The aboriginal creator being in this part of Australia is a spirit being named Bunjil. In a Dreamtime story he is said to have created a rainbow bridge for some of the Wauthurong aboriginal tribe to cross the wide bay (now called Port Phillip Bay) and come and live on this peninsula.
Dreaming for eons the people lived beside the wide blue bay, tending the land, tending the spirits. Growing yams, wearing possum skin cloaks, firestick farming the grasslands, they sung up the spirit dreaming lines from deep within the Earth.
Out of the blue, some one hundred and fifty years ago, white men sailed into the bay. White sails billowing on tall ships they bought white flour and white sugar. Measles and smallpox too. Fluffy white sheep soon followed. Grazing, they destroyed the yams. Disrupted, the dreaming lines fell silent.
Near where the rainbow bridge is said to have come to shore there is a plaque commemorating the white landing. Yesterday, atop a tall pole a pelican sat, silent and still. The bay stretched beyond it, blue and calm. Far off on the horizon the towers of the city of Melbourne hovered. Obscured by distance they appeared illusory, insubstantial.
Untethered and ungrounded in these uncertain times I hover somewhere between the dreaming and the now.
In the wild stillness, outside of linear time yet bound by it – the coastal development, the rising cost of living – I seek the rainbow bridge.
Wandering in the green world the space between the thoughts like the space between breaths becomes the reality the place to rest away from the collapse of old outworn structures.
Focusing on the heart, listening to that deeper beat – the pulse of life itself.
Beneath the tumult and the fear a new way emerges where science melds with older understandings. Humans are part of nature. The separation is in our heads.
from my eco novel The Journey
A grassy path snaked into the forest behind Saranath. Trees arched overhead and the ground was spongy under foot. With each breath of the sweetly scented air and with every step on the soft ground Terran felt her heavy thoughts lifting. The play of light upon the leaves, the gentle breezes against her skin and the sounds of the forest all melded with an awareness of her body moving through the green world. Beside her Bliss gathered fallen leaves, flower petals and feathers she found along the way and bound them to a stick she’d picked up.
‘What are you making?’ Terran asked the gentle child.
‘It’s for the tellings,’ Bliss whispered.
‘What are the tellings?’ Terran asked, mystified.
‘The tellings are part of the Wanderer Ways,’ Bella said because little Bliss seemed unable to find the words to explain her meaning to Terran. ‘The Ways we walk are physical but there are the Ways of the mind and the heart too. The tellings connect us with these deeper Ways. Bliss collects things to remind her of our journey so that she can tell her experience to others.’
‘As we walk in the forest we perceive the world through our five senses,’ Worin said. ‘It is only when we stop and go within that we discover we have been interacting with the world on the inner planes too. When we meet together we tell each other of these perceptions. It is through sharing our deeper feelings, thoughts and intuitions that we come into a greater knowing of ourselves and of the world.’
The Journey is available as an ebook on Kindle and as a paperback on Amazon
Beneath/behind/above/beyond the chaos of these times there is another stream of energy pulsating. Here’s a poem I wrote a few years ago when I felt similar energies –
What I’m feeling with this new year is that while those energies are there if you reach for them, the message right now seems to be – reach for them but also build them. Work on building that light body. It doesn’t just arrive on angel’s wings like I used to think it did. Sure, there’s higher light and healing coming to us but we have to call it in and we have to nurture it. It’s in doing the things that make us feel love, peace and joy that we can collectively create pathways to a future of personal and planetary healing.
We also have to brave enough to face the storms and state our truth. I feel like I’m taking a risk daring to publish this poem right now when every night the TV news brings more tales of chaos, mayhem, despair and madness into my living room. I am well aware there are legions of people who think I’m avoiding the issues and that, really, we’re all doomed.
The way I see it is that if we keep feeding the energies of despair we keep calling it to ourselves and to our world. As Bob Dylan sang all those years ago ‘Let us not talk softly now, the hour is getting late.’
