As I strolled through the main park in Lismore’s center, I noticed a group of men gathered in the bandstand. Suddenly, one of them shouted out, “Hey brother, be careful of the magpie!” Being someone who grew up with fair hair, I knew all too well about the danger of magpies during this time of year. It seemed like a cruel twist of fate that magpies would always choose to nest in the trees surrounding both my primary school in South Lismore and my high school in Richmond River. After the man shouted his warning, another chimed in, “He’s already gone after three other bald guys today.” We all shared a laugh.
The decision to cross the old railway bridge between North and South Lismore was far riskier than any encounter with a magpie. Despite having crossed it safely numerous times as a child, I realized it may not have been the wisest choice as an adult. However, I couldn’t resist the nostalgia of my childhood memories, as several family members had worked for the railways, and I had accompanied them on many trips over the bridge to check the tracks between Lismore and Bexhill. Unfortunately, those were the days when trains regularly passed through Lismore, and the old bridge was not as well-maintained as it used to be.
It had been over a decade, perhaps even longer, since the last train had passed through Lismore. Feeling confident, I decided to walk across the old railway bridge. However, I had not anticipated the missing sleepers that appeared halfway across, which made my crossing far more tentative and nerve-wracking than I had expected. It was only after finally making it to the other side that I breathed a sigh of relief. As a word of caution to children, I must stress that attempting to cross the bridge as I did is a foolish and dangerous decision. Please, do not follow in my footsteps.
I am currently visiting my family for the weekend, and as many of them are significantly older than I am, I thought it would be a good idea to take a walk while they retired for an afternoon nap. I managed to complete my daily goal of taking 10,000 steps, and then some, by strolling through North Lismore, South Lismore, and the CBD.