abandon the estate


‘Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have. ” Margaret Mead cultural anthropologist 1901 -1978

We retire stuff all the time, shoes, cars, bicycles, kitchen appliances, homes, pets, jobs, friends, families, marriages, phones, conversations and stories. Some times because they are broken and fragile and sometimes because our needs change.

All the time we are in the process of discarding and adding.



Willingly and unwillingly over the course of my life time I have had occasion to abandon all of the above and some, with the response varying between suffering and hurt to great relief.

Along the way the lessons placed in front of me served as the driver to let go of held beliefs propelling me into a deep inquiry of who what how where I am????]

Have you ever challenged your local council over garbage collection or public toilets, street lighting or medical centres, written letters to the editor, politicians, joined rallies, marched in the streets, protested outside parliament, taken part in strike action, signed petitions, filed submissions over any number of issues.

Quietly and hopefully we have participated in this idea of democracy with the held idea that the powers that be will listen and change course. And admittedly there have been occasions in history where this has been validated.

Injustice remains embedded as we in this country cast our votes within an adversarial system rooted in debate and discord. Fear spirals, suspicion reigns, conflict spills over and people/creatures/ Earth systems are suffering. The government /business model has power, money and measures in place to keep the people in checkmate.

Perhaps we are being asked to do less rather then more, perhaps it is time to disappear within our Selves and discover the truth of  Being.

Perhaps we could turn off the news cycle, unplug the device, spin around and look in the street, the park, the neighbours yard, the sky.

We could engage in the inner world courting our creative heart , encouraging family, community, making happy times, acting creatively, meditating, gardening cooking and eating together. Check out the waterfalls, rugged headlands and dangle feet in sweet rollocking rivers singing of love and gratitude. Seek out the stories of people making the world a better place.

Gather with community, make a dream come true ,a skate park, gardens of food, regenerate the banks of a creek or paint murals in dreary grey places.

Grass roots activism is a valid and powerful reply to a world we find disturbing. It is radical, subversive, creative and begins when we quit looking for answers from government.

Abandon conflict and fear by not looking for an enemy.

Renounce hopelessness and despair by connecting and building loving relationships.

Stop complaining .

Abandoning the estate can create a space in which we look around, take notice and allow deep appreciation to dominate our thoughts. A crow sitting on the wire, a bee disappears inside a flower, a tree waves, a cloud looks like a whale, a tiny mushroom pokes up on the side of the pavement, a smile beams across the counter at you.


Make this the real narrative – immersing fully intentionally completely in nature and there we will learn how to be here, how to live, how to love, how to hope and how to give.

Letting the old story go awakens something dormant within allowing a vital energy to bubble forth, a deep sense of kinship reignited in which the love of life, of earth of each other , in which the whole crazy zany quirky rumbling tumbling leaping dancing skittering twittering of Life Being Lived is felt.

Will this change the world? It changed mine, it is transforming mine, it can transform our past and our future.

It is warm and funny on the other side of the estate, peaceful and creative, timeless and welcome, inclusive and encouraging. Only a breath away to your inner Being, where we find our Selves at Home.

As simple as that.                  Yes and No.

It does require sacrifice, courage and resilience.

Honestly what else have you got going on today that is more important then coming in tune with Your Spirit, planet Earth, and the Heart of the Universe.

Abandon the estate and sing yourSelf back into existence.

happy solstice dear mother Earth and all her Beings .


there is enough wild left in me to bear it

it has to be love that is where the answer lies says one in  my writing group.

the final statement to a long chat about grey zombies ,corporate speak , Bentleigh (NSW)  blockade as a model for grass-roots activism, deep green politics and the power of the word.

we meet fortnightly or monthly or not for many months.

today it was three of us sometimes there is eight and activism was the key topic.


I am here in a quiet nook in an old house in the  village of Cobargo . it is a grey day and the rain has been busy.

it is winter cold and a fan heater is pushing warmth at us as we sit here in Cobargos newest community space  – part legal practice part community.

it has been named the courtroom and only a week ago we met here for a poetry slam as part of the Eat Think Create ( ETC) weekend .

I had never read poetry excuse me performed poetry before.

