…the forest is still singing its song

having just flung the tea leaves off the verandah eyed the dark clouds registered the increased tempo of the wind and returned to the kitchen sink, I wonder if it will rain this time.

I gaze back into the yard and am struck by this surety I carry around that sooner or later this dry will give way to rain and back to abundance.

I realise that I still expect spring to follow winter to follow autumn to follow summer .I expect heat to give way to cold for wet to give way to dry , for all things to have their turn in the manner to which I am accustomed. And yet I am aware of fluctuations anomalies and records being broken again and again.

It shocks me that I hold this assumption, that it will keep rolling on as beautifully as it currently does because for all the cry of drought here in this land the forest is still singing its song.

Do I really think that the earth changes that climate scientists are discussing, the modelling they are demonstrating, the graphs and equations that appear in reports is going to happen somewhere else to someone else?

am I prepared for change and what on earth will it look like ???

A fire has been burning out of control in the hills near us since winter . A farmer was burning a heap and it ‘got away’ . It is still ‘away’ though being managed  by local fire brigades and their practice of back burning. living in a pall of smoke while listening to them tell me that over 15,000 hectares has burnt so far has become our new norm. that’s a lot of trees plants insects birds wallabies wombats echidnas possums goannas lizards – that’s a whole lot of life.

here the tall gums are flowering , the bees are busy and the forest is flourishing. out in the paddock world it is dry brown and harsh. monoculture does not serve the land well and this is a lesson that farmers would do well to learn.

the migratory birds are returning and setting up base . it is all a Song from dawn to dusk, a rich sweet melody of food and nesting, birth and family.

the red belly black snake that lives under the kitchen verandah is getting big and with a respectful dance we are sharing the space well. the frogs are occasionally being heard , the turtles have been spotted basking on the log in the dam which is getting lower day by day.

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this beautiful flowering shrub is a callistemon. planted 20 years ago it occupies a huge space at the corner of our house. graciously it is feeding a dozen or so  wattlebirds and any number of honeyeaters .we are woken at dawn to a ruckus involving the weave and spill of bird and branch , of bully and balance as they all vie for the sweet nectar .

down from the tropical climes the stormbird has come   – this channel billed cuckoo turns up in spring to breed in this forest or should I say lay its egg in a nest.

the male bird scruffles around screeching close to the target host, either magpie currawong raven or butcher bird, and when they give chase as they do after a while because the screeching is really annoying, the female takes the opportunity to jump into the nest and leave an egg. kudos to the hosts – they take it on and feed the young cuckoo as one of their own.

this year the swallows are late to refurbish their nest , equinox is here and usually that is when the young ones emerge  –instead they are still fussing on nest detail .

the clouds have passed the wind has dropped and the sky is clear blue again.

if there is anything to be learnt from the weather it is that we are entwined one with each other.

our emotions ideas patterns and stories are shaped by the seasons much as the cliffs are worn by the ocean. the seasons are shaped by the elementals, the spin of the planets and the Spirit of all things.

thru recognising this relationship an honouring and respect of Nature is engendered.

we can build a bridge from our hearts to the heart of the universe, from your heart to eartheart .

we are indeed one with the elemental community of Air  Water  Fire  Earth and Spirit.

 

love sandra

x

 

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we are up to our ears in snow jobs

horse on fieldPhoto by Matthias Zomer on Pexels.com

        An icon from folklore and an environmental menace or so the story goes concerning the brumpys that live up in our snow country.

This discussion which is on a continuous loop is really about the threat of the ‘wild’ whether that is horse rabbit blackberry dog or Women. There is an argument that the brumpys were never truly wild creatures in the first place but came to wildness thru escaping domestication, hence feral animals and as such have no rights.

     It is said  their hooves impact negatively upon the fragile soil systems of this ancient land promoting weed invasion tree death, degrading the sphagnum moss beds, reducing native vegetation and damaging the communities of reptiles mammals birds and fishes.

