a seamless dance

dawn mist shifts reality

softens tall trees shrubberies,

plants of food and medicine.

autumn rain launches the ticks

no larger then a full stop.

 

sweet morning Songs

whip bird, kookaburra, lyrebird, magpie,

tuning the vibrations of Air Water Earth Sunshine

tweeting of love family and food

tiny notes of living.

 

a red belly black shares verandah Sun

as kindling is chopped,

we pass each other in the garden

no blinking, no poking tongue out,

a seamless dance.

 

a cuppa with friends

David points to my leg ‘what’s that?’

pulling the leech off ,

‘a gift’

I place it in their garden.

 

red necked wallaby soft eyes alert

grass stem poking from its mouth,

my heart listens and waits,

a tiny jelly wobble of the pouch

another addition to the tribe.

 

goanna clambers onto the verandah

tongue waggling toenails clicking,

through the open doorway

crash bump and bang

unable to find its way out.

 

in the room where I sleep a grandmother died

her body laid to rest

beyond the dam under the red gums.

babies are born, daughters wed,

placentas buried.

 

before menopause I bled on this land

red mark on my forehead,

earth heart meditation

a sacrament for the Mother,

honouring Her.

 

forest life is raw,

immediate

the forest IS without me,

a miracle I adore

a moment held within every breath I take .

 

 

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the language of eartheart

 

political / economic language saturates our daily lives but it is our choice whether we speak it or not. It is a language of shares, investments, insurance, security, profit and loss leading to winners and losers. Words make stories in which everything is a commodity, measured in terms of productivity progress and usefulness. A language that denies Nature Feelings the Earth and Love.

The orchestra is playing. It began at dawn with great open bellied laughing, then slightly more  melodic tunes ,peeps whistles whips and trills until it is riotous in the sweetest possible way. The songs continue as I drink my pot of tea, eat toast, follow me as I meditate, dress, sweep the kitchen floor , brightly busily slowly, tuned in to the day they chirp cheep chatter and warble.

This symphony is full of purpose expressing vital news marking the patterns of their lives of the Forest around them; sunrise, egg hatching, a flowering, a seeding, storm alerts, approaching snake goanna human, matings, deaths, sunset, all is jotted in the Forest ledger, all a note played in the orchestra of Birdom. Everywhere wrens honeyeaters magpies thrushes pigeons tawny frogmouths, skinks wombats wallabies and bandicoots are communicating the Radiance of Life on Earth.

Thunder cracks open the swollen skies, runs away over to the Mountain and races back again. I am lying on the couch reading when the thunder and lightning Beings skip into the room whip crackling the air, chuck a bright flare of light and startle me.

Rain has a huge vocabulary, a vast repertoire of moods sounds and feelings . There is the song for splashing, for plopping fat drops, tapping on window panes, a pelting drumbeat on the iron roof, a windy slapping against the tree trunks and a gushing gurgling rushing flooding along creeks tracks and drains.

Some days it broods far above, squatting on the Mountain wearing  a grey beret. Cloud mist drifts around inviting the faintest speck of moisture on the cheek. Other days rain scarpers out to sea with barely a backward glance, where it visits Mother Ocean and shares a cuppa. In its own sweet time it returns to the valley rejuvenated committed to the business at hand and delivers a soft shower or a teeming heavy pelting drama.

Why would we think that Water is not cognizant, that Earth is not aware, that Air is not tuned in, that Fire does not know us? We are forged from the Elements , related to every drop, every breath, every molecule.Exif_JPEG_420

There is a Song for the ghost mushroom, the elder flower, pittosporum , titree, lavender  of scent and beauty , bee foraging , bioluminescence ,oils and medicine. I inhale , take them into my body – a draught of pure sun drenched essence Sings in me.

The dialect of frogs – croaks cricks stutters bonks hops and leaps in  communication with Earth and reed, Water and soft mud, hibernation dreaming, forecasters of rain and water quality.

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The ripe summer peach is a rich feltness in my mouth, dribbles along my fingers and chin singing of tree limb and bough, of bud blossoms leaves fruit and birds nests, sun, rain, wind and days measured in ripeness and angles of the sun and spiders that weave between branches , worms burrowing in the roots and squealing children that swing up on branches and chuck pips at each other .

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Hard working ants push up the soil – a drainage technique for them that informs me rain is coming.

Every Being has language, every Being shares their Story .

Stop !  listen and learn a language older than the stock market, older than open cut mines, older then human intervention.

This language of Nature, of Life is ancient, a lineage that holds Creation in its Song. One day we entered the story inventing our words / myths around the camp fire, Songs of respect and awe, humility and gratitude until we dug up the uranium, clearfelled the forests and greedy gobbled dry the rivers.

It was then we changed the words to deny Beauty . It was then we allowed fork tongue speak of rational logic to lock out the weeds and sunflowers that nod as you walk past, the cloud that stoops to peer in through the window, the dripping tap in the kitchen saying hey I am Water, we are Kin. It was then a Forest became a compartment and the share price of google was more important than the River the Platypus and the Child.

Now we are going forward determining outcomes while the Raven sits on the wire, keen eye piercing , aaahh aaahhh aaahhh.

Probably time to embrace the full embodied experience of connection, time to learn the language of the Heart that communicates with all Beings.

Time to come home.

Come back to Earth.

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

if the tree falls in the forest does anyone hear ?

Yes I do , I hear it fall. Indeed I spent months some years ago in close proximity to the dismantling of a forest – smash crash and truck it away– hundreds of years of growth destroyed.

