There’s nothing extravagant in old Gwalia. Mining towns that date back to the early twentieth century were rugged, minimalist, isolated communities. Niceties were simple, like hesian walls and ceilings, an outdoor bathroom, toilet and laundry. There was minimal heating, and no cooling at all, other than an open window. No running water. And to have a garden meant working the soil for years to be able to even penetrate it, let alone grow anything in it, it’s like concrete. Power came later, but if you could afford it, a generator was a good option. A telephone would have been a luxury. Farmers of the era also lived this way, it’s what you put up with in order to pursue your vocation in isolated places.
And yet, these communities survived for decades, simply because to live here was a lifestyle choice, people wanted to live out here. Of course, the motives were numerous, and who knows motive (unless self-declared)? Today there are a few who are moving back to these towns, towns like Gwalia, Leonora, Menzies, goldrush towns that emptied as soon as the seam ran out. Retirees, FIFO workers, long distance commuters, those who work from home, all enjoying a bush life.
There’s nothing extravagant out here, but there’s an abundance of community, a generosity of spirit, and peace that runs deep like a river within, that’s truly extravagant, and positively so.