       Culling is one answer by shooting or trapping and named a humane slaughter. It is all about  ‘manageable proportions’. Rehoming  and moving them out of ‘sensitive areas’ is talked about. Currently Victoria plans to kill them and across the border NSW is thinking of protecting them.

       Put frankly this is  ‘a snow job.’                                                                                                                   A snow job according to the Cambridge dictionary “ is an attempt to persuade someone to do something, or to persuade someone that something is good or true, when it is not.”

       According to the Wilderness Society bulldozers clear half a million hectares of forest and bush every year in this country alone – encouraging invasive weed infestations and drier conditions, greater threat of fires, degrading the mosses creek river systems, causing soil erosion, destroying communities of reptile’s mammals birds fishes.

     This clearing also releases stored carbon into our already overloaded atmosphere. An atmosphere that now has CO2 at 400 parts per million. For this impact the bulldozer is not held responsible.

       The cow with its heavy hoofs is free to advance all over the fragile soils of our ancient land because it is domesticated and part of the primary production team.

       We are up to our ears in snow jobs. They are spun from the mouths of government and corporations holding anything ‘wild’ accountable and selling a story to confirm this idea all the while ignoring human led greed and rape of the planet . Shoot the brumby the dingo the kangaroo, poison the rabbit the blackberry the willow –domesticate and medicate the women and the children.

       Despite repeated beatings the Wild continues to Be. Inherent within the wildness is a deep connection to nature and earth and spirit. It is in the wild that our hearts breathe our minds open and our bodies relax – it is also the space where creative imaginative possibilities of living with the Earth reside.

      I am not in denial about the impact made by introduced species, merely the distortion by which it is agreed that ‘some’ of the invaders are the ones responsible and thus can be killed while we and our corporate machine world make ski resorts in the very mountains in which the wild horses run.

Much as I like to simplify I understand it is complex – we have gone so far down the rabbit hole without a ladder that we cannot climb back out.

                         And yet some humans are climbing out climbing in taking stock and creating new ways of commerce of agriculture of community of living life with rather than on planet Earth..

It is important to take the time to be energised by each other, to learn how others are managing the challenges of living life, to be inspired by creative lateral and kindly endeavours and to know that as we serve we are not alone.

for your inspiration meet the following guides ;

Charles Eisenstein – author and speaker

https://charleseisenstein.net/

Helena Norberg-Hodge – author filmmaker pioneer of the new economy movement

https://www.localfutures.org/

Muhammad Yunus – Nobel peace prize winner 2006 –pioneer of microfinance and microdebit – founder of the grameen bank

https://www.muhammadyunus.org/

Konda Mason – artist businesswoman spiritual leader – love capital

http://wholepersoneconomy.com/

nature animal fog freedom

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every story is a treasure discovered

 

 

that’s the thing isn’t it we all have a story to tell…landscape sky clouds hd wallpaper

every man every child every sister,

every cloud every drop of rain

every rainbow.

 

 

so many voices speaking chirping  writing singing whistling painting twittering  sculpting warbling building growling dancing weaving croaking……

humans love to spin yarns – of conquest and war,  love and redemption, pain  suffering betrayal  loss, courage and honour.

‘other’  Beings don’t have paper or pen laptop or phone,

don’t do human speak,

and yet,  they too have a tale to tell…

 

enter the faerie embassy

narrating the stories on behalf of

…….

 

who am I  to dare this task?

 

I am earth speaker truth teller heart lover.

 

I am  wind weaving its message in the tree tops.

I am  bandicoot riffling thru the garden digging holes.

I am  wave smashing against the cliffs polishing history.

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I am  kookaburra laughing at dawn.

I am  wombat scratching my backside against the kurrajong tree.

I am  echidna sticking my nose into the ground slurping up ants.

I am  cloud scribing events in the sky.

I am  magpie in the red gum, head tilted back, warbling a melody.

