ON the afternoon of Anzac Day, Kings Park was stunning. A perfect autumn day was drawing to a close, blue sky reflected in the mirror-like stillness of the Swan River.
Families moved around the war memorial reading the inscriptions on the wreaths. Silent contemplation was their offering.
Finding a parking spot was quite a challenge, even in the late afternoon. That didn’t bother my wife and I in the least.
It was wonderful to see so many making the pilgrimage to this site on this day. We paused at the statue of Lord Forrest, savouring the significance of the day and the beauty of the surroundings.
This area had long been a place of ceremony, shelter and food for the Nyoongar people.
What foresight to set it aside for the future enjoyment of all. What would be the chances of the same thing happening today?
If I were to be in the shoes of Stirling or Septimus Roe, would I sacrifice the profits of prime real estate for the common wealth of people?
The digital age measures waiting time in nanoseconds. Expecting every need to be met at the touch of a button or the flick of a switch is continually bred within us by those seeking to sell us the switches and buttons.
The shelf life of gadgets and gizmos is measured in months.
I can’t escape the conviction that these forces have eased our physical exertion and accelerated our world, but have also drastically reduced our horizon.
John Maynard Keynes famously quipped that “in the long run we are all dead”. I’m not sure the long run actually exists any more.
I see it considered at forums and philosophical think tanks, but not on the hustings when government is at stake.
I’m grateful those who gave us Kings Park arrived before the age of “instant”.