how on earth…

Sunday in May.
             I pause at the kitchen window, gaze out over my forest domain; a bounding moving shape catches my eye. Although it left its’ mothers’ pouch this summer I still know it as the Baby. It is zooming around leaping onto a fallen log disappearing in the brush appearing again the other side of the rusty burnt out van, another fast circle and abruptly stops. Mum comes into view already carrying a tiny new model in her pouch. She is in no hurry nibbling sweet green shoots.
             Early morning sunlight streams into a sleepy world still autumn deep in shadowy places, last nights dew sparkles on the tall grasses and leaves of the aspiring return of growth.
In among the burnt forest still trembling on the edge of recovery or Not, three black swamp wallabies( an adolescent young male frisky with hormones comes into view) go about their Busy ness.

             The question I had been pondering this morning over my bowl of porridge and not for the first time …….How on earth did they survive – the wallaby the snake ( sightings of red belly black and diamond python) the echidna, the goanna ( the big ancient one and a young fella) the bandicoot, birds ; when there is not a skerrick of unburnt land for miles around me, not a patch here in my 80 acres of forest or next door in Keiths or Patricks. Except for our house and they did not come in here.

             I call this place an ark do I not as in an ark of possibilities for living in some other way – without locks or keys or alarm systems, without flush toilets, without dependency on the electricity grid And with Earth Bird Bee Animal and Other.
What did the snakes and goannas do holed up in their hollow logs  when the logs caught on fire?
             Perhaps like the stories I used to tell Kingston the wombat burrow attracted and became a refuge for forest creatures that crammed in and waited out the fire???
The stories always started ‘Once upon a time there was a little boy and his name was Kingston john who lived in a beautiful forest with all his kin. One day Kingston john and his friend Wa wa ( aka black swamp wallaby) decided to visit wombat.’ These stories often involved rescue missions/ magical tales that he joined in with as he grew older. Visiting wombat was about learning from a wise one who offered sage advice, blackberry cordial and scones.
             An Other explanation???
It took water (lots) hoses pumps face masks for John and I to stop the fire from taking our house.

Perhaps some of the animals jumped in a dam doggy paddling round and round and round until the fire front passed. But then what?
The fires continued, trees burning for weeks, hot ashes everywhere, scorching beds of coals, thick choking smoke fumes . Can a snake or a skink slither over hot coals? And how about the teeny feet of skink or echidna?

             It is still a mystery to me serving to remind of the intelligence wisdom resilience of creatures to survive and adapt. And to honour the potential for magic and miracle.

Their food sources were obliterated and our bird population has been drastically reduced. For weeks we put out food; pellets sweet potato carrots , fruit hanging in trees and maintained water stations. 
We noticed wallabies hobbling with burnt feet and one day I came across a charred body and have since found some bones. They say over 1 billion animals ( does this include birds) died in this summers fires.
Seeing the exuberant  play this morning was a gift in a time when grief is still raw and tender.
             Yesterday I discovered a newly made burrow, a large earthworks of a very big wombat. The size of the tunnel tells us the size of the maker of the burrow not necessarily who might be living there. I went back this morning and the very big  wombat was poised at the entrance to greet me.
 Young fella wombat has been observed renovating a bank in the gully below the dam. This gully whose aspirations to become a rainforest has suffered a severe set back. In the early weeks after the fire young womby hid out under our bedroom verandah occasionally joining its mum and her new bubba in her burrow.

For so many this summer the world was turned upside down.

             When I see the wild creatures going about their Business I offer up thanks for this glimpse into their world, taking note of their healthy appearance, their capacity to endure play and Be.
Today in this moment my forest domain is safe; the ark is fulfilling its mission of providing home and refuge, home for Other, home for Being to thrive.

May all Beings be so fortunate.

roll out the pipe dream

 

ball ball shaped color earth

Restrictions are easing and people cheer for these small mercies
forgetting they are sovereign Beings enacting a sacred life on a sovereign planet.

I started to tell a story about the state of forests four months after The Fire raged through almost the entire east coast of Australia.