I’ve really enjoyed doing this Two Weeks of Trees theme. I started it on a whim and wasn’t sure if it would really last the two weeks. Here it is two weeks later and I’ve blogged every day and read some wonderful tree posts by other bloggers. It’s been fun and educational. What I didn’t expected was the way the energy of trees has come through in unexpected and quite magical ways.
It seems fitting to wrap up the theme with a homage to the 11th century Christian nun, Hildegarde of Bingen.
I find Hildegarde inspirational for she was an accomplished writer, herbalist, mystic, composer, artist and environmentalist back in an age where women were too often voiceless and powerless.
One of Hildegarde’s most enduring ideas is the concept of Viriditas, a Latin word which loosely translates as vitality, freshness, lushness,greening, or growth. In Hildegarde’s philosophical writings the word is used as a metaphor for spiritual and physical health. She celebrated the sacred energetic force that animates all life and actively sought to connect with the natural world for she saw it as a source of creative and healing power.
“O most honored Greening Force, You who roots in the Sun; You who lights up, in shining serenity, within a wheel that earthly excellence fails to comprehend. You are enfolded in the weaving of divine mysteries. You redden like the dawn and you burn: flame of the Sun.”
It’s Christmas morning here in Oz. Its very quiet round here and I’m still half asleep. I’ll get it together shortly to fix some food and take it over to my daughter’s house where a small group of us are gathering today. A quieter Christmas than some of the huge extended family get togethers we’ve had in the past but, in many ways, that’s good. At least I won’t feel the need to drink copious amounts of alcohol to deaden the impact of raucous relatives!
Thanks you to everyone who joined in or followed along on this tree theme. I hope you all have a happy holiday season. Here’s a photo of the big old ash tree in my garden that I took a short while ago. The tree magic is still very present in my life and I’m tossing round the idea of running a prompt challenge about trees during 2022 – maybe a place to link posts (old and new) about trees once a week – possibly called ‘Tuesday Tree Talk’. Please let me know in the comment thread if you like this idea and link any tree related post you want to share as well. Merry Christmas.
The Australian Aboriginals have a concept called Dadirri – Deep Listening. They say the answers we all seek are there if we listen deep enough. If we stop and listen deeply to what another is saying we can begin to understand them. If we listen to the bush we can learn how to live in harmony with the Earth. If we listen to our own hearts we can learn how to live peace.
Buddhist monks in their maroon robes, prayer flags fluttering in the wind on a beach near here scattering the sand from their mandala into the sea. At their feet a little blue eyed boy, living in the moment, gathered the sand into his bucket.
The Rinpoche laughed a deep full bellied rolling sound and the sea washed around both the boy and the monk.
I bought a crystal recently that came from the Ganesh Himal mountain range – an arm of the Himalayas that runs down from Tibet to Nepal. The crystals there are found at 3,500 feet. They are hand mined by Sherpas who can only stay up for there for one day. It takes them three days to walk out with the crystals packed into woven baskets they carry on their backs.
I bought the crystal because I was so overwhelmed by the world. I wanted to tap into pure spiritual energies and figured crystals from the highest mountains on earth might well carry a high frequency vibration. I also bought a beautiful stone that is mined at the base of K2, the second highest mountain on the planet. K2 stones are composed of granite dotted with inclusions of brightest blue azurite.
The first time I used these stones in meditation (by placing them on my third eye while I was lying down) I kept getting visuals of jagged snow capped mountains with plumes of white snow billowing out across a clear blue sky. Since then my meditations have been less visual and more about energetic infusions of light. After one meditation I opened my eyes to see the crystals on my bedroom window sill gleaming so brightly I had to shift my line of vision. Outside the sky above my house was as blue as the azurite on the k2 stone.
What does it mean to come into the light in this time of darkness?
How does it change things to hold in the mind and feel in the heart, purity and peace, while outside in the world all hell breaks loose?
The mystics say we are souls bound to a human body. Only through struggle can we find the light within. Up on the highest mountains the air is rarefied. No one can stay for long. Yet it’s there in the heights that the light is at its brightest.