 

And,

I am the voice of woman born

who stumbled into the 70’s clutching the pill,

into the 80’s holding hands with the goddess,

into the 90’s neck deep in mothering.

and into the 21st century

with a mission…

 

to Be

shallow focus of spider web

a voice for ‘other’

the spider and the web,

the wallaby and the whip bird,

the forest and the river.

 

listen

it is midwinter and a diamond python has shed its skin in the lemon verbena.

the swallows have returned, they chatter about renovations as they check out the nests high up on the mud wall outside the kitchen .

the white naped and  the yellow earred honeyeaters have also returned  coming into the tank for a quick dip and feather ruffle on nearby branch.

the grey shrike thrush has struck up its spring song – a rich varied melody flowing thru our house and garden.

the ‘thing’ that has been turning over our kitchen yard for weeks has finally been identified- not a wild pig not lyrebirds.

the other night under torchlight we saw the wombat scratching and digging up the kikuyu – is it eating the roots we wonder?

we recognise him , he is the orphan baby that came into our home to be cared for by the Daughter Elsie until at two years of age in full adolescent phase he  wandered off into the forest to have a life.

goodness she did well as mum because he is huge now and taken to very vigorous landscaping though it all looks a bit of a mess to me.

 

every story is a treasure discovered

a gift received

a commonality shared,

human  whale  rock  platypus  snake  maiden fern    robin

co existing

interconnecting

deeply  exploring the earth domain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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it was a modern day loaves and fishes parable

 

…. the summer of 78/79 I returned to N. Zed. Uni was on holidays for three months so I slipped back into my childhood bedroom and took a job at the Majestic Picture Theatre in Willis Street Wellington selling movie tickets.

Superman the Movie was released in the December and I gave free tickets to Mum and Dad. Although impressed by the tour of the theatre which also doubled as a cabaret venue the movie was not their cup of tea and Dad was nudged a few times when his snores got too loud.

Over the long weekend in January 75,000 plus people flocked to Waihi on the east coast of the North Island for a three day music arts counterculture event called the Nambassa Festival.

I travelled from Wellington in a yellow Vauxhall Velox with my friend Fang, hitchikers lined the main road north and we piled three then four into the car. The roads became choked and the festival ran out of camping space. Hours and hours were spent on the side of a road miles from the festival until more paddocks were commandeered from local farmers . By the next morning police ordered the festival closed and blocked the roads 20km out but still they came. Tent cities sprung up like mushrooms along the way  and many people walked in for free. Television planes that flew over estimated closer to 150,000 .

 

       Nambassa was/ is a rainbow story blossoming under the broad umbrella of hippiedom where the ideals of peace and love were translated into many people coming together to camp play music and share their skills – from breadmaking to holistic healing, crystal therapy, circus tricks soul food, birthing, yoga, dance, leather work, pottery, baskets, and speakers on all subjects ranging from indigenous activism to a no nuclear future from politics ,religious faith, sustainable energy and everything else under the sun.

 

 

We camped on the top of bare cliffs beside the ocean – a long walk to the central market place and staging area , a steep skid down to have a swim and an hours walk back up. Not enough toilets had been built and the hessian screens blew away, not enough food had been  brought in but everyone got fed, not enough water but tankers were organised to bring more.

 

It was a modern day loaves and fishes parable

and I was there.

 

I felt something, a tangible change, a possibility fuelled by the passion of many people

making dreams come true.

I witnessed another story emerging …

and I am still there…

still activating the story line by line image by image

heart to heart…

 

 

Buddha sat under a tree and Realised. 

Jesus went into the desert and Realised .

 

We don’t need drugs or religion or leaders or laws although there can be good cause given for all or any of these tools.

What we do need is the appetite for justice integrity and grace.

Time to have our own Realisation .

No need for a tree a forest a desert or a cave,

a sincere look within and a gratitude for all that is given will go a long way towards the aha moment of who we are where we are and the role of stewardship within our hands.

 

we can place the story of respect front page,

hold the story of love in the centre and

spread  the story of kindness from our lips.