In this story I was going to tell there featured an arch villain Eden Woodchip Mill not only continuing operations but with plans to make briquettes from burnt trees for export. And then a lament of how desecrated the forests are in the south east corner where I live, desecrated by management that in serving a chipmill clearfells and control burns on a regular basis. I finish this story with a heartfelt regret about how some of these ransacked forests will never recover,  and then,  I caught myself.

So off in the tired old story I almost believed it. So off in a mechanistic logical rational equation forgetting the true potentiality within and without.

If we acknowledge that humans are multi-dimensional Beings who can Sing Pray and Heal then the truth becomes that we can do/be anything.  We have little idea of all that we capable of. We  know we are able to pollute our entire nest, split the atom, splice DNA, rob aquifers, exterminate species, fire missiles and pretend that capitalism is a valid role model.

Also aware that we have a capacity for kindness compassion forgiveness nurturing families communities while living respectfully lovingly with the Planet.

So kinda like jekyll and hyde characters. On the one hand our bodies hearts minds can be inveigled into serving the machine, the machine seemingly intent on our self destruction certainly our planetary base Or, we can surrender and perhaps in this discover an innate divine nature with inherent inner wisdom. In this state the resonance of the heart of Earth / Universe, the Great Spirit leads us to the possibility that we can walk in balance with the totality of existence, the dreaming of oneness, in love with creating Beauty for All Beings.

This path does not require religion faith or servitude.
It does require sacrifice truth and integrity.
I am one and I am many.
Like the neighbour, the senator the plumber.

The end game, my friend Heidi says, is here.
She’s right. It is the end for despair, bad deeds, subjugation and greed.
Even though many pointers channel us relentlessly in this direction.
The end of excess. The end for coal gas fracking, bio weapons, nuclear missiles, drone strikes and hatred. The end of all the dirty putrid ways. The end of indulgent mindless behaviours.

The abscess (from latin abscessus ‘a going away’ )  has been lanced, it oozes unpleasantly painfully and with a certain amount of relief that at long last all that is wrong is being exposed.  Many keep grasping onto what was, spin the story  and apply band aids .

For others this has become a time of revelation renewal and reflection.  A time of deep immersion in the Songs of Earth …Wind … Bird … Ocean … Whale … Rock… and Spirit. Tuning in to a higher frequency in which time and space merge into a oneness of loving attention, stillness solace nurturance and joy.

A pipe dream, a fantasy, a wish. I dare Us to hold this pipe dream, to wish, fantasize and activate another mode of living.

I dare us to not restart the old but chart another path through the rubble, the restrictions controls vanities addictions of yesterday into the Present unencumbered with all that seeks to destroy our beautiful planet home.

When faced with a pandemic we have proved that we can shut the world down. We have proved that when faced with difficulties we are creative and caring, that we can live without so much that was thought to be necessary.

What do you reckon?……. roll out the pipe dream…  nothing to loose.  Sing  it into existence into our gardens our grandchildren into the molecules of  land and sky.  Take a journey into the amazing cosmological evolutionary story that brought us to this moment and realise that as co creators we are part of the next chapter …

In honour of Murray Richmond Taylor who loved the trees the wind riffling in them the birds skipping around the yard; who loved the idea of a world without war and violence hunger and pain, who loved our long rambling phone conversations about how to ‘fix’ the world.   Father dearly loved and missed.

The crown

art carving close up crown
Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

 

put on the crown

there is no other way to play this

own it

it is yours.

our birthright

the crown of divine rule

signature of high office

of Know Thyself.

 

it was a crown of thorns for Jesus

a crown of daisies for us

sprawled in the grass

spindly legs freckles on cheeks

ribbons in our hair,

fingernails slitting the stem and feeding daisies through

until we had a ring of them squashed on our heads,

dancing and laughing in sweet innocence.

climate disaster war coronavirus nuclear waste

a long long dream away,

more like threepence to spend on a lolly

a new pencil case or ruler

shoes with laces

because now I could tie bows.

 

it was porridge and bath before bed

a hot water bottle and a goodnight kiss.

now the grandchildren know

empty food shelves

closed shops parents out of work,

they know the swimming pool the playground the skatepark

and the gelati shop are out of bounds,

they know that if they don’t wash their hands someone might die.

 

fear and statistics broadcast hourly

more restrictions

don’t hang out with your friends 

don’t sit on a park bench even on your own

don’t go for a drive or have a picnic with your family in a secluded spot

don’t hike or camp.

