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!

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Save the Reef Contemplation and Challenge


Save the Reef Contemplation and Challenge

Contemplation Challenge

When I saw this writing challenge this morning, it inspired  me to reflect upon my weekend and how I dealt with the challenge of utter despair and disgust I felt, in response to the decisions of the Australian Goverment regarding the Great Barrier Reef. On Friday, 31st January, it was announced that despite high public response and contradiction from around the world, Environmental Minister Greg Hunt and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, will give the go ahead to dump 3 Million cubic metres of waste into our ocean! How ludicrous that a World Heritage Listed site and a site known around the World for it’s pristine waters and diverse marine life is going to be polluted through the waste and destruction of mining spoils. It seems that all around this beautiful country, the Australian government is making short-sighted decisions for the long-term future for our environment. The seas will be raped and pillaged, denying science and common sense in the name of greed and progress if we do not do something. Government and business state that science is the leader in their decision and in their application but as this goes ahead, we are likely to see the same international embarrassment that is occurring in the minds of scientists as climate change is ignored and denied.  Where will we be when the oceans die and our water will not be pottable?  Will true science then be denied and ignored or will science even matter when it is too late?? I believe that we all must stand up and say NO to this as we look at ways to turn this decision and change the course in which we are headed. This view is something we must preserve for our future and the future of our families!

As this photo-view represents that faraway gaze many of us portray when we are looking out to see, I wonder in amazement at the vast gap between where I perceive this to be and where I am now. Just a few short months ago, I was on a similar rock amongst the tidepools in Laguna Beach Ca. I gazed out and stared towards my new homeland and wondered if there was anyone over there staring back at me through the mirror of an ocean mirage. Today, I stare back and I want to hide my head with embarrassment as to what this country is planning for the future of our land and our sea.What will our children be left with and how do I explain to my own children, the actions of others who seemingly care little beyond their next paycheck. Will this greed in their pockets give them clean water to drink and shelter from the extremity of climate change weather?

What does the future hold for me?

What does the future hold for me?

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I began my quest last weekend to stay positive in this force of negativity by attending the SaveOurSharks Rally in Burleigh Heads, Qld Australia. February 1st was my birthday. I asked my family to join me and we had a lovely day out showing our support of the apex predators that govern the balance of our seas. The protest saw 10’s of thousands across Australia speaking out for the Sharks and although this support is worthy, we need to find a way to reach those who are caught up in the fear and ignorance that goes hand in hand with the limited knowledge and understanding that many have regarding our sustainable future.

My passion is for koalas because they touched my heart and soul in those first few days that I was on Australian soil. As I looked out towards the sea on that day, behind me sat a koala in a tree that also was gazing out into the tea tree bay with contemplation. Perhaps that koala saw what I saw and if that wise soul saw the path we would take in just 5 short years, I wish he could have warned me. The koalas of Noosa National Park are disappearing and one day their presence here in the wild will be no more. Our group is focused on making as much of a difference as possible and yet we are caught up in red tape and bureacracy! We keep repeating the “old” story rather than embracing the “new”. In 5 years, we have lobbied govrnment to no avail. We continue to ghave meetings. I would like to see these meetings stop and for the action to start! We have volunteered and stepped up our education and awareness programs. A sanctuary is a solution for the future of some koalas but we need 10 sanctuaries across their natural range or 100, in order to maintain those that are hanging by a thread amidst danger and disease and the very real threat of extinction in the wild.

With this, comes the full circle that humans are creating on land and in the sea. The crash course in education and awareness is spreading. People are standing up and joining forces to create a “new” story through an evolution of change.

This is what I see, as I gaze out and as others gaze out beside me. I find hope in the Alliance that we have formed and through the relationship with “new” people with “new” ideas in “new” places. Our stories are all one: with the whales, the dolphins, the sharks, the koalas, the flying fox and all the living and breathing inhabitants of this earth! I was trained in science but I am not a scientist per-se. I am just a woman with a heart for all.

I will take this new writing challenge and embrace my thoughts and fears and dreams and share with others. I believe that if we work together, we can change the world and at this moment more now than ever, the World needs us to be the pioneers for a sustainable future. Won’t you join me? It is not too late. 🙂

Balance and Truths, Last Female Koala Gone!


