the time is now


Rain      Rain    Rain

we have had two weeks of it,

pouring cats and dogs   bucketing    drumming    lashing    driving    teeming    beating    pelting    showering   drizzling  dripping    splashing  

on and on and on….

yep flooded in so we cancelled the outside world with a big smile and snuggled in ….listening….

making the odd dash outside to the loo or the lemon tree or the herb garden.

watching the ponds fill

the water falling – cascading off the roof spilling over the gutters and splatting puddling soaking and sloshing into the ground.

sometimes a walk along the sodden track between torrents with a spade to assist a gutter here and there.

cloudy misty grey and then a glimmer – the  sun blinking

patches of blue then quick as a flash back to grey black and big fat drops.

thank you we say.

thank you rain.


if you find yourself in the local village or by some fluke in town, everyone is grinning

gumboots and muddy cars.

the rivers are running and paddocks are under water.

this morning over tea and toast John said ‘well we made it thru the night without a shower’ and so we did.

it is backing off now the bureau tells us.

that’s good, we need to dry out a little

allow the track to settle

the clothes on the line to dry

the firewood to stop being so wet.


shovel in hand walking along our track this morning I clear out a few chock a block drains,

over all the track is holding up well.

the forest is saturated

branches still bent with the weight of water

and the air alive with spring time birds singing and gathering, building and chasing.

the dawn chorus has increased in tempo and the frogs have regained their songs and turn to the business of laying eggs.

the daphne has had its run ( oh it was a delight ) and now its little waxy flowers discolour and drop away.

it is the turn of the daffodil and the violets , great splashes of golden yellow and tiny drifts of purple amid the green.



tomorrow in various towns and cities around australia people are marching/ protesting.

what for?  what about ?

 what ever you like?

‘perhaps we are never happy’ John says this morning.


but then again perhaps we have been taken too far down the path of no return that our only choice is to march

perhaps our only choice now is to to rise up and walk together

to stand and pray in solidarity

to make another dream come true.


I got an email from Skye

 titled March Saturday Bega Valley,

“Hi friends 

“the time is now .. “

that was it

on point.


‘surrounded by idiots’ I say to Glenda  who is freshly returned from a sojourn around the isle of Tasmania.

the ex- mining towns on the west coast are so sad she tells me.

the land raped plundered destroyed with happy shareholders  living far far away.

what remains – disillusioned  people in an ugly environment.


I cannot quite decide what to place on my banner or whether I will even carry one.

I said to John the only thing I would really like to hold is the rainbow flag

the symbol for me of the unification of the warriors of Mother Earth

the warriors of courage and kindness of hope and peacefulness.



there is so many issues – all with equal weight…

our disgusting shameful treatment of asylum seekers

our continuing expansion of the coal industry, the uranium mines the proposed nuclear waste dumps…

our refusal to acknowledge the impact of Human Doings upon our landscape

cutting down our forests and processing them into little chips and sending them offshore for paper making…

our gross poisoning of our land our food our bodies.

our contempt for organic biodynamic respectful gardening, solar power wind energy

our comittment to follow the warmongering of the US 

our rotten to the core medical system that pimps for the pharmaceutical companies and denies all other healing modalities

our failed education system that programs children into boxed thoughts and denies creative expansive colourful Beingness

our narrow minded religions that speak and act with forked tongues.

our so called leaders stealing truth and lining their pockets.



lets face it …it is not better government I want.

it is better awareness –  a change a shift …another paradigm another agenda.

I want a world of loving kindness

a world of respectful honouring of all Beings including the fly the platypus the fern and the dolphin.

where authority is vested within because we know,  we are mature we are grown up AND  we are capable of being proper people caring learning loving , creatively exploring our spiritual experience on Earth.

there is not A problem

rather there is systemic and entrenched abuse of land and energy

of children women and men, of creatures rivers lakes and forests.

it is justified by economics profits and money.


I will march with the people because enough is enough

because I care

because I want a difference

because together you and I  can make this difference

we can

we are

we will.




I reckon I will march for Beauty

for Art

for HeartSong

for Earth

and for Tenderness.







the frogs know some thing

Sun day

Raining – good steady without pause rain.

somewhere else the sun shines this day.


the frogs gave notice a week ago .

Kingston was in residence and I gave him the hose and asked him to fill the pond by the lemon tree.

I had noticed a wallaby the evening before trying to find water below the thick mulch of algae.

‘The wallabies need a drink’ I tell him.

It takes him a long while and he hums a little tune splashing water onto rocks and flicking it over the stinging nettle that is threatening to engulf the pond. We have trouble agreeing on when to turn the hose off and it requires much negotiation of which he is already top of the class.

The bright green mossy matt now perches on top of a base of water.

‘wa wa can drink now’ he tells me proudly.


A day later a frog starts up ‘hear that Kingston the frog is happy there is water back in the pond.’

He runs off to see but it goes silent,quiet stalking is not on his nearly four year old radar.

Next day there is a chorus happening and I say ‘there will be eggs being laid next.’

