love is a feeling though no one is quite sure where it lives

 

love is an invitation

a celebration

a rainbow nation.

 

love holds no mass yet speaks in volumes

has no number though it can be an equation

is qualified but cannot be quantified.

bespeaks all languages,

influences all flavours,

and slips inside impossible situations.

 

it is a noun

And

a verb.

 

love is a feeling though no one is quite sure where it lives.

 

love is the master

the baby

the flower

the stream.

 

love is an explorer, a seeker ,a traveller

poking around market places,

in and out windows,

over pavements and oceans,

through veins and arteries,

creeks and rivers,

in the currents of air,

the roots of trees,

keeping rhythm

in heartEarth time.

 

it is confounding

unsettling

surprising

unseen.

 

love is a woman, a mother, a daughter, a sister,

humbly on our knees we offer grapes and service,

stuffing her pockets with laughter and light.

 

it is invisible

intangible

reciprocal

transcendental.

 

love is sacrifice,

an offering made with no expectation,

little chance of success

and a willingness to give all that we are.

 

love is truth and truth is not the opposite of lies.

it has no opposite

no enemy

no comparison.

 

love holds no judgement,

accepts us unequivocably

and whatever dark deeds we commit along the way

are shattered in its quiet brilliance.

 

love is not a fizzy drink or a chocolate sponge

not a bicep or a breast

not a child or a new car,

but then again,

in the moment it could be any and all of these things.

 

love is a possibility

a fighter without weapons

a teacher without a curriculum

a dog without a bone.

 

 

love is

a mystery

and we

the humble steward.

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happy new year

x

In one Day

 

Today the forest is a fluid rippling movement filled with song and activity. The second batch of swallows are poking their heads over the wall of the nest and will be flying soon. A gentle breeze swans through leaves and branches, the tin roof crackles under  hot sun, solar panels lap up the energy converting it into this capacity to communicate.

We are experiencing a heat wave which is a visitor that arrives and settles in for a prolonged often uncomfortable stay, impervious to the tensions created.

The young skinny goanna not minding the heat prowls across the verandah. The birds go berserk with warning cries at these nest robbers, egg lovers, eaters of whatever they can get their claws into. They dig up fish bones we have buried, devour dumped prawn heads, swallowing everything whole.

Mother wombat has done her job, the young one now fending for it self is often spotted near the house ready to bolt under the verandah if it gets a fright. I approach quietly with soft chatter watching it ponder my intent before returning to pulling up tufts of grass to munch on.

At Sanctuary Point on the St Georges Basin we sit beside the water. Ants welcome us crawling hopefully over body, plate and into the picnic basket. The water, ironed flat and mirror polished at our feet. Bush coats the edges with the occasional suburb peeking through. An elderly couple supped past us on their boards, waving several times. I salute them with my cup of tea.

Picking up the holiday vibes I buy a newspaper to be confronted by a picture of people queuing outside department stores for the opening of  Boxing Day sales. I learn Australians spent 2 and a half billion dollars ‘ buying stuff ’.

In one day $2.5 billion.  

In one Day.

I am shocked !

In a single day Australia with a population of 25 million has spent 2.5 billion dollars which is now on route to waste in land and ocean.

I step off the grassy bank into the water, shells and sharp rocks beneath my feet ask me to focus. Woven through the thread of voices, motor boats bumping, jet skis screaming,  is a soughing, a soft shooossshing. It is the Sheoaks on the shoreline, young trees skinny of trunk, their balmy sough spreads into my heart calming my irritated pulse and slowing my breath. Gentle slaps of waves fanning out from passing craft climb up my legs and depart leaving salty tide marks.

Mats of yellow weed drift on the surface while underneath creatures, coral reefs, kelp forests, mountain ranges intersect with the wrecks of our past, the garbage of our present. Our waste floats around presenting in fish, birds and our DNA.