Yin YangIMG_7238This past week, the last female koala in Noosa National Park, was euthenased due to disease. She was one of the last hopes for the future of Noosa koalas and will only be a memory from this point forward. There are 2 males left in the park that we know of but no longer a female to keep the population going. How many know of this tragedy? Numbers have been on a downward spiral and the predictions locally will one day become the predictions Nationally.  The koala of Noosa is functionally extinct! Throughout Australia, carers and rescuers speak of the same items and Noosa’s story is their own as well.

So how did we get to this point? Does the Mayor of the Sunshine Coast, Mark Jamieson, have any thought regarding this or is it a “too hard basket” item that can be shoved aside to get on with bigger and better things in his eyes for a Sunshine Coastal agenda of growth?? He has all but ignored the recommendations of the Sunshine Coast Koala Summit report and never even tabled this highly intelligent and well constructed document before the end of 2012 to his council as promised. Meetings with government representatives and Environment Minister Tony Burke, have only left those crusaders hoping to achieve a balance for wildlife, in the same place they were before the meetings, with their hands tied by legal red tape and the high growth agenda of large corporations and political prowess to contend with. The koala has a Listing on the endangered species list,  yet it does not seem to have any value, as trees continue to be clear cut and action and protection seem slow and ineffective. Meanwhile, koalas die. Wildlife suffers at the hands of the greedy. I take it personally when I see these animals and the earth treated with such utter ignorance and disrespect. Therefore my passion is sparked and I become vocal!

When I first arrived in Australia, my number one on the bucket list, was to see a koala in the wild. I did so, the weekend after I arrived, in Noosa National Park. Last week I walked the paths of the koala food trees in this park with not a koala to be found. Those in the visitor center told me, “There are plenty to be seen here” and there was a sighting 2 weeks ago, yet I knew differently. These volunteers are told to “lie” and to hide the truth from tourists, because face it, “what would Noosa National Park draw attention to without the koalas which at one time were a sure sighting?” Does the high growth agenda keep this in mind in tourism? Will we continue to lie now with extinction at hand? If the very reasons people flock to the coast for a holiday no longer exist, what would be the point of coming at all? And think of dollars lost! Tsk Tsk.

Although, it became my passion to speak up and attempt to be a voice for the koala, this voice is often hushed and pushed aside as the greater agenda of growth and power and ego, seem to override the truth worldwide.

Bindi Irwin spoke up recently in an essay regarding population growth and it’s effect upon our wildlife, but her words were twisted and the truth once again silenced as what was printed in media became something altogether different in the eyes of Hillary Clinton. Shame on you Hillary!

I am appalled that so little truth is out there these days despite the ever growing cyber world. Media is often a circus with only half truths be told. You must find your own voice and speak up to allow others to hear and do so without fear, perhaps even taking a risk.  When others silence you, then speak up louder!  Reflect and be silent at times but when your truth be told, do so with dignity and honor and respect.

So what can we do? I believe that we can speak up and listen to our heart and our inner voice. If our voice fails to reach those that need to listen, then perhaps a different approach is necessary and the time is at hand. Inspire those around you with a simple story and a creative vision and perhaps, one truth will lead to the truth of all and a positive outcome will be achieved for humans and wildlife alike.

If silence and ignorance continue, we will watch and witness the eventual extinction of koalas in the wild throughout Australia, as well as many other species. Extinction is forever.

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Journey Part 2


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?”

Truth, Lies and Conditions


Recently the social world has become more graphic and in an underlying tone of secrecy, truth is exposed. The human intellect tends to judge and examine the stories being told and whether it is politically correct or not, we react. There is a disturbance in our soul that tells us “this just isn’t right” or “I must act upon this”. However, sometimes when we tell the truth or we react, we think after we speak and create a wave of contention and consequence that effects the masses.