 

the lost job queue winds on around the corner

phone lines internet choke and seize up

not enough data

facemasks hand sanitisers tissues

not enough

placing health workers at risk.

 

science is definitive

telling the story

crunching the data

building models and graphs

stand back stay home

wash your hands

governments around the world agree

and lockstep a program designed to keep us in place.

 

go online and get a life

if only we had data

skype youtube zoom facebook,

the world’s your oyster on a screen

look up nature

david attenborough will show you unimaginable beauty

all with a cuppa in hand.

 

the bandwagon calls us to participate

and it matters little what we believe or what theory we admire

or whether we agree,

it is clear, it is legislated

stay home and wash your hands.

let go of normal existence

stop the world.

 

corona is latin for crown

virus by name

game changer by station,

children are home climbing trees in the backyard singing

seeds and seedlings are being planted

windows doors open so voices can reach out and touch anothers heart

waving at neighbours

home deliveries

meals left on doorsteps.

 

Has Adani stopped operations?

the guns been silenced?

the military on hold?

Have weapons manufactures shut down?

logging of native forests ceased?

Is there a moratorium on the making of deadly viruses in labs?

Will hunting elephants and whales stop ?

 

Do not gather in numbers greater than two

five at a wedding, 10 at a funeral,

someone has called for single use plastic bags to be reintroduced

does this make sense and how would we know anyway?

the righteous send forth and

the kindhearted people who do not wish to see this virus spread

stay home and dream.

 

I make hand sanitiser, anti- viral sprays and soap.

sew face masks, hankies and oven mitts

knit dish cloths and scrubbers.

I no longer hug friends if I should accidentally see them 

take wide circles around people in shops and shower when I come home.

I stay home in a country of…  ‘we are all staying home.’

don’t know for how long

if we will get sick and die or get sick and live or stay healthy.

we don’t know if we will go mad, if food stocks will improve or whether there will ever be toilet paper pasta or rice on the shelves again.

what we do know is that we have no right to socialise,gather in groups, sit in cafes or playgrounds parks or beaches, we cannot go to the opera the football the movies the museum…

And many many people no longer have the right to work.

 

 

This is how it is

here is where we find ourselves and reinvention is part of playing the game.

This is an opportunity for that retreat you didn’t know you needed

for honest reflection

what do we really need?

what can we let go of?

and bring into focus

the healthy option for all humans and all planetary life.

 

A crown is on offer

championed by a virus that has stopped the known world.

Sun wind wallaby oceans tides flowers and cabbages continue

to make their mark

to be who they are

clouds stars evolution love is all around us

within us.

 

we listen

push through the veil of stock market share price illusion

enter into divine realisation

take up the mantle

put on the crown

go to work

and

transform the world with respect and integrity.

 

Exif_JPEG_420

behold : human Be-ing

         Millions of dollars have been donated to this ongoing fire storm disaster and yet obtaining help is a difficult play. When Stephane from Disaster Relief tried to get the RFS to clear our access track he was told our road had already been cleared  ( not this section of it) and when he approached the SES and local Council they said, not a priority . By a serendipitous encounter he bumped into the blokes from the Riverina. 

 Six men set off from the Riverina

with a semi trailer full of farming supplies,

they had a fundraiser in the local

a mate down this way.

they turned up at  the Cobargo Relief Centre at the Showgrounds

wanting to assist someone

heard our track was blocked

came out to help.

all a bit of a laugh

two chainsaws a big ute

files and wedges

lots of good natured ribbing

they cut dragged and cleared,

seamlessly.

for us a god send

angels I called them.

nah… just country blokes

with hearts of gold

a royal act of generosity.

 

             A Crisis is all about applying to a multitude of organisations and proving you are damaged, in need, proving Your Story.  Again and again we have witnessed not help from the charities not help from the government or the council but solid practical enduring support from the community-  friends family neighbours and strangers. 

             Should we be surprised ? I don’t think so. The startling thing is that we still hold the assumption that authorities will come to our aid, fix climate change , fund mental health programs; that… they will do the right thing for the people.

 

Meanwhile Safe has become a relative term

meaning little beyond this moment,

 it is an idea

a structure we build

a fortress we defend.