My style according to Glenda was forceful and relaxed perhaps something about the way I leant against the door post a leg crossed at my ankles and punched home my old battle cry about earth and love and spirit .

at least these days I am only a part-time ranter and for the most part I can disengage from the over whelming urge to throttle people over their heads and hearts with a wake up and look at the spiders web – dam you wake up and slide your body into the creek – wake up and sit on the rock and breathe  – for goddess sake wake up.

as I said only part-time.

paddocks stretch past the window rising gently to the Sams range of hills that have travelled east out of Wandella Valley and now they turn north heading towards Gulaga.

I walked along that range once twice – a journey from home skirting the valley –  stumbling upon a bower bird bower – oh what a treasure what a find,



standing stones that reminded me of Easter Island and stepping over little creeks that channel water from above to the farms below.

Five hours later John and I emerged in Cobargo. Still daylight and the bakery was open so we sat with our thoughts a pie and a cuppa.

I didn’t walk back – that was enough,  instead we plopped ourselves onto the noisy school bus and rode back up the valley with the children – the future.

and now this future is my present – some are in their thirties and they have their own lives and families – their own ideas and dreams.

the other occasion we walked the track that runs along the top of the ridge – a fire trail.

this time it was hotter and drier and we came upon a bait station for what ?? foxes maybe.

from the prints a goanna had been by. What stops the goanna from eating the bait? I ask John. He shrugs – there is no answer that will lead me back to peace.

at Cobargo we too turn north with the range and follow the trail for what seemed like most of the day. a regime of logging and burning left little in the way of wildlife to wonder at. Every so often pausing to  clamber thru the straggly growth to check our whereabouts in the landscape.

I’m guessing the sandwiches were cheese and chutney that day.

Even now all these years later I associate cheese and chutney with walking –

wild walking

mostly far from car and house far from village and town far from phone and internet.

finally we spotted the farmhouse we wanted and made our descent down the hill making our own path thru shrub and bramble felled trees and sharp grasses – pushing and squeezing dodging and dislodging until we broke out into cleared paddocks.

A ocasional tree  and barbed wire fences between us and our destination that we climbed thru again and again and again until finally we wandered into the old white farmhouse not far from the Princes highway then home of our friend Lila.

cups of tea and chats with a quiet jubilation that is often felt at the end of a good days walking.


you might rightly assume that I move between cups of tea and so it would seem. We long ago left the thermos behind on our walks as being too heavy to carry.

There are still creeks that can be safely supped from       there are still areas of forest with heart and spirit      there are still creatures going about their lives.

There are still the sweet murmurs of a wild landscape not untouched oh no but with enough wild in it to be buzzing    to be singing the song of creation.

And while the wild is under siege on every continent from a machine I cannot identify with  that I cannot defend against

there is enough wild left within me to bear it – to hear it and to answer.


I read this out to John after I come home and he says you didn’t mention how we nearly got killed that day.

funny thing was I was trying to remember how we got ourselves home from Lilas .And then it came back to me with a deep shudder.

it was a Thursday which is community dinner night in Tilba and we decided to go. I rang up another friend and asked for a lift .

We walked out to the highway to meet her.  zoom      zoom    zoom cars fly past at 100km plus  which is slightly disconcerting after a day far from a car world.

we are on a bend where the road splits into an overtaking lane.

Liz pulls up on the other side of the road and we cross over and clamber in.

She pulls out  to do a u turn heading  north to Tilba oblivious to a car barreling down the hill  towards us. John calls her attention  to it and she goes  What ? and pauses.one of those time stands still moments.

go go  go go yells John while I whimper in the back seat – with a lurch and a roar she accelerates across the highway and into our lane – the wind of the passing car brushes by.

She never saw it  – she chatted on while we trembled and gathered our selves back together. I asked did you see that car Liz?

What car ? and on we drove.


Sunday wild wet  fiercely windy and cold.

trees bend and dip their branches shaking loose the old

wallabies nibble grass around the house.

verandahs are sodden and I light a candle at the altar for the wild.

I will rug up and walk this wet windy forest today

so that I may renew this wild heart of mine

as if by keeping this shred of me intact the outer the greater will also survive thrive and flourish.