 

 

and then if we;

taste surrender

explore possibilities

give way

become more

do less

invite introspection

canvas diversity

honour pledges

counsel modesty

bridge difficulties

court love

listen deeply

intend truth

live presently

count blessings

serve humbly

 

we may remember

that

we are molecules and cells connected to each living thing,

we are as the Stars and the Sun

we are kin to Dolphins and Sea Horses, Camels and Buffalo.

we are love

and love is the glue that binds us together

and with that light we cannot fail.

 

amen

 

 

 

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..and around the wheel we go..

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I miss a beat

tis true

often

sometimes,

regularly irregularly

I forget.

I forget that I know

and then I remember and wonder how it is that I have forgotten.

 

those flashes of revelation, aaahaa moments when we understand something about our nature our behaviour,

about life and eternal truths,

and then I forget,

and around the wheel we go

once again.

 

it is more than likely I am a slow learner

that I suffer from thick walls of resistance avoidance and pig-headed stubbornness,

which I like to think is tempered by a sense of awe, of inquiry and a whole-hearted love of it all….

but then again is this enough?

 
I fiddle with  the eternity ring on my finger

it belonged to my mother now gone this ten or more years.

in some ways she is closer to me now then when she lived across the ditch.

there is much to learn from my mother.

the truths she hid and  the lies she told to hide the truths.

 

I yearned for her to know me on my terms, to embrace this runaway errant black sheep of a daughter who fled the stultifying suburban 60’s and marched headstrong into the 70’s wearing peasant blouses and mary quant makeup living in group houses with colourful politically passionate people, who had a child out-of-wedlock and then gave him away, who persisted with her life on her terms despite the obvious disapproval, the cold shoulders, the long pinched lip frowns and the sad shakes of the head.

 

carrying my backpack full of guilt and shame staying on the outside and not wanting  to return,

and yet all these mistakes blunders passion for another way of viewing/living the world

led me to this moment…

 

when the magpie lifts its voice into the cold frosty morning

when the sun shines feebly  on a winter’s day and when the street is quiet about its Sunday and smoke steams gently from chimneys.

the galahs are screeching and the currawongs are invoking their melodic ‘curra… wong’.. song.

the sky is blue and clear

the air is iced and not a breath of wind stirs the trees standing naked in the gardens.

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is this enough?

to be Present

to really come into mySelf holding all the blames shames guilts passions mistakes joys and wonders,

free wheeling past all these weights upon my person

and spinning beyond all these responsibilities

into the Presence of Now,

taking the moment to breathe.

 

 

from outside come the sounds of

birds, the odd rev of an engine , a motorbike accelerating up the highway, a neighbours voice,

white rimed frost is sticking fast to the shady spots

while indoors the fridge is doing its bid for global warming

and fingers are tapping out this rhythm,

on the table yellow roses open to me and the white ones drop their petals.

 

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enough is about reflecting and honouring all the threads that come together to make this snapshot.

about Presence

about returning home to oneSelf

acknowledging the truth of privilege

and allowing gratitude to reign.

it is about accessing alignment and balance so that the truth of the stories we tell – those that paint us beautifully and those that cast a grubby shadow – are not caricatures but snippets of lessons learned and inspirations offered.

 

enough is about staring down the rabbit hole of our selfishness

and owning –

yes, that is me.

I am all of that

I am all of you

I am the flaws the fears and the blunders

I am the laugh crying and the peace yielding.

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one day I will return home to my mother not as the runaway who rejected all she held dear but as daughterspiritwoman who had a mission, who chose to forget so she could remember so she could learn humility and acceptance, compassion and selflessness and bring these gifts back to the table of humanity.  

 

may this journey open our higher selves to the different ways and beliefs of others so that we may honour them.

amen

 

 

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winter solstice

 

here we are in our short days with winds that rattle and roar

with cold that nips and slices

tucked into nights long and dream filled.

