Today I met an old friend who asked me what I was doing. I told him about the slow world journey Pacha, Yani and I were about to embark on and he said: ‘Ah – so you’re going Walkabout’?
This is the definition I found:
“In the Walkabout, the Aboriginal spirit-journey, Aborigines follow preordained routes through their family’s own particular inherited portion of Dreaming country along the paths of the Spirit Ancestors. Along the way, they stop at ancestral sacred sites to perform prescribed ancient secret-sacred ceremonies, or corroborees.”
Yes, I think that’s what we’re doing.
We are going to visit the people and places that have formed who we are – in a ‘country’ called Mother Earth. Re-visiting and sharing experiences that have inspired my identity, guided my destiny and even led me to bring forth these beautiful children who will, in a few short years, leave my care to write their own story. We hope to do our own kinds of ceremonies; praying and singing and dancing and connecting – witnessing the changes, contemplating the future. We hope to be useful and helpful, joyful and curious, learning and sharing wherever we go.
Our first stop will be Penang, Malaysia, the place I first learnt about the extent of destruction of the planet, the forests and native peoples at the international FOE conference in 1986 - the place I first met John Seed and resonated with the idea of deep ecology. From there we will visit the deep rainforest of Taman Negara, and whoop along with the gibbons.
We will revisit Borneo and Bali, re-connect with friends I haven’t seen for over 20 years. Laugh and cry and raise our eyebrows in surprise that we are still here. The children will watch and learn and experience as we face the stories I was so intimately involved in – the beautiful forests, almost gone – the people, perhaps brutalised by the hard, cruel reality of resource extraction and exploitation, the influence of the twisted, globalised culture. The survival of some kind of spirit – enough hope to go on…
Later we will wander to our other homes – to Ecuador, to our family, to the cloudforest, to El Milagro. We will return to Japan, to mourn and to celebrate, embrace old friends and new. We’ll even try to get as far as Europe, meet our never seen before relatives - trace our side of the lineage and marvel in the similarities and differences.
And we will weave in the new story that Pacha and Yani are leading me into; their love for the ocean and their joy in surfing wherever there are waves. Pacha even has a blog (http://pachalina.wordpress.com/) focussing on her surfing adventures.
Now, in the last few days before we fly, Pacha, Yani and I have all been looking around us, appreciating this incredible life we have been living. Spending extra time hugging Ollie, touching the leaves gently of the fruit trees we have planted, taking extra care to visit neighbours and friends and say thank-you for their friendship over the years - burning the images of the forest and the ocean into our minds so we can recall this life as we travel along.
|Pacha sings at the end of year concert|
It sound like we are leaving forever doesn’t it? Well that’s what a journey really means doesn’t it? – anything can happen, anything can change – even when/if we come back to this place, we will be so different, even if things here stay the same. So, there is quite a lot of emotion, excitement and sadness - we are leaving this perfect life to remind ourselves, once again, how to live a good life…
|a visitor came in to visit!|
|Yani's skateboarding - photo by Pacha|