Winter Solstice

 
 

winter solstice

how short our days

and doubly so here in the forest as year by year

the trees grow taller wider and claim ever more of our winter sun.

 

 

yet already we are at the turn

the Sun having gone as far down as it can possibly go has  STOPPED

is having a bit of a think about its journey considering its passage and the general state of affairs

and then later on in the weekend will take off again upwards

climbing back up thru the sky little by little a minute here and there.

 

 

and so we too reflect this year past

it hasn’t been so bad says John this morning over a cuppa on a sunny east verandah.

the garden takes my attention neatly snipped al la wallaby style.

what is a bad year anyway I ponder?

a state of mind

a grief without end

a manner of speaking.

 

 

this year has had its share of ups and downs

if anything the truth of the “we are at sea and no one is steering the boat away from the reef “ is striking home…

our captain grins vacuously down a deep fracking well cuts the ribbon of expansion on new coal mines and

makes it his plan to remove precious wild diversity places from protection.

 

 

I wake early and look around

some vague level of lightness.

the moon is waning so this could be moon light

I listen for that first scuffle tweet twitter or rustle.

they are still sleeping

it is winter they say

no need to hurry to be sooooooo busy

time for another dream another snooze .

oh whatever I say and climb out of bed.

two feet hit the floor simultaneously

someone told me it promoted balance as opposed to one foot then the other.

 

 

taking my torch I wander out of the chill bedroom

past the hanging curtain that closes off cold from the loungeroom

the room feels warm and nymphy is still going.

I praise her service add a few more bits of wood and leave the door open.

a short while later I hear the satisfying sound of fire launching into activity.

thank you forest and thank you trees that die that I may claim your wood to warm my body and nourish my soul.

I leave closed the heavy drapes that are keeping at bay the cold lurking in the glasshouse

and pad into the kitchen to light Stanley.

out on the verandah gathering sticks I pause …. a nose twitch a smell of the new day ….an ear cocked…… listening…

there is Venus in the east and I sing out good morning

and while there I shout out hello to Forest and Dawn Sky.

 

 

kettles on I bask in the beginning time

keeping my awareness tuned to the way the light increases

changing from opaque white grey and vague into shaper more defined….

detail emerges and songs are tweeted from every branch.

back in the bedroom John lies still watching a black swamp wallaby on the verandah eating the pink salvias

pulling the slender stems close and nibbling a leaf and another oh a pink flower delicious

eating slowly swiveling its head to check out its domain

I enter and absorb the scene.

I wondered why I hadn’t pruned that bush back this year.

wonder no more.

more and more the wallabies are enjoying verandah space

do they want to come inside ???

is this the direction of our /my evolution ???

 

 

today I picked every orange

I could reach off our tree

possums are munching happily each night safe in the knowing that I will not venture out

and chase them with my witches broom.

 

 

 

brr ing brr ing

hello

hello Grandma its Kingston John

the sweet little sing song voice slides directly into the chambers of my heart and sends pure joy racing along neuron pathways.

hello Kingston John I say

hello he says

we kinda softly murmur together then

it is like an over the phone hug – as if  if we are touching as if our heads are tipped into each other  and

we are breathing deeply  of this well  of love.

once we get that out of the way we get into the business off having a chat.

I tell him about wa wa (wallaby ) he tells me about red dog.

I tell him granddad has hooked up our new (second hand ) deep cycle solar batteries

added in our new regulator that will tell us everything we need to know about our system

once we figure out how to use it

and he tells me that they are cleaning up but cleaning is boring

and he would much rather play with his toot toots.

 

 

I wish Tony would take the Stetson that Texas gave him exit stage left and play toot toots but seriously he isn’t even the problem despite all his brave talk.

I joined a group of people on a beach a few days ago for a meditation and they were really keen on putting tony in the middle of our circle and showering him with love and light.

not wishing to be a party pooper I tried to figure out how to join in.

I added Earth into the middle of the circle and as far as I am concerned that covers all the tonys georges and julies .

as well as rivers and clear spaces

as well as white beech forests and low lying islands

as well as whales dolphins and owls

a well as rainbows stars and wishes.

 

 

 

so here we are

a wish for the winter solstice.

 

may this new year reawaken our sense of interconnection

open our hearts to beauty

and bring us all into closer harmony with all of life.

 

 

there is enough wild left in me to bear it

it has to be love that is where the answer lies says one in  my writing group.

the final statement to a long chat about grey zombies ,corporate speak , Bentleigh (NSW)  blockade as a model for grass-roots activism, deep green politics and the power of the word.

we meet fortnightly or monthly or not for many months.

today it was three of us sometimes there is eight and activism was the key topic.