I love the giving and receiving of gifts – indeed I enjoy selecting something beautiful practical quirky for a family member, wrapping it with love in old paper. This year I passed on treasured books whose time has come to be shared. In return I received a shawl and a skein of banana fibre wrapped in a tea towel, a box of eco friendly toilet paper, a meditation cushion, a temperature gauge for our soap making and a book of Mary Leunig drawings.

The new baby was welcomed into the family on the Solstice as we came together to share gifts,  food and our love of each other.  The young fisher king had spent a day with Granddad and brought home such a fine haul there was enough for everyone to enjoy fish soup and baked fish for dinner.

The baby managed to sleep her way through the melee of two 3 year olds, a 20 month-old hand-in-mischief with the young pirate king. Their easy innocent play written on their faces rising in squeals of pure joy reminds me of how precious is, this planet home.

I want them to know the soughing of the Sheoak, the claws of the goanna striking the verandah boards, see the baskets of spider webs hanging in the early morning mist, the yellow robin perched on the wood pile,  turtles basking on a log and feel saltwater clear vibrant refreshing on a hot summers day.

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

the nod for tomorrow

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the solstice arrested

the day went on forever

the night a mini tableau of dreams .

 

what can we learn this solstice to take on board? 

we love to spit chips at pollies, fire cannons at the corporate world,  demonise and lay blame at the feet of capitalism. how easy to cast aspersions upon another, how difficult to see within oneSelf .

I realise I am one with blame and conflict, anger and violence, that I cannot separate for to separate is to lie and this new story requires truth.

I have Response Ability for the past as much as any potential future – this I must wear for any real change to take place.

we’re humans, clever and creative, much like children confounding and full of surprises. 

we are curve balls, circles, ovals and many pointed stars,

we are unique moments.

how to yield to this moment, to trust this presence in which the rule book belongs to the old story and we don’t yet know the new story, but we understand we can do better.

now is the time for adults.

We are Response Able.

 

this is the solstice gift,

that at supreme moments there is a pause a full stop a gap in the wings .

it is brief it is cosmic and it filters through our bloodstream.

we can halt, count to ten close our eyes and breathe,

giving thanks for this moment of arrest,

launch our song into the ethers

wave our flag of unified integrity

and fire our arrow of love.

 

within this deep still place

possible tomorrows are lined up waiting for the nod

so here it is

the nod for tomorrow…….

 

may we humans learn to work live and play with nature

in gracious surrender to the spirit that informs us,

in humble activism to the bodies that we deploy

in loving kindness to each and every being.

 

 

amen

 

.

 

 

the miracle of life

 

Saturday

a baby is born into the family

a little girl

she comes early, keen to meet us all

keen to get on with her journey

to hear the summer sounds of cicada and thunder storms

of  koel calling and bees blessing the veges and fruit trees.

 

she is tiny as they are

a miracle

a reminder of the sacredness of life

of the mystery

of the opportunity to approach life with awe grace and humility.

 

Monday

the welcome swallows on their second spring nesting hatch out their next brood. they drop a broken shell on the ground for me to notice.

over elevenses we discover that they are inhabiting a new nest directly above the door, we look at each other – somehow we missed the building of this one.

I wonder how this could be and where we have been to be this oblivious.

Tuesday

it is a haydee day and we decide to pick her up and bring her back home. driving through the bush along the bottom track to the house John says, there’s something…  a bird

I stop the car and we hop out, peering thru the forest mass for a clear look. there is a huge white shape and then as we refine our eyes I catch a movement, a tilt of a head,  a beak and an eagle appears in full majestic splendour -a Sea Eagle no less. this is a Wow moment and we get very excited. At 50 or so km from the coast a sea eagle on a branch over the island dam is a gift to be acknowledged.

