Jan 2011

May the New Year bring you inspiration, empowerment, hope and deep commitment to heal the Earth.

I feel, as usual, such a jumble of emotions as the New Year comes into being – elation to be alive, eagerness to be useful, desperation to ‘do’ and a sense of inner obligation to fulfil this purpose to act for the Earth in the most effective way.

And I feel, as usual, the same strange disconnect between what I know is happening on the Earth - the collapse of our life support systems - and the incredible beauty and abundance around us. As we keep active planting our future self-sustaining garden (we hope), I know the forests are going, along with so much life, and I know that oil supplies are dwindling, economies collapsing, climate in chaos and we will witness huge change in the next couple of decades. Are we ready to shift?

The best we can always do, I guess, is try to stay positive and loving and productive and keep dancing between the practical daily realities of raising children, nurturing this land and gently, but forthrightly and with determination, stay awake and responsive to the reality of our time.

We welcome Kae from Japan, who will be here for a few months to learn and help us create this slow life in Woombah. For the past week Kae and Minami have been here with us, helping so much around the place and slowly adjusting to a very different life from the city. I am used to the powerful life force of the forest here, the intense sounds and energy of nature, the living earth under my feet, a big horse standing outside your door every morning waiting for a pat – but it can be daunting for people who have lived their whole life in a city. It’s the opposite for me when I go to cities and sense a strange emptiness - a kind of vacuum of life spirit – that overwhelming dominance of the human species living in a kind of bubble of misguided perception that we can ‘control’ life itself and that ‘nature’ is something we usually only see from massive high definition TV screens in air conditioned comfort.

We have been busy at home, gardening and planting over the past week, in between visits to the beach, walks with Ollie and time with good friends. We’ve added four more fruit trees to our collection here; another avocado, tropical pear, pomegranite and fejoa - this makes some 22 types of fruit trees growing here so far. And right now, in the early hours of the morning, Kae is in the garden extending our vegetable planting area.

Later on today my local friends will come for a mini baking workshop here, guided by Minami who has been so inspired by macrobiotic cooking and living (bacteria) cultures. We have the lovely recipe book of Deco (from Brownsfield) to provide more ideas and guidance and build a fire so we can bake in the camp oven.

Actually, for the past week we have celebrated simple and wholesome (mostly vegan) food and the tastes have been delicious. And it’s been on a very tight budget! Very Slohas. For example, 400grams of small, freshly caught, local school shrimp provided 4 meals for the 5 of us: 1) a few eaten by the riverside, 2) some used for the rice paper wraps (with mint and garlic chives), 3) becoming a Thai laksa flavoured stew and 4) flavouring a miso soup. I’m proud of Pacha and Yani who enthusiastically try these new tastes - unlike most Australian kids who mostly eat the same plain meat and dairy based products for every meal.

In between just living, we are busy writing plans and schedules for the year ahead - which you will hear about soon! I hope you have some moments of deep peace and contemplation over the next few days to allow your heart to guide you forward.

Love, For Life,


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