Months have passed and much has happened and yet my pen sat silent. All I could hear was the beating of my heart and the screaming within my soul. I was inwardly restless, smiling on the surface, yet deeply and profoundly sad underneath. My expression came through a paintbrush, a photograph or a conversation but I seemed paralyzed and unable to express myself authentically with words. Being a perfectionist, I did not want to write in a negative way, so I remained quiet. Epiphany: My authentic truth would never be spoken if I remained still, so thus I write.
This year, I set high expectations. I was turning “50” which seemed a milestone. Little did I know that these expectations would build me up and knock me down several times until I learned the lesson once again. If we set our expectations too “high” then we open the door for “high” disappointments. That, I did and down I had to come. A recent bout of flu stopped me in my tracks and I listened to the inner rythm that told me to be still and wait.
Rachel and I had returned from our journey to the Red Centre feeling quite defeated and I had to depend on others for transport. Something had changed between the two of us. There was a greater honesty and sense of connection. This incredible challenge we had experienced together driving across Australia provided us with resilience, communication and truth for what was to come. Grief grips you when you least expect it, and you must journey through the dark, in order to find the light.
Not long after our return, the end for Leone was near. Cameron’s mom was dying and Rachel was to experience death in a way she had never grasped it before. She had been young when experiencing death before. This time she was nearing adulthood, 16 and it was a different experience altogether not too unlike my own in losing my father at 17.
Witnessing Leone’s path opened my soul. I lost a 3rd friend in the span of just a few months. The experience connected Rachel to deeper feelings of empathy, understanding and kindness. She and Cameron share a special bond now that will give them both strength and wisdom in their futures. Grief continues and comes in the ebb and fall of the tides. Challenges and heartaches weave their webs into the lives of changing ways and adaptations. Love continues in our personal truths. Every day provides a blank canvas of the fibre of our life as it is now in 2012.
I stopped volunteering at the Wildlife Hospital and my contact with koalas came through carers, rescuers and their stories. I witnessed cruelty and lack of integrity in others and was greatly disappointed by their actions. Animals continued to inspire me and give me hope.
I met a new friend and began filming her journey. She showed me a path to continued strength in her integrity and perseverence. I am awed by her kindness and compassion for the animals as well and admire her lack of feaar as she steps out and speaks up. Together, we are connecting others in the fight to save the Koala, yet the battle is long and often disappointing. Baby steps overcome hurdles and one step at a time, we move forward in passion and forward drive.
The koala was listed as a Vulnerable Species in Queensland and New South Wales and Regional pocket populations were given significance. Others, such as the Strzelecki population in the Gipplands in Victoria, were ignored. This was a great mistake and one that may prove to be detrimental to the genetic diversity of all koalas in the future. However, a “Listing” is a start and a catalyst for change perhaps. There is much more collective work to be done and a continued pressure must be applied to help save our furry friends!
Our film, “Making Room for Koalas”, received an award and was shown on Virgin Airlines during the months of August and September. I hope that the film can continue to do good over the coming months in our quest to get the word out there and to create action for change.
A group of fellow activists and I put together the “Sunshine Coast Koala Summit ” which brought a dynamic group of experts together to work collaboratively to create a plan for the future. This Summit was held over two days in August and we have delivered a report to Council and the Mayor 0f the Sunshine Coast that thus far has been ignored. “What is best for the Koala” is not necessarily in the forefront of government thinking, however, growth and development are. Unfortunately for the koala, these two polar ways of thinking may lead to their demise in Southeast Queensland altogether. The time for change and action is right now or we are likely to see them all but disappear.
This week, Bob Irwin has asked me to meet with him to speak to State Minister Andrew Powell. I have also met with Federal Minister Tony Burke, alongside Charlie Lewis in the Somerset Region. I ask myself, why did Bob choose me to go with him? I can only answer that he saw my truth and for that I am grateful. For those of us in the conservation watch tower, we look at what is best for ALL wildlife and also what is best for everyone’s future. The two are not seperate, yet often ignored, through greed and ego. Government is “talking the talk”. Now I would like to see them “walk the walk”!
How can we achieve what is necessary as more and more koalas die?? It is time for one of our political representatives to stand up and have the courage to do what is best for the long range future for the koala and for us all. It is not sustainable to go on as we have, destroying the very fabric of what life is based upon. Their are many variables yet only one true path for a sustainable future. It is time that we inspire others to do their bit for the animals on this earth every time, day forever.
Personally, I have taken a sabatical this year to re-evaluate what I am doing and what I would like to do. Another challenge awaits as we will be moving house once again like nomadic gypsies. Each experience brings new light and new lessons.
The tears of sadness I have shed have brought me to the other side with grace and wisdom and joy!
I set forth in a new light and with renewed energy and enthusiasm. I crave simplicity in complicated times, yet this raises the question, “What is Simple?”