Dreaming in Doonan


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The steps leading to the veranda invite a smile. The fruit shop is quiet, as is the café’. The hanging, hand-knit beanies draw Josh’s gaze. Dewdrops remain on the ramp from this morning’s rain. The staff greet the day with care and the touch of a succulent and an olive tree growing from a recycled soybean oil container catch my eye, reminding me of a place faraway, perhaps Italy or the south of France. But no, I am in Australia. The kookaburra articulates his morning songs to his mate in the canopy as we order.

The deli items entice but a sit-down breakfast is what we seek. We pick a number, woven of colourful, woolen yarn stretched over nails shaped on a wooden block. These are new and give a splash of bright tonal contrast to the bench. They sit next to the frequent coffee club box filled with cards of local customers. I am one of them and today our coffees are free! Our number is 4 and we find a table at the edge of the porch overlooking the bush. We sit facing each other and I study my son. His dreadlocks blend into his woven jacket and portray his musical nature. He looks tired despite a good nights rest. I look out and see tables scattered across the green grass leading to the road. Cars and trucks whizz past. They are oblivious to this quiet gem with fantastic coffee. The trees provide a canopy of shade.

DSC_9329A magpie swoops down and sits on a chair overseeing the food service. A customer shoos him away but he’ll be back. I am out for morning breakfast with Josh and I am grateful for his presence and this gift of time. The morning is perfect.

The tables, topped with rustic cloth, give the impression of a farm country cottage and the kitchen provides the aroma of herbs and garlic and apple and cinnamon. The atmosphere is homey and warm and welcoming.

The family staff cooks our meals. Josh picks up the sounds of the song, A “Horse With No Name”. He sings along and remembers our road-trip playlists together. As we sip our Cappuccino’s, we talk about our lives and share. Sometimes we are silent.

We hear the blender and Josh orders a juice. The books lining the shelves and the scattered art lead the eye to the tree branches attempting to enter the café from beneath the aluminium roof. They wind their branches as they enter. Flower vases balance the natural wood and the stools beside the grille whisper conversation. Breakfast is served.

Stream of Consciousness Today


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The kookaburra sits above me, majestic and true. His early morning call brings his mate to see what the early dewdrops upon the fresh blanket of falling leaves have stirred up. The chooks forage and find a juicy worm and the kooka swoops down to see if she will share. No luck today as “Bobby” gobbles it up and moves on. This is all in a morning of antics, the wild world I live in on the Sunshine Coast of Australia.
Our home is in the hinterland and away from the sea yet the birds we see often make their way from the
salty air to our garden and have a rest. One particular bird nearly got our chickens the other day but luckily they sought shelter and Rachel made her presence known to avert the gaze of this predatory wonder. She described it as “really big”, Grey and brown and very fast! I imagine it was likely to have been a Black Kite or a Brown Goshawk.
Since then, the chickens are more reticent and stay closer to the house, only seeking the immediate confines of the gardens closest. They must always be on high alert because there are many risk factors for ground birds in a habitat full of bush predators eager for an easy meal.
GoannaGoannas often stalk the area looking for eggs and the Carpet Pythons have been regular visitors as well. Carpet Python

The seasonal changes bring new adventures and risks. The bird that nearly swooped “Bobby” away and had “Cotton Top” missing in action for a day is just one of many we are likely to see here. Chookas Overhead, there have been Sulfur Crested Cockatoos and a few days ago I was fortunate to witness 2 Glossy Blacks squawking as they passed above the canopy. From the tiniest wren to the Tawny Frogmouth, all have been welcome visitors as we share their space. Each day I try to take the time to notice and be grateful for all that is around me. I fear that one day, our children and grandchildren will not be able to witness such wonder as the world is full of greed and need and lacks the balance that once was. Every morning I get up and hope that what I do will make a difference.

I love living here amongst the birds and the critters as well as with my own animals.We live in balance and harmony as everyone gets along and looks out for one another. When I study the animals, I realize how very lucky I am to witness their wonder. The ultimate trust is won when they choose to be just inquisitive enough to check me out and stay close without fear for awhile. That is the balance I live in and it feels like home. Time to grab the camera!

Autumn in Australia

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Writerly Reflections: Rain


A rainy day inspires me to write and it always has. There is something so cosy about brewing a cup of tea, setting up my workspace and beginning the process. Beginning, however is what is most difficult for me. I awoke this morning keen to write but I had other things that I must attend to first. I had much on my mind.  I cleared the incoming emails and answered those that were most important. I cleaned the house up a bit. I meditated. I did yoga. I spent time with the animals. Ideas kept swirling around my head and the inspirations kept coming, yet I struggled to begin.

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As I sit in silence on my bed with my laptop open, the rain falls softly outside the screen door window. My fingers touch the keyboard and I look into the bush where the birds are singing. I feel as though I am being watched and it is true!  There is a kookaburra perched upon the lamppost just outside the door peering in at me. I thank him for being there with me. What a blessing! His feathers are covered in raindrops and he looks disheveled yet inquisitive. He swoops down and pulls out a giant worm and devours it before me, then flies off into the bush satisfied. I am distracted again and I go and grab my camera, in case he returns. I think about the past couple of weeks and all that has happened. I think about animals and their food. I think of humans and where will their food come from when water is a luxury. Of course, I think about koalas!!!!!!

Queensland has been in drought and the farmers are crying. Their dams have run dry. I no longer eat meat so this does not effect me much but I think of the poor animals starving and the land that they graze upon that is shrivelled up and dying. I pray for their welfare and that they do not suffer. I believe there is a better way. My small herb garden is taking shape and I have learned about “wicked” gardens from my friend Judy, which I will use to plant my winter vegetables.Judy's Garden These gardens are likely to become a way for future home growers to provide food and nourishment in the droughts. Climate change… what climate change? Right! (head shaking up and down in sarcastic vane).

This week I drove north and was fortunate enough to see a couple of koalas and give a small tour to David Strassman so that he could witness the beauty of these animals in the wild. He took time from his busy tour and this will help Queensland Koala Crusaders Inc. in our quest to raise funds for land and sanctuary. I am grateful for Tegan and her quiet inspiration that touched my daughter. Dave Strussman and tedEbare with 2 young Koala Crusaders!It was hot and humid and rain was threatening but not coming to fruition. We walked the bush in Tinana and it wasn’t too difficult to find the koalas, thanks to our expert spotter Natalie who gave us a tip! Koalas are still fairly numerous here, but their numbers have been greatly reduced and some are sick. This next breeding season may lead to their tipping point. TornadoPassing the Time That is why we must act timely and strategically.  I am so grateful for the many that are coming onboard and who are working collaboratively. Our efforts will lead to a better place for animals and humans alike. One day, our kids and our grandkids will look back and see the efforts of those of us who care deeply and put our own needs aside to do better for ALL, and hopefully see that these efforts made the difference that saved the koala and all animals living underneath their umbrella. 

We cannot depend upon government and we can only each do our individual best. We can live more simply and use less. We can be grateful and we can be kind. This starts in our families and with our relationships and it spreads further as we live authentically. We may stumble and we may fall but all we can do is try. As the rain washes the earth, may it cleanse us all and lead us to a place of peace and harmony. It’s time for me to go out and dance in the rain!