there are those that rule that write the laws and administer them while others find themselves on a proscribed list.
asylum seekers are refugees fleeing persecution danger horror and terror. they come to our shores knocking asking pleading for assistance and find themselves banished to rot on other islands.
probably they were hanging out the washing one day and a rocket demolished their street so they picked up the kids and ran and ran and ran searching for a safe haven.
every day Kingston inquires into the world around him and so far this uncomfortable fact has not yet leached into his life.
Kingston sits in his car seat looking out the window watching the worlds appear in front of him.
there is plover nesting right beside the road again. why do they do that mummy he asks, will they be ok?
there is wallaby and kangaroo – the females heavy with pouch – a leg sticking out a head bending down to nibble. they stare at the car swivel their ears turn their head . sometimes they will with consummate grace bound away, other times they watch his small face pressed up against the glass. did you see that leap over the fence daddy? I wish I could do that.
there are the young bandit calves standing in the middle of the track holding the car up again – one with a white patch over its eye and one with clouds painted on its back.
the young recognize each other and they invite Kingston to a race and off they go – their legs kicking awkwardly up in the air, head bucking an bouncing , so gawky and having a ton of fun. Kingston laughs delightedly and waves them goodbye.
the wedge tail eagle slides into view drawing lazy circles in the sky – a pair of them gliding rising and falling.
in an instant the eagle spears to a paddock plucking a bunny up in mighty talons and sweeping it off its feet.
a gulp a heartfelt sigh for the bunny and awe for the majesty of the moment witnessed.
the child tries vainly to hold all things being equal and yet some must eat others – it is the nature of it and difficult to grasp in the innocent heart.
and there is fox -a golden red creature that races fleet footed like the wind across the countryside. three young kit foxes disturbed early one morning near a dam running for cover and in the weeks and months ahead gradually identities emerged and fearless was so named.
there he is dad there is fearless – tail flared out in the wind stopping and turning, alert eyes seeing past the window into the heart of a small boy.
the fox – interloper scavenger vermin killer of lambs and chickens is hunted baited trapped and flung aside by the great human army.
kingston doesn’t know any of this protected by his innocence and capacity to love all beings equally.
we humans have a righteousness which in turn creates the ‘other’. By proclaiming something other we in turn fear it and vilify it.
introduced species are front runners for proscription – once on the list they have to go and in liberal amounts poison is laid the gun is loaded the trap is set.
in the late light of day there is bunny bobtail racing across the grasses and tussocks, whiskers twitching, scampering across the road in front of the car,bobbing down a burrow running for its very life – hunted and persecuted by trap bait gun and virus it clings on to existence alongside us.
the thing about creating ‘other ‘ is how much more powerful it becomes, how much it is demonised and how much truth is bent out of shape.
the fox the rabbit the blackberry the willow did not seek to come to this land. they did not choose to be placed on the proscribed list. they were brought over in the pockets of the colonial barons who wished to make this land into what they had left behind.
there was no recognition of the indigenous way of living here- no acknowledgement of their agricultural practices, their villages their methods of conservation , food preparation medicines or cultural knowledge. no notice taken of the songs the dances the ceremonies- no notice at all of the effort they employed to maintain vitality of land river and tribe. they became ‘other’ and were systemically disempowered by the gun the church and the law. into the background of the white colonial fantasy they disappeared .
coming into the valley there are camels- the knobbly kneed beasts carrying their water supply come from a land of desert winds and sand dunes of hot sun and clear broad skies .their thick rubbery lips chewing – spittle flying and Kingston laughs to see this creature step out of the pages of ali baba and the 40 thieves .
sometimes on a late night and a little boy does not have many of them a wombat is sighted right at the time when the owl and tawny frogmouth are swooping silently thru the forest selecting their dinner. wombat is standing still pondering dreaming having a scratch a nibble of grass ambling about its busy ness.
back home spring has brought the skinks out to play and kingston breaks off a bit of biscuit and offers it to them -they have had a long sleep and are hungry he tells us.
Kingston lives in a world with so many Beings jostling for survival at a time when our very existence on the planet is looking decidedly shaky.
perhaps instead of our assumed colonial superiority we could learn humility.
perhaps we could advertise tolerance and sharing as a means of accommodating the biodiversity still tenuously hanging on.
perhaps we could look around and feel the beauty in all things.
And then we might ask – who are we without the eagle without the fox without the platypus?
who are we without love without family without community?
and what do we become when we persecute other?