some say life began in the garden of Eden
And so the bible agrees.
obviously not the Eden I know.
not the one that slaughtered whales desecrated the land of the first Peoples forcing them into poverty and disease and to this day is responsible for the ongoing destruction of the forests for woodchips.
Eden, a small town near the border of NSW and Victoria has a history of fishing logging and tourism and with a population of something like 3000 people its pride is Twofold Bay a large deep natural harbour . It was 1828 when the first whaling station was set up and began to employ the indigenous people who refused to kill the orcas which led to a collaboration . They communicated with the orcas who in turn would trap the humpback whales in the bay where they would be harpooned, parts of the carcass would then be given out as reward.
old Tom the leader of the pack the full skeleton, is displayed in Edens killer whale museum – his reward was the tongues and the lips .
that industry gave way and in the 60’s a woodchip mill was set up on the shore of the southern headland where it still operates. it was sold to the people as taking only waste product from the forests – the heads and butts – and maybe that was true in the beginning. no I don’t really think so either. it quickly became what logging is all about in this region wrecking our forests for woodchips to export to Japan and other countries.
protests have been many and vigorous and battle lines are still drawn and the fight continues. the regional forest agreement is up for review again and despite much effort by aware and caring people it is highly likely that the chipmill will be granted another contract.
Each morning I turn my gaze to a garden within a forest within the earth.
I wake to a whistle a whip, a buzz a hum a rustle a thump a sigh. The day reveals itself in dewdrops poised on leaf and stem, birds shaking off the dream and rising to fly , hover sip and sup chase and gather.
I sit on a verandah soaking up the coolness of dawn; the sun still tucked behind the tall eucalypts, the garden slowly unfolding its appointment with growth. I am in the ringside seat for the first flight of the swallows. Huddling together timidly on a rafter while the parents zoom off at lightning speed only to open their mouths and chitter as they zoom in again but this time there is no food offered.
three babies wearing white lipstick flap tentatively from nest to light cord and back again.
The sun reaches the verandah and the water skinks glide out from their cubbies. Wrens of the superb blue variety skip around my feet . A white-eared honeyeater lands on the branch over the watertank, a quizzical tilt of the head a dip down into the water a splash or two back onto the branch followed by a vigorous shake of the feathers. A quick clean under the wings another dip and feather ruffle and off it flies.
The willie wagtails are dancing and my eye is drawn up to a nest in the angophora tree where they are feeding their babies.
Bravely one of the baby swallows launches itself from the rafter dropping down before remembering to flap and sails out into the big ness and disappears from sight. The remaining two close ranks clean themselves and chatter.
Their moment will come.
This could be the garden of Eden
this time capsule of life renewing itself
these moments of evolution unfolding.
I am witness to this power and energy
this vital transmission of light sun water earth and loving attention
I do not make any of this happen but I rejoice to wake into it morning after day after day.