He checks ‘cant see any yet.’ Another day or two and we hear croaking from the dam down in the orchard.

‘The frogs know something’ I tell Kingston.

‘What?’ he asks.

They just know.

I don’t recall when last it rained, the countryside has been looking very browned off what with dry and heavy frosts .


I visited Carole yesterday and found her up in the yards doing some sort of filling of containers.

She moaned and groaned at me over the fence,’ flu’ she said ‘been flat on my back. My cousin came over with a bag of grapefruit and blahhh everywhere.I said to her what did you come and see me for? it’s no good sandy I can’t afford to be sick – too much to do. and I haven’t got you those bags of manure  yet’ and the tears spill over.

‘ don’t worry about it’ I tell her ‘I have brought you some tights’ and then we chat about the neighbours who are making her life miserable and our friend Cheryl who broke her arm recently.


We are standing smack bang in the middle of her paddocks. I gaze fondly up at the Dumpling which gently rises and then steepens into a knoll some few hundred metres high. A place of so many adventures for us over the years.

Sheep with bells and tails are baa ing about and the creek disappears in a curving line of trees up into the Illawambra valley. This is Caroles landscape her walking tracks her home and she knows every inch of it. You want to talk about UFOs she has seen them here hovering over the Dumpling.

‘Rain is coming’ she tells me as I am leaving, ‘all the signs are here.’

‘goodo’ I wave and turn the car around scattering sheep hens and roosters.


Once there was a brown frog and a white frog that took turns inhabiting her kitchen sink and depending which one was about meant rain or dry.

A pee wee peeee weeee ing from the pines near her house is foretelling rain.

A flock of yellow tailed black cockatoos flying over yelling out spells rain.

When the ants come inside making their journey along the sink and down the cupboards rain is not far away.

And if the springs around the Dumpling start filling up that is a sure sign of lots of rain coming.

And if I am wondering what sort of season it will be I ask for the lambs born ratio – more ewes than fellas means a fertile summer and more guys than girls means a dry time a lean time a drought time.

And over the years well… she has my vote I can tell you that.

Years of observation and learning directly from nature

hard to beat really.

Despite Carole, despite  Barry at the Co-op predicting 200mls and the Bureau of Meterology forecast and despite friends calling in rain I did not get in much-needed kindling.

It was on my list of things to do yesterday I tell John when he comes home from a trip away. Giving the bench full of dishes a glance he says not the only thing on your list that you didn’t get round to.


mmmm it is Sunday and I am practicing a day of rest. Mum always did.

Doing nothing is my mantra this day and the rain is the perfect companion. Drumming loudly on our tin roof I lie on the couch under a snuggy rug unperturbed by dishes or kindling.

A smile creeps over my face from time to time and I wonder if doing nothing is actually a real possibility or am I just having myself on?

yep that is exactly what is happening , having a lend of myself.

once again

which makes me smile even more.


I put on gummies and pick up the brolly and go for a wet walk in the dripping glistening forest.

I love that smell.

Raindrops hang poised on the tips of leaves and tree trunks add other colours to their palate.

I sing – making up a tune about rain and puddles and trees.

Ah ha. That is what I am feeling this day – a surging unstoppable uncontrollable sense of lightness and joy flooding my body my mind my heart and my spirit.

That is what rain can do for a gal give you a deep sense that all is well with the world;

that fertility is assured

that everything is being nourished

that vigilance can be relaxed in this moment

and all I can say is

Thank you

and thank you again.


small actions basic freedoms – not to be shortchanged

Friday morning at the park in Bega is the fortnightly South Coast Producers Ass Markets. Elsie with Chloe in harness and I wandered over  to check  it out. We stopped at the SCPA stall, John Champagne our permaculture guru and one of the initiators of this local homegrown chemical free market is sitting relaxed. His deeply tanned face filled with crinkles of outdoor life under a beaten up akubra hat smiled up at me … ‘found your way out of the bush for a big town day.’  our big town of only a few thousand people.

‘yes’  we laugh. Thea working behind a table laden with spring seedlings greens citrus and brochures of this and that wanders over … ‘isn’t it funny… you know it is only just up the road- not so far at all.’

‘Aaaa hhh …  but it is a dimensional shift as well Thea,  it cannot be measured solely in physical distance ( 6o odd kms) – it is more the movement thru dimensions to get here’ I tell her as we hug.  John grins ‘that’s it ‘ he says. Thea tilts her head on the side and studies me as if I am a previously unencountered specimen and replies ‘of course, I hadn’t considered it like that.’


I leave home deep within a forest and travel in a car along a two laned “highway” narrow in places with an occasional passing lane. The speedo ticks over the miles and so much fuel is used. I stay in my lane keep my seatbelt on and do not speed. ( yes I did get a ticket recently ) …..( but it was my first ever.) The countryside of hills and valleys farms blurrrrr  past, sometimes a sharp outline from a fleeting glance  – a cloud a tree or a rock formation or flowering hedge imprints it self.

