summer solstice looms up
the days long and buttery with sun light penetrating deep into the forest that has been activated by intense heat and much rain.
I am home after three weeks in New Zealand staying with dad and hanging about with sister nieces nephews and cousins. being a bit of a ‘black sheep’ in my family my ways seem strange and weird to them. they politely wonder when I will grow up and get a real toilet that flushes and consider it odd that I take my own bags shopping and refuse the plastic bags on offer when they are free ‘you know’. the restrictions they perceive I live with on a solar-powered energy system seem crazy when electrical appliances are so numerous so handy and so time-saving.
I cannot explain myself – planet earth is a far off idea and the role of spirit in our lives has yet to be proven. my family embraces newer bigger better in their modest middle class way – nice people, loving and kind people but like the ditch that separates us our ideologies are not a good fit. still we muddle along while I am there, enjoy each other and hold the peace.
I brought the rain back across the ditch and it stayed its hand until on the day we left Canberra to drive home.
and then the heavens opened.
in the back seat was me and Kingston john plus red dog and all his friends. he was bravely and excitedly making the journey to grandmas and granddad without mum and dad . in the front seat was Elsie rose and guide dog Chloe with John as driver . the car was chock-a-block and I had a mountain of stuff at my feet and piled all around me. the little fella was not well and we had a very disturbed night at our friends place with aches and pains all over the place. I hoped he would improve once we got home to the forest.
leaving our friends Kingston noted that one of red dogs companions called wait for it ‘building site penquin’ was missing and despite a search party effort by Glenda an rob he did not show up. with a teary lad we said goodbye.we backtracked across the city to pick up Elsie and Chloe who had also been visiting – the sky was threatening and black. as we packed her stuff into the car thunder ripped thru the air and rain poured down.
not the least bit daunted but hungry for home we sallied forth thru a darkened city slick with water. the car decided to muck up acting all sluggish. after getting every red light possible and a lot of cussing John decided we had to head back to our friends place. we were lost in a shrouded foggy world – cars moving slowly wipers at full speed sheets of water across the roads… it was eerie and disconcerting. then the car came good and a communal sigh of relief was exhaled. we headed onto the highway out-of-town at which point a wiper on the driver’s side went missing in action.
that stopped us in our tracks and so we sat on the side of the road with no visibility in torrential rain wondering what the blinkers was going on?
Kingston clutched red dog tightly and fretted repeating often I just want to go to your place grandma. we ate some bread shared some water and waited……….
it eased ever so slightly and without the wiper working john turns us back to rob and glens driving with the window down so I get wet in the back seat . a tighten up of the screw restored the wiper and a spot of lunch a cuppa some rescue remedy restored us.. well except for Kingston who didn’t want to eat and kept complaining about a sore mouth.the good news was that ‘building site penquin’ had been found and tied to a chair so he couldn’t run away anymore. there was a touching reunion and he rejoined his friends while we debated pushing for home or staying in town another night and reconnecting the boy with his parents .often when sick only mum will do but he is a very accomodating little fella and didn’t seem all that fussed.
and so it was after a very long day of intense rain and exceptional driving skills in which a three-hour journey warped into an all day affair we arrived on the south coast and knew by the rise of the rivers and creeks that it would be unlikely to get in our causeway. we dropped elsie off home and continued on out to our valley seeing water in places never seen before. we realised that we dont usually drive around when it is teaming down.
it is flooded says Kingston intrigued by our disappeared causeway. yep there is no way home tonight we tell him as we sit staring at this river over our road. back to aunty’s we go.
well one cannot argue that the signs weren’t in our face the whole day . our neighbour recorded 17 inches of rain and this became the first time in 30 years that we have been flooded out and unable to get in home.
after another rough night with a lad that needed to sit on the dunny every 5 minutes Sunday dawned sunny and around lunchtime we attempted home again. the causeway was now passable and three and half weeks after I had left I made it back to the forest.
I am always pleasantly surprised and relieved to find that my reality is waiting for me when I return. that the wallabies are still snucking up onto the verandahs when we aren’t looking, the swallows are teaching their second batch of bairns to fly and forage and the garden is a wild glory after so much rain .any idea of paths and boundaries are fast disappearing.
how is it I live in one world ‘over there’ and then return to something so similar and yet so very different.– a bed is a bed love is love and yet something indefinable intangible and undeniable sings to me here in this great island land – the dreaming plucks at my hearts strings and brings me joyously back into myself.
I have just read that .5% of australians are classified as homeless and those are the ones that show up on stats and it is estimated that perhaps as many that again are also without shelter.
I am one of the lucky ones and for that I am immensely grateful.