The Comfort of Water

The Comfort of Water

A River Pilgrimage
a new book by Maya Ward

‘In these darkening times, we can sense the stories we most need: stories of our country and the power that it holds. Very few books deal with such things. This is one.’
- Nicolas Rothwell

‘The Yarra has found in Maya Ward the ideal witness … She has written not just an account of a river walk, but a sacred geography of a river.’

- Mark Tredinnick

‘A story of historical , cultural and environmental significance, told in shimmering prose.’
- David Tacey

This is the joyful yet heartbreaking true story of four friends who walk a 21- day pilgrimage from the sea to the source of Melbourne’s Yarra River. There is no path for most of the way, but offers of campsites and boats, and free access to private lands, illustrates the generosity shown to pilgrims even in modern times.

Maya Ward’s lyrical exploration of her river as it winds through the city and the wild is a revelation, a testament to the fact that the greatest of worlds are often at our doorstep. Its author understands the power of the natural world to transform lives, and writes about the connection between a river and the self with humility, humour, and a clear-headed wisdom.

The telling of her own journey and that of her fellow walkers is seamlessly woven together with ecological and cultural history, the revelation of the pilgrim’s path and the unknowable depth of Aboriginal myth. Through trekking this Wurundjeri Songline, this ancient, ever-renewing river, she discovers rich possibilities of belonging, and shares how a river can nourish the passion and resilience required to transform our world.

Friends of the Earth is delighted to be hosting a launch of Maya's book.

Wednesday July 6th at 6pm

At Friends of the Earth bookshop & cafe
312 Smith street, Collingwood
(Just near Johnson street bus line, stop 19 on the #86 tram).

  • Cam Walker will introduce the book,
  • Frank Jones will perform his famous song My Brown Yarra,
  • Sarah Rees from MyEnvironment, will speak about the forests of the Central Highlands - the headwaters of the Yarra, and
  • Maya will tell some stories from her journey


Please RSVP:

Further information can be found on Maya's website, available here.