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.”
“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 respectis 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.
in the time of creation dreaming -I placed an order for 100 silver perch fingerlings with a fish hatchery on the central coast.
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.
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.
what are WE in the business of as planetary Beings ?
some people have a mission, a divine purpose, a calling, a particular yen for something that no matter how far away they travel from ground zero they are brought back face to face with what is theirs to do.
is this You?
can you recognise your hearts yearning
your embodiments lessons
your creative muse crooning under the hum of the white noise?
is this something I have made up to make myself important, inflate my ego, some sort of delusional pretence?
only my Heart and the Divine can truly know the answer to this.
lets say I’m living in ‘la la land’, a rosy petalled state of warriors and hearts with swords of truth writing to bring about justice and respect …
is this a fantasy?
how about this one then?
…standing at the pearly gates passport ready to launch down to planet Earth, to mother father, to village or city. A bit nervous because they tell you the spirit of oneness will be forgotten and it’s your job to remember.
who could possibly ever forget this Magnificence this Totality of Beingness ,this Truth?
before you go some last minute instructions:
when you get there you must take a breath and keep breathing for all the days of your allotted time on Earth.
you survive by applying food and water to the Bodyhouse given to you.
there will be twists turns tangents and contradictions .
Earth will share plenty of strange things, many wonders, countless horrors.
Keep in mind that everything/ everyone is an aspect of the Great Omnipresent Divinity.
and then you arrive, the passport passes along the umbilical cord transmitted deep into the cells of your body and you wake into harsh light bustle beeps and shrieks, the air cuts you like a knife , the sounds wound your hearing , the world is hazy and confusing and already you don’t like it much. where is the Source now you wonder?
as you grow up things happen, violence war pain and suffering, somehow it all seems wrong as if the world is divided into good and evil. In those dark and difficult times the light of the Divine holds steady but your gaze is elsewhere.
you realise the Body likes food likes sex likes clothes likes facebook ..likes.. you enjoy basketball kayaking making money ,there are amazing things going on so you buckle up and accept the ride.
you keep breathing until you can’t any longer and one day you find your Self at the pearly gates again passport ready detailing the acts of a life lived.
if you had tear ducts you would weep for here the oneness is as it always is
what is our job description here on planet Earth?
breathe eat sleep make love make happiness make generosity make kindness
make it up as you go along
but do your Best
as best as you can Be.
pouring gratitude onto the Ground you walk
into the Air you breathe
through the Water you drink.
and one day the heart awakens and you see Turtle crossing the road and it is you carrying your house around.
one day on the way to work you notice nest-building by the Swallows under the bridge and you know this is you building a future for your family.
one day you plant a seed – tomato lettuce zucchini. the fruits are shared with your neighbour and in return they give sauerkraut. you recognise that despite the differences community is enacted.
if you could be anything in the whole wide world what would you Be?
having just flung the tea leaves off the verandah eyed the dark clouds registered the increased tempo of the wind and returned to the kitchen sink, I wonder if it will rain this time.
I gaze back into the yard and am struck by this surety I carry around that sooner or later this dry will give way to rain and back to abundance.
I realise that I still expect spring to follow winter to follow autumn to follow summer .I expect heat to give way to cold for wet to give way to dry , for all things to have their turn in the manner to which I am accustomed. And yet I am aware of fluctuations anomalies and records being broken again and again.
It shocks me that I hold this assumption, that it will keep rolling on as beautifully as it currently does because for all the cry of drought here in this land the forest is still singing its song.
Do I really think that the earth changes that climate scientists are discussing, the modelling they are demonstrating, the graphs and equations that appear in reports is going to happen somewhere else to someone else?
am I prepared for change and what on earth will it look like ???
A fire has been burning out of control in the hills near us since winter . A farmer was burning a heap and it ‘got away’ . It is still ‘away’ though being managed by local fire brigades and their practice of back burning. living in a pall of smoke while listening to them tell me that over 15,000 hectares has burnt so far has become our new norm. that’s a lot of trees plants insects birds wallabies wombats echidnas possums goannas lizards – that’s a whole lot of life.
here the tall gums are flowering , the bees are busy and the forest is flourishing. out in the paddock world it is dry brown and harsh. monoculture does not serve the land well and this is a lesson that farmers would do well to learn.
the migratory birds are returning and setting up base . it is all a Song from dawn to dusk, a rich sweet melody of food and nesting, birth and family.