Haydee wants out of her car seat and we grab the binoculars for a closer view. while she inspects the sticks and ferns on the track chattering away in baby gibberish we zoom in for a detailed look.  a large dark shape flies overhead – a wedge tail eagle keeping track of the intrusion.

is this the foretelling by the moggy in the night that woke us from our dreams. we were jerked into awareness by the verandah door banging as if it was open and the wind had slammed it closed. I turned on a light and there was a cat staring in at us thru the glass. quickly it disappeared.

in summer we usually sleep with the doors wide open – will we end up with feral cat purring on the end of the bed or eating our faces asks John.

the earth tilts and sails thru the heavens and the summer solstice approaches.

christmas looms and present buying is high on the list.

Kingston finishes school this week and we look forward to a long summer holiday with some camping, cricket in the backyard, fishing and picnics beside the ocean.

like the russian dolls the world unfolds and reveals another persona another story another hope another despair.

we cannot escape the pain and suffering and yet when a baby comes into a family, a community, into a home of love and plenty kindness there is joy and happiness to remind us of the beauty of life.

 

 

 

this photo of the white bellied sea eagle was taken in gippsland by person unknown and apart from the foliage looks exactly like the still impressed upon my heart.

 what a world when healthy babies are born and sea eagles visit.

xx

the children stand up

 

the children leave the classroom and take up position.

they have something to say.

are you listening mr prime minister?

they were diverse in age colour ethnicity religion private and public educated. 

their placards were heartfelt – colourful meaningful funny poignant.

they rallied outside government offices, on the steps of parliament, in their town centres and parks.  they numbered in the thousands.

the inspiration behind this action was Greta Thunberg a 15year old Swedish lass who in September began to protest outside parliament in Stockholm which she continues to do every Friday.

this week Greta went to Poland to the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Greta said “I will not beg the world’s leaders for change. I will tell them that change is coming whether they like it or not.”

recently two 14 year old girls from Castlemaine in Victoria gathered a similarly feeling concerned bunch and protested outside a senators office in Bendigo .

since then the idea went viral and actions took place.

at Kingstons school Amalia Grace Thompson 11 years old wrote a speech about two recent bushfires that deeply affected our community destroying homes and habitat. She decided to organise a schools strike 4 climate rally in the park in bega. 

Amalia said“Politicians should take action because they are destroying our world.”

Another student at the rally expressed it this way :

“So I’m always looking out for the latest things happening and how I can help. I want to do anything I can to help.”

and another young voice said:

“Not only are we destroying the planet, we are bringing on our own doom. We are capable of saving our own planet, but sometimes it feels like we can’t be bothered.”

and that was the future talking last week .

the children of australia stood up out of love, a deep yearning to see their world made right, a deep need to call adults to take responsibility , a deep awareness that we have one home this planet and just plain common sense arising from a keen ability to see the writing in the clouds in the oceans in the extinctions in the forests in the patterns around them.

the children call us to answer, to stand up and be counted and what can we do folks?

well if you are the resources minister you will say something like this:
“the best thing you’ll learn about going to a protest is how to join the dole queue. thats what your future will look like, up in a line asking for a handout, not actually taking charge of your life and getting a real job.”

followed by :
     “I want kids to be at school to learn about how you build a mine, how you do geology, how you drill for oil and gas, which is one of the most remarkable scientific exploits of anywhere in the world that we do,” he said. “These are the type of things excite young children.”

and if you are the prime minister you will say this:

We don’t support our schools being turned into parliaments. What we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools.”
and
“We don’t support the idea of kids not going to school to participate in things that can be dealt with outside of school.” 

and if you were one of the children you would reply:

“If you were doing your job properly, we wouldn’t be here.”

or

 “We have to sacrifice our education, which is something we really value, so we’re showing them that at the moment this is even more important than our education”

the politicians of this country dissed the children, did not listen and judged them harshly for their feelings become actions. They demonstrated lack of respect with closed hearts and minds.

Could it be that lack of respect is a fundamental causative factor in all the ills besetting us – from rising suicide rates to ecological collapse to domestic violence to contaminated waterways – that respect is the missing ingredient.

 when we respect our Selves open our hearts and feel our love to each other to the rivers to the mountains to the soil the earth then we enter into a loving grateful creative relationship with all that is.

