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,
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 –
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.