 

I am here in a quiet nook in an old house in the  village of Cobargo . it is a grey day and the rain has been busy.

it is winter cold and a fan heater is pushing warmth at us as we sit here in Cobargos newest community space  – part legal practice part community.

it has been named the courtroom and only a week ago we met here for a poetry slam as part of the Eat Think Create ( ETC) weekend .

I had never read poetry excuse me performed poetry before.

My style according to Glenda was forceful and relaxed perhaps something about the way I leant against the door post a leg crossed at my ankles and punched home my old battle cry about earth and love and spirit .

at least these days I am only a part-time ranter and for the most part I can disengage from the over whelming urge to throttle people over their heads and hearts with a wake up and look at the spiders web – dam you wake up and slide your body into the creek – wake up and sit on the rock and breathe  – for goddess sake wake up.

as I said only part-time.

paddocks stretch past the window rising gently to the Sams range of hills that have travelled east out of Wandella Valley and now they turn north heading towards Gulaga.

I walked along that range once twice – a journey from home skirting the valley –  stumbling upon a bower bird bower – oh what a treasure what a find,

 

satin-bowerbird-359489_640

standing stones that reminded me of Easter Island and stepping over little creeks that channel water from above to the farms below.

Five hours later John and I emerged in Cobargo. Still daylight and the bakery was open so we sat with our thoughts a pie and a cuppa.

I didn’t walk back – that was enough,  instead we plopped ourselves onto the noisy school bus and rode back up the valley with the children – the future.

and now this future is my present – some are in their thirties and they have their own lives and families – their own ideas and dreams.

the other occasion we walked the track that runs along the top of the ridge – a fire trail.

this time it was hotter and drier and we came upon a bait station for what ?? foxes maybe.

from the prints a goanna had been by. What stops the goanna from eating the bait? I ask John. He shrugs – there is no answer that will lead me back to peace.

at Cobargo we too turn north with the range and follow the trail for what seemed like most of the day. a regime of logging and burning left little in the way of wildlife to wonder at. Every so often pausing to  clamber thru the straggly growth to check our whereabouts in the landscape.

I’m guessing the sandwiches were cheese and chutney that day.

Even now all these years later I associate cheese and chutney with walking –

wild walking

mostly far from car and house far from village and town far from phone and internet.

finally we spotted the farmhouse we wanted and made our descent down the hill making our own path thru shrub and bramble felled trees and sharp grasses – pushing and squeezing dodging and dislodging until we broke out into cleared paddocks.

A ocasional tree  and barbed wire fences between us and our destination that we climbed thru again and again and again until finally we wandered into the old white farmhouse not far from the Princes highway then home of our friend Lila.

cups of tea and chats with a quiet jubilation that is often felt at the end of a good days walking.

 

you might rightly assume that I move between cups of tea and so it would seem. We long ago left the thermos behind on our walks as being too heavy to carry.

There are still creeks that can be safely supped from       there are still areas of forest with heart and spirit      there are still creatures going about their lives.

There are still the sweet murmurs of a wild landscape not untouched oh no but with enough wild in it to be buzzing    to be singing the song of creation.

And while the wild is under siege on every continent from a machine I cannot identify with  that I cannot defend against

there is enough wild left within me to bear it – to hear it and to answer.

 

I read this out to John after I come home and he says you didn’t mention how we nearly got killed that day.

funny thing was I was trying to remember how we got ourselves home from Lilas .And then it came back to me with a deep shudder.

it was a Thursday which is community dinner night in Tilba and we decided to go. I rang up another friend and asked for a lift .

We walked out to the highway to meet her.  zoom      zoom    zoom cars fly past at 100km plus  which is slightly disconcerting after a day far from a car world.

we are on a bend where the road splits into an overtaking lane.

Liz pulls up on the other side of the road and we cross over and clamber in.

She pulls out  to do a u turn heading  north to Tilba oblivious to a car barreling down the hill  towards us. John calls her attention  to it and she goes  What ? and pauses.one of those time stands still moments.

go go  go go yells John while I whimper in the back seat – with a lurch and a roar she accelerates across the highway and into our lane – the wind of the passing car brushes by.

She never saw it  – she chatted on while we trembled and gathered our selves back together. I asked did you see that car Liz?

What car ? and on we drove.

 

Sunday wild wet  fiercely windy and cold.

trees bend and dip their branches shaking loose the old

wallabies nibble grass around the house.

verandahs are sodden and I light a candle at the altar for the wild.

I will rug up and walk this wet windy forest today

so that I may renew this wild heart of mine

as if by keeping this shred of me intact the outer the greater will also survive thrive and flourish.