 

the children stand up .

will you ?

 

 

the silver perch story

in the time of creation dreaming -I placed an order for 100 silver perch fingerlings with a fish hatchery on the central coast.

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The blackfellas call this freshwater fish with a pointed snout -bidyan. They are omnivorous – eating insect larvae molluscs algae – making them suited to a dam environment.

Some 25 years ago we released silver and yellow perch into the island dam and the lily dam.By the time the girls were teenagers they were able to catch a fish for lunch.

I had promised the young king that we would do this together .so on the day the courier called to say the fish were in a depot in Bega I plucked Kingston John out of school early.

Where are you going? asks Oscar? Kingston shrugs looks at me . I tell class 2 about the tiny fingerlings in a plastic bag in the back of the car that are going to grow up in our forest dam. Asher calls out ,what sort of fish?

The young king is now eight loves fishing with granddad , drawing making books and cards and shields, riding his new bike, catching skinks, jumping the scooter up at the slate park, with a healthy natural curiosity about the world and every creature in it coupled with a strong desire to protect it All.

We load the box into the wheelbarrow and wrestle our way along the overgrown track down to the island dam. Thick mud attaches to our shoes smelling of deep earth. With scissors we pierce open the bags and shepherd the silver perch into their new home. There have been some fatalities, apparently they can get antsy in close quarters and start fighting with each other.

Kneeling we watch the tiny fishies dart about in the shallows before the rich dark tannin water swallows them.Kingston spends the rest of the afternoon exploring the banks  seeking out yabby holes, turning over logs and rocks and quizzing me – how long do eels get? what do they eat? how many turtles are in here ? how big do they get? until I reply I need a cup of tea and back up to the house we go.

I am not sure of the morality of this endeavour but I have chosen to take this step anyway. I reflect on our so-called rights to fashion the world how we wish even to wondering building the dam in the first place.

Every action we take has a consequence . How much is too much and where does the balance lie? The pendulum is swinging wildly and many of our activities are seeing the planet in a worse for wear state. How can we learn this balance and is it too late? While I accept responsibility for this decision I also feel the need to soul search …

Silver perch are listed as vulnerable having disappeared from 87% of their natural range with only one known ‘wild’ mob in the Murray River. Factors affecting them in the wild include the introduction of carp, the constructions of dams and weirs, the regulation of water flows, the demise of spring floods summed up as loss of habitat.

Kingston john tells me today he has so many pictures to make. On Saturday morning granddad took him up to Corunna state forest where a protest is happening to make clear that the logging of the spotted gum forest where a sea eagle nests and a masked owl lives is not ok with the people. He watched a man make a banner and came home recreating it.No tree no me it says. Some months ago he did a picture of the coral reef and creatures saying no mining and stop adani relating to the proposed mine in the Galilee basin that will damage the Great Barrier Reef . I don’t like adani he admits to me but happy to know that friends of ours are up their placing their bodies minds and spirits on the line.

Silver perch are fecund having an egg spill of 200,000 to 300,000 – spawning occurs in spring at the surface of the water in the evening. The male comes along and after some vigorous thrashing about the eggs are fertilized. The eggs go on a little drift before settling and hatching some 1-3 days later. We are told that they won’t breed in a dam environment but even so are thought to be a long-lived species.

One day in the future Kingston will come along with his fishing rod, his sister and his cousins. He will tell the story of the day he left school early, raced home with grandma singing ‘its alright little fishies’ to the sloshing plastic bags in the back then wheeling them thru the bush getting stuck again and again on branches and vines then getting stuck in the thick mud and finally tearing the bags open and letting them free..

On that day he will bless his ancestors, give thanks for the gifts of the forest , catch a beautiful grown silver perch and bring it home to share with his tribe.