 

the Sun has reached the endpoint and stops,

pauses for a breath, a rest,

a moment in time…

and then saunters back the other way.

 

I am stopped.

I am paused,

and I am having a rest,

taking a moment to reflect on the year past

…….

 

Rain has been visiting

after such a long dry spell.

Sun and Rain play chasing and hide and seek with clouds and blue sky.

it is mercurial weather and you never know from one glance out the window to the next what it will be like.

as soon as you take your brolly Sun will wash over you and you put your brolly down take off a layer and before your chicks are hatched dark clouds zoom in and rain sprinkles or pours and you wonder where that brolly went to.

Sun enters the equation again in great swards of blue and a drizzle and on and on from one to other with endless variations on this theme.

 

the other visitor is Rainbow

with frequent and sturdy sightings,

it appears vague and muted soft like marshmallow and sometimes shy showing only a smidgeon of itself,

other times it appears vivid and alert, bold and dressed for a carnival arching with grace over valleys and hills

suggesting …. hinting…. teasing ….

at that pot of gold.

 

what is a Rainbow?

it is magic

it is elegant alluring and heavenly

a bridge between the realms,

it tugs at our heart strings

and whispers to our soul.

 

 

the Rainbow holds the promise of oneness

of coming together

without fear or judgement.

 

it is an inspiration,

a metaphor

for how we can live our lives,

with colour

with grace

authenticity

gladness

honesty

respect

and above all it reflects harmony.

 

may this solstice  bring you all a moment of reflection

a rainbow of transcendence

and your very own pot of gold.

 

rainbow

 

Blessings from the forest of the faerie embassy 

 

 

 

 

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what value a vase of flowers on the kitchen table?

 

 

Woolworths  Bermagui  a Wednesday.

the aisle of refrigeration dog food and toilet paper was where we met and hugged over our trolleys.

having recently moved away from my beloved forest away from wren and wallaby, away from the angel of fermentation and wombat, I am being called upon to delve deeply into my values into the depths of who I think I am. a subject I did not want to review in the supermarket.

I tried to sneak past this young friend while she peered at her phone in the personal care aisle.

instead I was busted debating the eco-friendly possibilities of bamboo toilet paper.

a night shift worker at the local hospital she has an hours drive to work negotiating country roads and animals that insist on crossing without looking both ways. along with fulltime work she has two children a daughter of school age and a son at preschool.

after learning that I had moved into the village she said – I like the idea of a separate residence – I could see myself doing that.

her and I met more than 10 years ago. She was an activist and the same age as a daughter. We lived in community on the side of a dusty road for many months witnessing the clear felling of a beautiful forest on Wandella Mountain near my home.She explains that her partner who is my age is a neat person ( she isn’t) with very definite ideas on everything and insists his ideals are maintained.

She says,  it is oppression you know while acknowledging that she loves him very much.

stories weave back and forth of family and relationships and community and work, striving to make sense of life and love and who we are within it all.

I wonder at this complexity of male and female, of values and differences. there are threads common to the stories we share and the issues that tear us apart.

The division of labour for instance – who does what and is it equal?

there is an idea for instance that women don’t do as much as men. Does this arise because a greater value is placed upon the jobs that men do?

we all know  that Women’s work is undervalued and largely invisible.

in the beginning Feminism assumed that equal pay would help repair the divide but it goes much deeper than this.

 

What value is there in a vase of flowers on the kitchen table?

What value do we place on a hand on a shoulder or a swept floor?

Who polishes the art of harmony within the family and who dares to unify and restore?

Who honours the mother by holding the ceremony singing the songs and re weaving the tattered fragments of the tapestry of existence?

Who buys the toilet paper and the toothpaste and more importantly who cleans the toilet?

