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.









Z : zen musing


dear friends ,

I know I repeat myself. I know I keep on telling the same stories over and over again, about forest and earth and spirit and beetle.

I have noted that it is a device used in other cultures and imagine that maybe repetition is one of the keys to our ongoing survival growth and learning.

and so once again


on any given day a turtle plods past the house

a black swamp wallaby drinks from the water pot outside the kitchen window,

a superb blue wren picks at crumbs shaken out from the breadboard onto the verandah

a skink wanders along the kitchen bench

a whipbird ducks thru the shrubberies

a black snake flattens out along the woodpile warming up.


***   the forest is magic;

it is biodiversity And,

it is poetry rhythm song and dance  ***


as a forest dweller I love it,

and yet because of my presence here  adaptations are taking place all the time. I am witness to evolution in the making. foods not previously known or eaten are now available and the black swamp wallaby and the brush tail possum like to take up all offers.

year after year our earnest human ideals have been tasted and added to the palate of bird possum wallaby, even the skinks love hommus.

we the usurpers have retired our ideals and watch in unfeigned delight at the bowerbirds, cuckoo doves, lewins honeyeaters, currawongs and silvereyes hoofing into the figs.


the question for me is –

how can I reduce my footprint to leave a world of beauty for the grandchildren and their grandchildren?


I have to take responsibility for all that is going on

all that I like and all that I despair of.

all this is within me.

we the humans are co- creating – changing the blueprint making our mark.

so on the one hand we are capable of biocide and on the other, acts of great kindness and generosity.


every year the whales swim along our coast, sometimes shepherding their babies in close so we can see them easily from the cliff tops. I think of the sounds they make and the songs they sing and the stories they hold and wonder why we do not know and honour their language their passion their lore.

I know next to nothing of the languages/stories within this forest, of what the kurrajong or the echidna is saying or where the turtle has come from and who its relatives are, or how old it is, or what it dreams of when it lies on the log beside the dam.

all this I do not know which is why I cherish living within this space – this place of worms and bacteria and fungi, of death and decay, of bud and bloom.


and that question leads me to another,

I wonder that if we are willing to plant the seeds of tomorrow

the seeds of cucumber and kindness,

of tomato and compassion,

of beans and generosity

will this make a difference ?


and then I pray

that it can

and that it will.


I do not know if there are answers

but I am thinking that

while the bee still sups from the flower

and the platypus still plays in the river

and while Mother Earth is the only embodied home we know


for the sake of all that we hold dear – whale tree dingo bat sugarglider dolphin eagle  river child wattle fern wombat …….


let us sow the seeds of tomorrow

honour respect kindness laughter generosity compassion grace…….


yours faithfully,

sandra taylor

daughter of the earth and the sun



 P.S.  have you noticed that there is no mention of zen- what am I on about ? not even a vague attempt to bring it into the picture . I found that as far as zen goes there is nothing to say . there is only the lived and felt experience which may be zen or maybe not . who am I say? 

P.P.S. my thanks to the a to z challenge for inspiring me to write every day , to share this love I hold, this prayer I sing.  I honour all those who have travelled with me and I thank you dear companions for your support and your stories in return.


angophora cathedral





P : past place power and pie bird



the past is a place we visit but not somewhere we want to live. we travel there to reflect, learn and let go, leave a burden behind or, to reinforce our grudge stories so that we can carry on feeling miserable and filled with hate.

we might find that the path we were on led us in a circle and that we have returned to the beginning with a greater depth of understanding. we might discover that what seemed a terrible time actually served us in some way.

there are stories told and acting out upon this Planet that no longer serve us, not you not me not the Great Mother and most certainly not the Grandchildren . conflicts exact a toll upon the land and the Peoples, the guns are sold the missiles are fired the bombs are dropped . despite all the rhetoric for Peace this story is never going to have a happy ending.

is this even important? isn’t a happy ending something for fairy tales, for children for hollywood , surely in the ‘real ‘ world we do not expect a happy ending.

and yet this feeling of happiness contentment is as common to us as breathing – why else do we have this felt capacity for it?

with the light of the Present moment we can honour our journey thru the badlands and the sweet place of surrender and mercy that we arrive at – the place where we feel free enough of our past to choose  truth and respect for all beings.

there are People who stand up and act ,many who are not  captured on tele or facebook or make it to newsprint or mentioned in a blog, many who seek to protect place, protect the planet, protect the future. these are the invisible acts of Power .

a community saves a whale, someone stops beside a roadkill and rescues the baby from the pouch, a person picks rubbish up off a beach , a small child is prevented from running out onto the road, a pensioner gives a stranger a lift a meal a bed a smile, somewhere a parent identifies abuse and names the teacher the priest the doctor , soup is delivered to a family bereaved , a woman refuses to be hit anymore and speaks out, friends get together and make gardens hold fundraisers for flood victims, a company identifies its waste cleans up its act and plants trees in a park for the people

everywhere random acts of kindness are taking place, shaping us as humans, gladdening our hearts and healing our differences. it is a common thread woven into the fabric of human existence .

against the odds, the tragedies the horrors the violence, we return again and again to the surface, daring to live life fully, to dream magnificently, to imagine a place a world a planet home,   full of happy beginnings.



last night we visited Haydee’s house taking an apple pie that John had baked using the pie bird I gave him last year. her Nanna and Poppy are visiting, it being the school holidays and the little king is home.

Haydee takes several steps on her own between her dad and me. we applaud .her head ducks a little in surprise and then she too claps , her face lights up and fills the room looking at each of her family in turn.

even the little king is impressed even though  all he wants to do is talk fishing with granddad  John.

delighted with our attentions Haydee takes centre stage and shows off her ball skills , her new friend red doll, the chewed copy of Miffy , wobbling bouncing chatting laughing  she has a moment in the sun and we all laugh with her, delighted to be in the company of pure innocence and unfettered joy.

Watching the grandchildren explore the world  reminds of the responsibility I hold , of their need for a beautiful world to play in, to breathe in – a world of generosity  and sparkling rivers, of respect and ripe summer peaches, of love and friendships.