On that day may we be forgiven our trespasses…

we are miracle makers in Bud

In physics transition means a change of an atom,nucleus, electron etc.  from one quantum state to another…

 

life is about transitions

first tooth to second

child to puberty

marriage to divorce

the now to death.

   Once upon a time I was a child who wanted to change the world; at play in a backyard with a climbable apricot tree, a passion-flower cubby, a swing that went higher than the shed and a playhouse big enough to have friends to tea party with. My father built it out of a packing case; it had three windows that opened and closed with Mum made curtains, a green sliding door I could lock and in this myspace friends and I played, acting out adult themes – teaching vet / zoo keeping  doctors and nurses domestic life and war.

               This was the 60’s and war was still very much part of our lives – war had taken off my uncles leg, broken the spirit of my friend’s father who sat in his chair all day long and frightened my parents generation who had been allocated rations living behind blacked out windows waiting for bad news.

                                         

          A favourite game was saving the world, imagining that the child come avenging angel would hold up a hand in front of the generals with their armies and say, Stop! do not do this. In my innocence with curly copper headed curls shining in a garden where boysenberries grew under the back hedge my voice quivering with real heart-felt emotion I truly believed I could do this thing. I could persuade ‘them’ to Stop this madness.

     At the same time I believed in magic witches fairies and the power of good over evil. This was the cornerstone of an ordinary childhood that contained no abuse. I was sent to Sunday school, lived in a house with pictures on the walls of Jesus with his long hair, smiling cradling a lamb or with children swarming all over him. I learnt to pray to God to help me pass my exams, give me things I needed and heal the people who were hurt. On some level I understood these notions were childish and that grownups lived in another world.

When did I stop believing? When did I realise that make-believe was make believe and that reality was well, reality?

Well gee, let me fess up –magic witches fairies and the power of goodness still hold sway in my worldview. I still believe we hold an innate capacity to change things.

In this reality I am aware injustice overpowers the Forest the Rivers the People, that it is not as simple as the childhood dream of,  Stop do do this.

In the name of civilization I am overrun with mad schemes of despoliation, exploitation, annihilation but even so this cannot deflect the power of the innocent child within who carried the adult I have Become.

Growing into adulthood I learnt to squash the whispers of the heart and divide the world into logical rational linear segments, to say compartments when talking of a forest or unnamed drainage feature when mentioning the perky little stream, and if ‘they’ had their way I would say terrorist instead of asylum seeker. Despite this ‘adult’ speak, despite solid scientific evidence which endorses that logging our native forests, mining coal, poisoning our food crops and robbing our aquifers is creating serious repercussions, despite all this knowledge still we are met with stonewall after stonewall.

In an honest attempt to bypass the heartless discourse of cold commercial gain when I write to Gladys the NSW state premier I heart speak – of love and grandchildren, of the Breath and Water of Life, of the Sacredness of the Quoll, the Bent Winged Bat, the Masked Owl, the Rainforest and the Elemental Spirit all humans share.

I have no illusions that Gladys will hear me, that Corunna Forest with its magnificent spotted gums will be preserved.

What I do have is a certainty that HeartEarth speak is a valid communication that goes to the root of our commonality, that through our shared connections we can impossibly possibly change the world.

In physics transition means a change of an atom, nucleus, electron etc. from one quantum state to another…

Existing as a bunch of atoms could lend us the idea that we inhabit many dimensions simultaneously – in our heads our hearts our offices our homes, in the wild at sea on land, in the dream, in spirit – and if so then maybe we can comprehend we are Miracle Makers in Bud and this is the Season of coming into Bloom.

The old world of logic and plausible deniability, murder and war, biocide and disrespect, is neither sustainable nor healthy for our bodies minds hearts or spirits.

Transition into a new paradigm which is more than a faint glimmer in communities around the world is arising expanding and including of all Beings.

Today we salute those that Do and those that Pray, those that Plant and those that Paint, those that Write and those that Build and those that know Magic Wisdom and the Power of Goodness.

in love trust and innocence

sandra