Geneva Valek


Noller Park is like a little, green rivulet that comes seemingly out of nowhere and courses straight through. It doesn’t really care what you think of it. It’s quaint, darling and to-the-point. It runs parallel to a massive drain, bordered by a black fence with scary spikes and has a little children’s park off to the side, well-used and appreciated. Smack-bang in the middle of Noller is a humungous tree with giant fists that shake at the sky. The tree, like the park, is scoured with time. They were in Parramatta well and truly before me and will stay there long after I’m gone. That is, if an apartment doesn’t somehow will itself into existence on top of it, which seems to happen a lot around these parts.

Every second month or so, a group of little citizens get together and clean up the park. People of all ages pull on gardening gloves, sensible shoes and daggy, dirt-deserving clothes. They get down on their knees (with varying levels of ease), striking away the weeds that wiggle their way through the bushes. They scamper and toddle and chat and clean, sometimes they dig and bury and plant. They breathe joy into every speck of bark and passion into every centimetre of cement. Once they finish, they sit around a table and talk – gossip about the area, spread good news, share with one another, and most importantly, they eat. Everyone brings a plate. Someone always runs back to their house to pull pies or danishes or spinach triangles out of the oven and, shaded by the giant tree, they share. It is beautiful, it is easy. It doesn’t need to disguise itself in metaphor. It simply is what it is. Although you might not know of this miraculous group of civilians, most can sense their spirit whilst walking through Noller Park. It lingers on each leaf and sings on the wind. If you listen closely, you can hear the lyrics; a little time and a little care, are little things you ought to share.

Geneva Valek is studying at Western Sydney University and considers herself to be a lower-case w: writer. Parramatta has graciously hosted her for three, wonderful years.