I can still remember being woken up by hoons down the street, by the bin truck making it’s daily rounds, by the mowers, the runners, surfers, the buzz of the inner city. Today I was woken up by the kookaburra song as the sun was just lighting up the forest.
Every morning I hear the bird song. The same birds sometimes sing us to sleep. When it rains the barking frogs start their chorus, a conversation in croaks.
So many changes I am still getting used to in our forest home. And so much to do! Lots of our energy has been expended on maintaining the grounds surrounding the house, keeping the weeds at bay and the grass short.
But lately I have been drawn deeper into the bush. Coming out of my spiral house and venturing beyond it’s cosy edges. The bush around us is prolifent with camphor laurels. Trees, which grow into huge beauties, but behave like weeds, choking out the natives. At first glance, our little patch of forest looks like a sea of camphors. but if you pause, and look a little deeper the bush begins to reveal itself.
I found the grandmother tree with my daughter, when we were having a boys-away-camping girls weekend at home. rather than looking where we were putting our feet, we looked up, and there her white branches could be seen in the canopy. A massive tree, too big to reach my arms around, with a perfect little natural altar at the base. here we placed our offerings, a green leaf and a red leaf. a moment of mother and daughter honouring the ancestors.
we walked on. pulling up weeds as we went. scrambling down the steep slope. crossing the creek bed on a perfect little natural bridge. We spent a good few hours pulling out lantana and camphor seedlings on one of the only flat spots of the land. sweaty, covered in mosquito bites and feeling strong. I feel the land responding to me. I feel a deep sense of responsibility to her. Beyond our border the lantana is a jungle, left to grow and take over. On our side it is manageable. I feel the past of who lived here and loved this land before me. It’s mine to care for now. to listen and feel what it needs and how best to care for it.
I always dreamed of having land. It was something that became so strong in my when we lived in the inner city. But I had no idea the hold it would have on me once we got here. It’s like this land chose us to be its custodians. There was definitely magick afoot when we found, fell in love and bought this space. I am now listening deeply to what I need to know.