The recent KONY2012 phenomena that has swept the internet with massive viewings has set off a wave of criticism, investigation and outrage. I believe that the simple act and strategy of creating attention with inspiration is a good thing. Invisible Children motivated people to speak up and to debate the greater good of humanity. There is the other side, of course and the bac

klash of negativity that accusations provide, but nonetheless, a young idealistic man created greater awareness and discussion of something big that few really thought about before now. I won’t get into the discussion of Uganda and the African turbulence that has spread past this or whether using “old” footage to create “new” awareness is right or wrong. I will explore thoughts closer to home and the idea of censorship.

Have we come so far, when lies are told publicly to protect the interest of a business, group, individual or organization? Will we allow governments and corporate leaders to control us and our freedom of speech

? The government of Australia is a “constitutional monarchy” whereby there should be balance in it’s system. Powers and procedures are defined in a written form and are to be upheld in government. The monarch is defined as the Queen of England who is head of state. There are 3 arms of Australian Government that were put in place which are the legislative or parliament, the executive and the judiciary branches.  In the United States, the government was set up as a “constitutional republic”, consisting of also a legislative, an executive and a judiciary branch. The difference would be in it’s definition of the legislative branch as bicameral consisting of 2 bodies needing to come to majority rule for change. This was setup to create a checks and balance system. However, the imbalance that exists in both of these governments is in question today.  Many laws are outdated and need to be evaluated for the times we live in now.  The world needs those that will speak for truth and put a stop to the destruction of our land, our sea and the inhabitants within. In these times, we need to support those that show respect for each other and speak for truth.

In the past few months, I have watched people stand up against dishonesty and say “no more”. The live export exposure has horrified many and created action and awareness. Turtles and Dugongs are slaughtered due to a law that allows for this to be legal in Queensland. It’s direct exposure through hidden cameras has awakened the government and citizens around the world. It seems that social media and news exposure is more graphic and there is a need for this to be so, as no one seems to listen anymore or make changes when it is done

in a politically correct fashion. A Senate Inquiry into the status, health and sustainability of the Australian koala seems to have been just an exercise as we still see no results to the truth that was exposed. Government and those hired to actually protect the environment, fail to do so as destruction accelerates. Humans rape and pillage the very land once considered sacred with a total lack of respect. I am fed up with this and want to scream out that we all need to make a difference now before it is too late. People resign from

positions they have loved, to speak their truth. They try new things and smile more as they step outside the safe box they have lived in for security and financial stability. I feel proud of them and I support their courage and risk. When I recently was asked to sign something regarding social media,  I refused. It wasn’t that I wished to be rebellious or difficult.  I just believe that I have enough education and awareness to think before I act and I carry respect for those around me as to be able to discern what is best in a given situation. If I write something or share a photo that is seen on the internet, I do not wish to be told by others that I cannot do this. I will seek out permission when creating or publishing my work and be respectful of the policies that exist to guard against misuse but I am willing to take the risk to be autonomous in my actions. It is a very different world we live in now and I understand that much has gotten out of hand in regards to ownership and control. People are disillusioned and often speak out before thinking of the consequences of their actions. They lack respect and feel disrespected. Many humans bend or break rules because of fear, as organisations and businesses, try to gain greater control versus cooperation. I see this as a failing of a system set up with balance that has tipped in the wrong direction.  It is difficult to recover the equilibrium. It requires placing our egos aside for the greater good and greater effective communication. It requires working together as a team, not separation and control.

As I drove home last night, there was discussion of a painting and an award won for a piece of art. This piece of art titled “Port Arthur” by Rodney Pople depicted a piece of history in Tasmania that is disturbing and heartwrenching. 35 people were murdered and 21 injured by Martin Bryant who is depicted in the surreal painting by the artist.  The discussions on the radio ranged from greater understanding of mental illness, to outrage that this piece of art exists. Is art not a subjective interpretation left to the eye of the beholder just as written word is an expressive medium to be explored? If we censor what people may view because it is uncomfortable are we not taking away our rights and freedoms? These questions are those that I ponder on a rainy morning in Australia. Something needs to change.

I will continue to speak my truth and stand up for what I believe is right. My passion for those without a voice is clear and I will honor them in my words and actions. I may be knocked down at times, but I will pick myself up and stand true every time, every day, forever.