The brown murky waters of the Yarra wind their way through the outer suburbs and into the city of Melbourne. Favourite picnic spots are speckled throughout the river’s weaving journey.
In the scorching summer heat, people meet, dangle toes in the river. Shade is sought under enormous gum trees. Rugs are thrown over rough grass, sticks, and the creepy-crawlies that make their home there. Families gather, teens sit in paddle boats on a bright sunny day. Games of cricket are played; frisbees tossed. Kiosks sell drinks, ice-creams, coffees and sandwiches.
In winter months, lovers stop to gaze on it, holding each other close, while being mesmerised by its beauty, its rapid movements, its changeability. The dampness of the air, the wet grass, no match for its pull.
Melbourne’s artery pumps through the inhabitants of the city. We cross it daily, unaware of its beauty and its harshness. We stare at it, some fish in it. Our Yarra begins in the high country, and flows through townships, suburbs, the city itself, all the way to the bay to its mouth.
Lives are found riverside. Lives are lost riverside.
It’s the great divider of Melbourne. Those who live on one side, and those who live on the other. Those on one side of the river favour a political party; on the other side, residents favour the other party. It’s rarely crossed, save for the airport.
Our Yarra is brown and beautiful, alive and changing.