In town I park between two white lines  pay parking hasn’t arrived yet and leave the car unlocked. I enter the concrete scape of densely packed buildings shops offices advertising and inhale car exhaust perfume and old silage. People busy busy in a lay back south coast kind of way .

Skye comes up to us . We clasp each other warmly tightly lovingly – a friendship of warrior women, a shared spiritual sisterhood of many years and many ceremonies.

‘Tell me’ I demand.’

‘it was great’ she said shading her eyes from the warm august sun over our heads. ‘it was …’

‘Was it hard …doable’ I ask?  hungry not so much for details but the feeling. ‘I have been thinking of you  Bern Peter Jane.’

‘We walked for two days then had a rest day walked two more than rest –like that  so totally doable’ she said.

‘The first two days were the hardest – climbing high rocky dry rugged mountains and the view…  for ever …you can see forever ‘ she said widening her arms ….‘at night sleeping under the stars…   it is expansive   opening  but  in a very grounded way… just being a part of that landscape.’

‘Yes’ I nod. I can feel that.

Skye has just walked a section of the 220km long  Larapinta Trail. She was on a yatra -10 days of silence in Central Australia where the land is vast and red and brown and dry and oasis appear in gorges like a surprise on your birthday.


Elsie and I buy lettuce and mizuna seedlings for her new garden bed that a recent visit from her Dad has produced. She is very excited by this development and we buy the seedlings at my next door neighbours stall.

‘I have four more camels now’ says Christa.

‘ Wow ’  I shake my head and laugh with her.

‘How many do you need?’ asks  Elsie.

‘come over and see them.’

‘I will next time Kingston is visiting.’

wow seven camels…

‘if you want a couple of camels in your bush’ she says…

mmmm what on earth would the wallabies say to that ?


There is a piece of fabric with a couple of ‘working things’ on it -a digger and tractor , a scrap left over from a shirt or quilt belonging to Kingston. I had blue tacked it up at his height on the brick wall of the chimney. Last week when he was here he moved it over a bit and when he left it fell down. I picked it up reworked the dried out blue tac and put it back up.

I noticed and not for the first time green paint splodges on the bricks  as if some little person has had a daub or ten or cleaned their brush along  the wall.  And I thought about the freedom involved in this very small action. Admittedly it is a basic freedom – but even so it surely stands up there with other greater acts of rebellion like permaculture, like growing your food with love and mulch, like practicing loving kindness.

For so many people a home is a piece of real estate where the inside and outside must conform to an idea of ‘niceness’ a societal value .The walls cannot be marked by the brush or the pen or nail or staple gun. Following trends and brochures taking out second mortgages and maxing out the credit card to re do re paint re carpet modernise make bigger get new. Surrounded by  gardens that showcase  pebbles straight lines and tricky plants. Inside there are  cupboards of cleaning agents and the television is the main focus of family life.

here I am with  mud walls mud floor –  mud associated with  dirt and disgust. Always dirt beneath my nails. Walls painted oddly haphazardly or not at all. Secondhand living quirky and eccentric.A well lived worn  house indeed , everyone who has ever been here has left their mark in some form or another.

I am telling Thea this story – of this basic freedom of living within a canvas in which we the family are the living artists.

‘I am so blessed to be able to live this way.’

‘We are indeed’ she replies.


what a freedom what a radical call to arms.

subversion dissent revolution civil disobedience all have their honourable place within the human  story. And yet oppression still squats heavily upon us choking spontaneity creativity and the zest for wild unpredictable behaviour.

I take up my arms my fingers my body. I embrace my heart and remove their tacky claws from my skin. I switch off their voices on the radio and leave the papers in the newsagent.

When a plate breaks it is a good thing because another if needed can be acquired from the op shop .

how subversive how defiant to the consume get rich have more world.

a basic freedom  a small action and yet it is these small things that garner a change  that grow our community in cultural richness – that bring forth creative solutions and engender  feelings of deep connection.

There is time in our days to be present not with a future self but with now  with the moment.


This morning in Cobargo Saturday market day a  gentleman sitting in a car called us over and asked about the Women’s Refuge. It is a long story but after 20 years it closed in July. It got “forgotten about “ in the last state budget and ahem we do live in a country with a strong denial of domestic violence.

In a sleight of hand it has been given to Mission Australia a religious organisation with no background in women’s services  to run as a  refuge/ homeless shelter. ?????    They are renovating it and their staff admit to zilch training in domestic  violence issues . He said he has a woman camping near his place with nowhere to go . What could she do?

A  couple of my friends introduce themselves to her one of them the coordinator of our Bega Women’s Resource Centre with her pulse firmly on the ground in women’s services in our area. On ringing for assistance the woman had been told  that the nearest refuge for her in this moment is Darwin several thousand kms away.

The circle has returned and  grass-roots appears to be the answer , once again.Over coffee we notice a sign on a community  noticeboard for a caravan at  a friend’s place in return for a days work and it will be suggested to this woman.  Her face wearing the marks of abuse looks hopeful and  she is grateful that  women stop and care about her in the street. We hope the community can hold her together in some way until she finds her independent feet.

small actions basic freedoms – not to be shortchanged .