indigenous peoples globally.

I’m a fiercely proud Aboriginal woman from central and northwest NSW, my ancestors fought the colonisers.

I’m also ‘a wee Celtic lass’! My pa’s family is from Cromarty, in Scotland. His ancestor’s fought the British. My dad’s great great great grandfather was from Armagh, in Ireland, and his ancestors also fought the British.

It doesn’t matter where you go in the world, First Peoples purpose is always similar – protect the land, be one with the land and ensure the spirit of the land and our own spirit stays here for many generations to come.

Indigenous peoples all over the world have been oppressed and subjugated by dominant invasive cultures. As such, our version of history is not taught or as readily available, and certainly not apparent in everyday things we take for granted such as maps. There is nothing like travelling to bring these issues to light.

Gabi has just pointed out to me we are flying over the English Channel (which I’m totes gunna swim one day). Twenty minutes til we land. Lorna, Ali and Lou are all on British soil- so it’s just Gabi and me now.

Can’t wait to get off this plane, serz.

I’m on edge about travelling to London. I know I’ve probably got a preconceived notion of what that will be, but right now- the Brits are the living embodiment of colonisation. Their cultural arrogance that led to the dehumanization of my people is still affecting my family today.

I’m looking forward to travelling to Ireland and Scotland. I can’t wait to see what I dream about, and I can’t wait to take my shoes off and stick my feet in the earth- while I still can.