 

   One month on the Fire dragon remains on the south east coast breathing down our collective necks, making allies, joining forces, building in strength and temerity, playing the waiting game; moving slowly, picking up speed, changing directions, sending out scouts. The effect is unsettling unnerving and terrifying. A glance at the RFS fire map of the east coast reminds us no one is safe. Another heat wave approaches and again we prepare to defend hold and endure.

 

The days of generosity

a point in time

crisis

knocking our sensibilities

provoking feelings

striking a chord as they say.

some thing is activated

the kindness gene

the DNA of generosity

the hormone of care and compassion.

is this who we really are?

Beings of kindness

capable of self-organising

in response

to crisis

acting selflessly

in service to the community.

 

I am witness to the actions of 

Human   Be-ing.

It is a beautiful thing.

 

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the fates thread the loom

 

before new years eve……

thick smoke envelopes our valley

coats our tongues

slipping particles into the blood stream

rivers and dams collapse under the weight

of the hot dry winds and fierce Sun

forests have sent up smoke signals

all is not well

heed the children.

 

and then one day  Fire came

orange red  flames licking

gorging on grasses wood,

devouring the tree the spider the worm

those that could scattered

rose up into the air

some diving to ground trembling bodies pressed suffocating

others fled running  for their lives

some hid to be chanced over, others fried.

 

I waited at the house

in an outfit

I had carefully selected and laid out the night before

jeans and belt

pink woollen socks big boots

singlet, green checked woollen shirt

blue crocheted woollen beanie

thick golden gloves and a face mask.

the hoses were in place

half a dozen of them in snake formation around the house.

the job description was easy,

apply water

to verandah and under

up the poles and onto windows

even the walls.

water water water

next hose next verandah repeat

oh and stay alive.

 

strangely calm

waiting, watching the advance

creeping into the bush like a thief in the night

with  an almighty roar.

John in his red woollen shirt ,

hoody up and mask on,

starts the pump

water is running from every hose

the verandah wetted from the night before

but we hose it all again.

the gutters are filled with water

watching

a ring of fire at the dam

the shack goes up

a loud  whump signals the end of  Rebeccas BMW.

fire scaling up tree trunks

gobbling shrubs ferns grasses

stringybarks bush-cherry

angophoras red gums

snapping leaves leaping dancing cavorting

and coming directly towards us.

it  picks up pace coming up the slope from the dam

a wall of flame approaches the south verandah.

John is calm

he has a the high pressure hose

fire meets water and determination

water holds

John stands firm.

 

He built this house

made every brick

from the earth in front of the house,

it literally rose up out of the ground

one brick at a time

for over 30 years a family home

one that now rings to the tune of grandchildren,

blood sweat tears births deaths marriages

this house alive, pulsates with love.

 

inside smoke is thick

visibility zero

bath tub full of skanky dam water

Zoes woollen blankets a sodden heap on the floor

a good escape to crawl under to steady the breath

before returning  outside to the heat,

the inferno the hoses and water.

embers skipping onto the roof

making holes in the clear roof panels

curling embers meet sodden verandah and vanish

no burns on the boards, no blisters on our bodies.

a window cracks in the bedroom

the window where our mobiles sit to get reception.

 

dust soot ash and charcoal coat everything

charred trunks and limbs

a whole understorey has disappeared.

will we see now?

will we wake to reality?

our Planet home

our beautiful beautiful home

trying to deal with our consumables, our plastics

our fumes our anger.

too much she cries

too much,

forgive us for we do know what we do

we know

that’s the tragedy

we know.

 

some days after the main fire front had passed

trees still smouldering

roots deep in the ground  burning,

many elder trees are continuing to fall

walking on crusty black ash

the ground as if plowed up

giant holes where once a root system lived

patterns of ash like crop circles

skirting fallen trees

shallow breathing the air

smoky thick and relentless

visibility limited.

we leave our burnt forest

drive through a silent world

a charred smouldering valley,

some neighbours houses mere rubble

power poles smashed sideways

wires curling in chaos

cows dead.

We come to our village

half the main street has been smashed

this is my new world.

