March 4th, 2011
I’m participating in the 52 weeks of personal genealogy and history challenge.
This week’s challenge is to describe sounds that take you back to your childhood. This one stumped me for a while as I couldn’t really think of any sounds that opened up memories. In fact I still only have one memory that I can write about.
I now live on the outskirts of Melbourne and there is not a lot of bush around us anymore. I don’t really hear too many bird noises out here – we do have some magpies, pigeons, sparrows, blackbirds and Indian mynas – but not the bird sounds of my childhood. In an earlier post I described how we had the bush behind us in Brisbane and how we use to feed the laughing kookaburras.
If there is one sound that triggers memories of growing up it is the sound of a kookaburra laughing. We used to hear them all the time, they seemed to be everywhere. It is one of the things I really like about visiting Brisbane and Mum still lives near a creek with the bush only a five minute walk down the street.
Whenever I am home we go for a morning walk along the creek and see all the birds, even scrub turkeys, the odd snake, lots of lizards, tortoises and most mornings we can hear at least one kookaburra laughing. As I watch the kids walk home from the school near me, I wonder how many of them have even seen a kookaburra let alone heard it laugh.
It is such an iconic Australian bird to me, and so closely tied to those childhood memories of feeding them, worrying about them in the storms, the hail and the wind. I have just done a Google search on ‘kookaburras’ and there are YouTube videos of laughing kookaburras, and an entry in Wikipedia and so on. Obviously I am not alone in my love and respect for this ’sound’ from my childhood!