By Capt. Ralph Allen
The Australian term “walkabout” originated with the Aboriginal native practice of sending adolescent boys to live on their own in the bush for up to six months as part of their passage to manhood. Later on during their lives as adults, Aboriginal men have a propensity to occasionally go on shorter walkabouts during which they simply stop whatever they’re doing, pack a few essentials and disappear alone into the bush to refresh themselves via a nomadic return to nature. Going on walkabout is such an accepted part of life among these native Australian men that no justification or explanation is needed or expected when one of them decides to vanish into the wilderness, and it’s simply assumed that in a few days or weeks or months the wanderer will eventually show back up and resume his labors.
In spite of the fact that we know of no Australian lineage in our family trees, last Saturday became a walkabout day in the Allen household. As a spectacular bluebird sky beckoned through the kitchen window, my planned list of domestic chores fell by the wayside. I abandoned the lovely Mrs. Capt. Ralph to her own devices, pausing only long enough to pick out a fly rod as I scuttled through the garage on the way out. For her part, Mrs. Capt. Ralph proffered no remonstration, demanded no explanation and simply offered “See you later; have fun!” as I disappeared.
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