 

 

the tower has fallen

the spin of ideas and aspirations has tripped

been knocked sideways

taken a slam.

the Fates thread the loom

again

They weave

brightly coloured lights bounce from fingertips

glories rarely glimpsed

consciousness stretches

tugs

elemental energies dance

holding holding holding

while the tapestry is woven

the women are Singing.

 

 

 

It was New Years Eve

If I turn my back on the Forest now at this very moment when She is burnt to cinders and it appears that life has been extinguished, then I am not a true friend.

If I turn away now because it pains me to see the charcoal embers of my dream that has turned to ash in my mouth then I would be committing betrayal.

For this garment that She wears now; the Little Black Number, the ashes to ashes killer outfit is just another frock in the wardrobe of the life of Forest.

It is my call to find the Beauty within, to see the promise that is held in waiting, to hold true, stand fast, cradle the seed of tomorrows and acknowledge the whispers of renewal.

If I am a true friend, if everything I have ever said is to retain its meaning and integrity then I must stay observe and witness this phase of devastation.

I will croon sweet songs of lament and sorrow, of hope and resurrection to Her.

I will say thank you for revealing another facet of your mighty Being to me, for revealing the face of the Fire Goddess.

I honour your courage in Burning, burning standing, burning falling collapsing, giving all in the face of this onslaught.

And I who have heard your screams will weep hot tears of sacred water for your loss.

Your loss is my loss. Your pain is my pain.

Together we shall hold hands and gently tenderly heal our broken hearts, our broken skin, our blistered and fevered minds.

Together we will sing of a new life emerging, a new dance awakening. a new song singing.

This I have learnt; the roaring of an approaching fire is hugely loud , it is so loud that while it was still miles away it woke pulled us out of bed and sent us out into the paddocks to see the huge glow behind the mountains. 

I have learnt that fire dances ; plays with air, tussles with water and scalds earth , behaves erratically mysteriously, beyond our plans and ideas. 

I have learnt that humans are resourceful and brave, that our differences become nothing and over a fenceline the farmer and the forest lover can hug and cry together, pleased to see that each other has survived.

I have learnt that humans are kind and caring and helpful in times of crisis.

For all the creatures burnt to a crisp or asphyxiated I weep, for all that have survived and returned I rejoice.

 As the days go on there are turtles at the dam again, wallabies some not all of the tribe yet, there is rufous fantail and grey fantail , there is magpie singing the morning song and the evening song, the whip bird the kookaburra the wombat the boo book owl, crimson rosellas and yellow tail black cockatoos.

what will they eat? what is left for them now?

I pay homage to the ancestors guides allies , to the spirits of land and air and sea and fire, to the angels and wisdom voices ,to all that have supported protected held me in their embrace for all of You I give thanks and many blessings. 

I have a dream……. within this flame there is the possibility of Deep Change- effecting  renewal redemption salvation even – at the very least an opportunity to take stock  – to come clear about who we are and where we are – redesign how we think, how we build, how we create, what we need, what we can have, and who we Become.

x

practise as if your life depends upon it

Sunday in November

a visit with friends to the lily dam

large open yellow blooms

shiny green leaves

shield much of the water

receding in the onslaught of a dry dry  season.

 

they wave enthusiastically at the Sun

towered over by tall gums

bark peeling in strips and ribbons

reveals smooth grey white as if polished by loving hands

leaves, brown bleached and beige

green red purple and glazed,

are being shed to become crackle under foot.

 

the forest is different

open view in all directions

a moment of confusion

what was there before?

where did it all go?

 

how quickly evidence is removed

how fast the slow moving goanna cleans up the dead and decayed

how spritely the rufous whistler sings above our heads.

clouds offer little solace

rain is restricted to drops measured out as if in short supply

the temperature seems hotter than its numbers suggest.

 

too long we have relied upon science

and now at the end of that road

our intuition is atrophied 

our knowing is dormant 

our spirit is disengaged 

the Waking required for Wholeness calls for an effort for which we have had not been trained.

 

and Yet here we are ,

this is how it is.

muscle up

exercise the intuition

practise as if your life depends upon it,

it does.

reach deep into the Knowing

it is there within every cell

practise as if your life depends upon it,

it does.

give Spirit a run

its freedom to be

to determine

to guide

practise as if your life depends upon it,

it does.

xx