 

Women are unto them Selves a Space  – they are creator energy , a force of nature, fiercely protective and  deeply nurturing . Their capacity ranges from the warmth of a smile and a willingness to yield, to the manifestation of wild original creative solutions, to holding deep attention and active listening , a gateway to the other realm, a nag, a miracle maker, an eyes in the back of the head multi tasker, a healer and wisdom friend, a witch, a spiritual counsellor, a hand-held and a kiss bestowed , an accountant, a manager , a cleaner , a maker of beauty , a guru…a light in the middle of uncertainty…

these days it is common to outsource jobs but once upon a time when the roles were more fixed men were often the ones who changed the tap washers, unblocked the kitchen sink, fixed the car, changed the tyre, mowed the lawns, put the aerial on the roof, did the building painting wallpapering sanding and blasting and moaned a bit about all these jobs piling up when really they wanted to fish or read the newspaper or watch the rugby or a smoke a pipe.

I do recall my father getting praised for these activities as if it was something grand he had done and I wonder now at the wisdom of this. Perhaps women have a tendency to over value the doings of men while downplaying their own activities.

what is truly grand is a Woman birthing a baby the act of bearing life onto the planet. this is still a Miracle – each and every time it happens – an amazing feat and only the beginning of the journey we call Motherhood.

my mother was a busy lady, she sewed knitted crocheted and embroidered making my clothes her clothes, my fathers underpants, sheets pillow cases curtains, jumpers hats bags . She recovered the furniture, cooked all the meals, preserved fruits and veges, made jams and chutney, cakes and bread and biscuits. She wrote letters to their families, sent out the christmas and birthday cards, cleaned and mended, paid the bills, drove a car, shopped and reared three children to adulthood while acting as social secretary soothsayer lover and healer And putting up with some serious bad-tempered behaviour at times.

She was not a super woman,  she was normal, she was like all the other mums in our suburb doing what they had to do to the best of their ability. What I do not remember is mum ever being praised.

Mum was also on hand at the drop of a hat to hold the ladder steady, offer advice , act as a sounding board, pass tools up into the roof, make the cups of tea for dad and his mates, nod and listen to tales of carburettors and specials nuts that had to be specially made to fit unique situations and yes we all agreed that father was a bit of a genius but so was mum.

And there is the nub Women just get on and do what they have to do without a fuss.

Still in the woollies aisle my young friend told me about coming home from night shift getting the children off to school doing a shop having a sleep, tidying up, a load of washing, pulled a few weeds out, watered the seedlings and cooked the evening meal. He likes boiled carrots with his meals and she loves to create in the kitchen. On this day she boiled them and then tossed garlic oil and herbs and baked them again. after dinner while they sat around the table with their daughter and son she asked how he liked them. His reply was palatable.

I was speechless.

It seemed unspeakable cruelty but perhaps it was his truth and I would prefer that he lied.

Oh dear. Where does that leave me?

my value system arises out of a deeply held loving respect of nature of the earth of the creation. I also appreciate the mystery, the inquiry, the process of creativity and the celebration of  diversity and generosity. I share these values with many,  men  and women. So how is it that we have this breakdown between the feminine and the masculine value systems and how do we resolve it.

This socialised value system which applauds men and denies justice to women, is the very same system that denies respect to Mother Earth. For peace love and harmony to prevail, for Mother Earth to be honoured then we must cast aside judging ourselves, judging anyone,  as less than.

It is a centuries old dilemma and one that we no longer have the luxury of time for.

This is a coming together time – it is time to sing together ,dance the dances and restore the respect and gratitude to our Mother Earth.

Part of this task is for Women to learn to value themselves, that no amount of legislation or workshops can do this for us. We have to own the space that we are –  the awesome all-encompassing radiant vibration of the Feminine. The masculine can only be great and praiseworthy when we learn to offer deep appreciation to our Selves.

when Women truly recognise their own value we enhance the value of the ‘other ’ which is kinda like saying as we value our selves we discover that there is no ‘other’ that all is indeed one.

In a world in which this vast assault on the Mother is taking place flowers in a vase on the table is a radical action of hope for a future of beauty and deep caring.

 

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