Once upon a time I lived on a blockade at the foot of Wandella Mountain. I am sure I had other things to do at the time and yet nothing seemed more important than bearing witness to the demise of a beautiful forest. It is true that at first we hoped we could stop ‘them’  that  they could become aware that what they were doing was madness, unwarranted and harmful to all life on this planet. Instead we watched our kin destroyed as state forestry with their big yellow machines, hard hats, fluoro vests and chainsaws cut down the eucalypts to feed the  wood chip mill.

The sweet water of Paddy’s creek riffling under the pinkwoods, lilypillies, vines and myrtles were a visceral remnant of the ancient Gondwanaland rainforest. Even this remarkable pedigree held no sway in the office of cuts, yields and quotas. To assume that the rainforest gullies, the brave canopy, the chortling streams could survive the assault on their cousins nearby was an insult to those with intelligence.

For years now state forests have not been healthy ecosystems. They lack diversity for starters, they lack habitat, and they lack life. From the highway it looks green and treed in the distance but in truth they are green hills of illusion that have spelt doom for the soft padded, the clawed and the feathered ones. They are so bereft of life that they cannot be truly named forest.

I know this because I have walked this land; I have watched the logging aka the clear felling, discussed and argued in an attempt to understand. I walked before logging and after, before they were hazard reduced by fire and after. I noticed the tracks of the wild disappear. I noticed the sound of vitality diminish.

Once upon a time I heard the Song of the Dingoes, now no more.

Living in this forest, home of the faerie embassy, small in forestry terms, huge in diversity, rich in habitat, lush with footprint, with feathered and clawed and soft padded ones, has opened my eyes ears heart and mind.

Through the lens of forest under the tall canopy in the shaded groves and sunlit ridges I listen to the Voices, the Song, the Murmur of Life Becoming Forest. I am the watcher, the guardian, that which listens and reaches out to awaken …….

The spider’s web, flying seeds, galloping vines, extruding saps, sweet berries, bush tucker and medicines –anti-biotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial – a rich pharmacopeia lives within reach.

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The expired wood cut and gathered into the house drifts blue wisps of smoke out the chimney, a meal is cooked, the kettle boils, the water is heated, the home is warmed, the bread is baked.

The orchard swallowtail butterflies are tippling in the garden, little fella wallaby’s now young adults come in to drink from the pot of water. Mothers hold the next generation in their ample pouches.

Last weekend Kingston John and I went looking for a staff for him and spotted several St Andrews X Spiders spread eagled within their webs. The shrill alert of the kingfisher told us that goanna was on the move.

Sometimes for no discernible reason a tree falls, in total stillness it will plunge from its great height to the ground. I go looking and come across its majestic grace nestling its trunk on the ground, roots offering hollows for habitation.

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Somewhere inside of each of us we are aware of the felling of the forests, the poisoning of  the land, the defiling of the waters, the violence enacted against each other.

We cannot separate from our brethren, we can only pretend to. We cannot ignore the injustice done in our name we can only pretend to.

But, we can enable each other to act, planting seeds of healing into the ground, into our hearts. We can notice the beauty offered to us by Mother Nature, we can show gratitude and offer sips of water in return, a little compost, a song, a listening, a story.

I sit in the smell of hot summer and rain coming, of damp rising and wind from oceans that circle the globe and the wild wispy seed pods flying hither and thither keen to fly, keen to begin life all over again. I can learn from this effervescence of life this keenness to Be.

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Red belly black snake emerges from under the veranda takes the time to warm up and disappears in the long grass. The native apple berries are ripening on the vine and a water skink is basking on the couch in a patch of sunlight. In this forest free from the states intention life flourishes going about its busyness. For this I am grateful.

 

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Somewhere deep in the Earth wombat sleeps.

Dreaming .

I dream too, that the machines fall silent , the birds are Heard and we learn how to Live and Respect one with another.

 

Sylph Aware

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One day as I was sitting in the forest green

I felt a Presence albeit unseen,

it played with my curls

blew gently on my face,

rustled the leaves

took up residence in my space.

I heard a woman’s voice calling to me

a woman that I could not see,

She spoke to me loud and clear

I Am Elemental

I am a Spirit of the Air.

 

I am Sylph

I am Sylph Aware.

 

I am a voice from deep space

She said with a caress upon my face,

I want you to listen to the Sylph that you Be

and claim your inheritance,

some of which comes from me.

I am your existence

your most precious support,

I animate your very thought.

I’d like you to contemplate your Sylph within me

and plunge bravely into The Space that you cannot see.

 

Have Sylph-respect and practice Sylph-care

Sylph-esteem is Sylph-evident in the currents of the Air,

show Sylph-discipline in the eye of the storm and

embrace Sylph-acceptance as being your norm.

 

Come explore other dimensions

and Sylph-knowledge will grow

Sylph-control Sylph-confidence

and Sylph-love will flow.

 

I am found in the breeze

and the howl of the wind,

I am seen in the clouds

and heard in a hymn.

 

I am a Sylph playing in Air,

I invite you to join me and Become Sylph Aware.

 

*   from the Websters’ First New Intergalactic Wickedary of the English Language conjured by Mary Daly in cahoots with Jane Caputi 

Sylph:1: one of the four Elementals : one of a race of Spirits who inhabit the Air  2 : a tempestuous, Distempering woman; one who clears the Air of phallic pseudopresence, creating free space

 

 

 

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 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 forest is still singing its song

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.

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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 Air  Water  Fire  Earth and Spirit.

 

love sandra

x