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.