Solace and Joy: A Gift from Pound Creek

Just before Christmas, a gift arrived at our home. The postman delivered it in a large plastic sealed envelope with the words Pound Creek printed neatly in red on the flap. A pile of fragrant organic garlic freshly harvested and still covered with Gippsland soil tumbles on to my kitchen bench. The sight and smell of these glorious messy bulbs brings back a day spent at the place where they were grown…

In Pound Creek sits an unlikely mud brick house built by Chris O’Reilly and his wife Stavroula. We wend our way through rolling green fields scattered with fat, glossy cows and trundle up a dirt road to a Greek village. Well, not a whole village – just one beautiful Greek house set amongst lemon trees and olive groves and surrounded by vegetable gardens, bee hives, grape vines and chickens.

The house is painted in the classic Greek colours of white, pale ochre and the perfect pure singing blue of the Mediterranean. There is a lovely simplicity in the design of these airy rooms with their soft textured walls, wooden floors, open shelves and woollen rugs.

This house and the land around it are filled with a gentle, joyful energy. Vibrant mosaics accost us at every turn – Poseidon guarding the wood fired oven, Minerva’s owl in the garden, a dolphin leaping on the shower wall, bright patches of colour on walls and floors.

This is a place where fruit, vegetables and herbs are grown, collected, preserved, and cherished as medicine or food. This is a place that offers solace to the spirit and lifts the heart.

Today, garlic from Pound Creek sizzled on my stove and filled my home with the redolence of a Greek house transported magically from its island home to a land of eucalypts, wide skies, dusty tracks, lush paddocks and yabby filled dams. A gift from the earth to flavour our lives.

Many Thanks to Chris and Stavroula O’Reilly 

© Anita Patel, 2018


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