the red belly black snake that lives under the kitchen verandah is getting big and with a respectful dance we are sharing the space well. the frogs are occasionally being heard , the turtles have been spotted basking on the log in the dam which is getting lower day by day.
this beautiful flowering shrub is a callistemon. planted 20 years ago it occupies a huge space at the corner of our house. graciously it is feeding a dozen or so wattlebirds and any number of honeyeaters .we are woken at dawn to a ruckus involving the weave and spill of bird and branch , of bully and balance as they all vie for the sweet nectar .
down from the tropical climes the stormbird has come – this channel billed cuckoo turns up in spring to breed in this forest or should I say lay its egg in a nest.
the male bird scruffles around screeching close to the target host, either magpie currawong raven or butcher bird, and when they give chase as they do after a while because the screeching is really annoying, the female takes the opportunity to jump into the nest and leave an egg. kudos to the hosts – they take it on and feed the young cuckoo as one of their own.
this year the swallows are late to refurbish their nest , equinox is here and usually that is when the young ones emerge –instead they are still fussing on nest detail .
the clouds have passed the wind has dropped and the sky is clear blue again.
if there is anything to be learnt from the weather it is that we are entwined one with each other.
our emotions ideas patterns and stories are shaped by the seasons much as the cliffs are worn by the ocean. the seasons are shaped by the elementals, the spin of the planets and the Spirit of all things.
thru recognising this relationship an honouring and respect of Nature is engendered.
we can build a bridge from our hearts to the heart of the universe, from your heart to eartheart .
we are indeed one with the elemental community of AirWaterFireEarth and Spirit.
An icon from folklore and an environmental menace or so the story goes concerning the brumpys that live up in our snow country.
This discussion which is on a continuous loop is really about the threat of the ‘wild’ whether that is horse rabbit blackberry dog or Women. There is an argument that the brumpys were never truly wild creatures in the first place but came to wildness thru escaping domestication, hence feral animals and as such have no rights.
It is said their hooves impact negatively upon the fragile soil systems of this ancient land promoting weed invasion tree death, degrading the sphagnum moss beds, reducing native vegetation and damaging the communities of reptiles mammals birds and fishes.
Culling is one answer by shooting or trapping and named a humane slaughter. It is all about ‘manageable proportions’. Rehoming and moving them out of ‘sensitive areas’ is talked about. Currently Victoria plans to kill them and across the border NSW is thinking of protecting them.
Put frankly this is ‘a snow job.’ A snow job according to the Cambridge dictionary “ is an attempt to persuade someone to do something, or to persuade someone that something is good or true, when it is not.”
According to the Wilderness Society bulldozers clear half a million hectares of forest and bush every year in this country alone – encouraging invasive weed infestations and drier conditions, greater threat of fires, degrading the mosses creek river systems, causing soil erosion, destroying communities of reptile’s mammals birds fishes.
This clearing also releases stored carbon into our already overloaded atmosphere. An atmosphere that now has CO2 at 400 parts per million. For this impact the bulldozer is not held responsible.
The cow with its heavy hoofs is free to advance all over the fragile soils of our ancient land because it is domesticated and part of the primary production team.
We are up to our ears in snow jobs. They are spun from the mouths of government and corporations holding anything ‘wild’ accountable and selling a story to confirm this idea all the while ignoring human led greed and rape of the planet . Shoot the brumby the dingo the kangaroo, poison the rabbit the blackberry the willow –domesticate and medicate the women and the children.
Despite repeated beatings the Wild continues to Be. Inherent within the wildness is a deep connection to nature and earth and spirit. It is in the wild that our hearts breathe our minds open and our bodies relax – it is also the space where creative imaginative possibilities of living with the Earth reside.
I am not in denial about the impact made by introduced species, merely the distortion by which it is agreed that ‘some’ of the invaders are the ones responsible and thus can be killed while we and our corporate machine world make ski resorts in the very mountains in which the wild horses run.
Much as I like to simplify I understand it is complex – we have gone so far down the rabbit hole without a ladder that we cannot climb back out.
And yet some humans are climbing out climbing in taking stock and creating new ways of commerce of agriculture of community of living life with rather than on planet Earth..
It is important to take the time to be energised by each other, to learn how others are managing the challenges of living life, to be inspired by creative lateral and kindly endeavours and to know that as we serve we are not alone.