Wonder Women of Kyogle

Two gates, a well used car and a long heart felt conversation before we arrived at the Kyogle CWA meeting. I had been asked to give a talk about our families experiences of Nepal, specifically an orphanage in Kathmandu – Papas Children Home.

Was I nervous? Just a little. But more excited for the opportunity to provide current information about the plight of thousands of children since the earthquakes in Nepal.

The CWA of Kyogle and more specifically Tamar who was now my chauffeur, met each week to discuss a multitude of local, national and international issues that the CWA was or wanted to be involved in.

For those that have never been to a Country Womens Association  meeting let me tell you it ain’t all tea and scones. The wine flowed and hearts spilled as motions moved and knitting needles clicked together. I heard about one women’s antics in the back seat of her now husbands car (with maybe more than enough detail) social events, why Casino was dry and Kyogle was not, the upcoming photography shoot that some were refusing to collaborate on due to camera shyness and a multitude of art, music or fundraising events that needed a good CWA presence and support.

tea and scones

The CWA is the largest women’s organisation in Australia. It has 44,000 members across 1855 branches, with Kyogle boasting an 80 something strong force. Its aims are to improve the conditions for country women and children and to try to make life better for women and their families, especially those women living in rural and remote Australia. The organisation is self-funded, nonpartisan and non-sectarian although I did stand and make a pledge of alliance to queen, country and man before starting the meeting. A sideways painting of a young Elizabeth even hung on the hall wall beside me looking all regal, allowing her the opportunity to glare at me all night. I felt like I was back in my early court days questioning my own integrity.

Introductions done – I was first on the list. I began to talk and immediately felt a heat rise in my face and rush towards my ears.

Was I nervous? Yes, I was. Although the lady with the needles sitting opposite me offered the warmest of smiles I felt her life’s experience. I was aware of the presidents poise and commitment to cause – she exuded the strength of character the same as that of her wonder woman shirt. I really wanted that shirt but my boobs wouldn’t do it justice. I really wanted those boobs. With Queen Lizzie’s frown I stopped thinking of boobs and concentrated on delivering my speech.

womderwoman

Most of the women at the meeting carried their hearts on their sleeves and came with purpose and intention. I felt their intensity. I felt small in their collective experience and comradery.

I continued with my red-faced talk. I had worked hard on it. At times I could see tears in the eyes of my listeners. Perhaps it was the wine? I know I was heard but as the night progressed and the hand knitted panels became larger I reminded again how the world was filled with its problems and true to its foundations – there were so many local issues the CWA could be addressing.

Why were they interested in Nepal? Why would anyone be interested in Nepal? This question I need to ponder if I am to achieve a dream to build a new orphanage in Nepal for the family I met.

Glasses cleaned, agendas set, the meeting was over. I returned to the car with Tamar and understood that for all it was worth, I had made a friend. A connection that allowed us to camp on a beautiful community – on land that sang to us like an old forest we once knew.

I was revitalised and inspired. We all have our own agendas our own dreams and while the orphanage in Kathmandu (Papas Children Home) might not receive what I had hoped for – I can be proud I tried. I can feel grateful for a friend that I feel shares a similar outlook in life.

The effort we take each day to acknowledge and show love returns to us in magical ways.

Thank you Tamar and thank you Kyogle CWA.

 

 

Indigenous Portals left but not Forgotten

A few years have passed since I last talked about an indigenous portal we lived alongside. It was on our farm land in Australia and I believe my lunch with 2 indigenous elders who validated this portal to be the most pivitol moment in my spiritual awakening so I wanted to share the experience again. The indegnous people of Australia are masters at connecting with the land…..we could all learn from them.

At the end of 2004 my family became sick (literally) of our lives and bought a remote rainforest property in New South Wales. It took one hours drive to the local town for a loaf of bread, forgotten ingredient or social event. It was exactly what we needed. My family began to farm, drink from the river and spend the passing nights under infinite stars. We tuned into the seasons and the animals.

Every now and then I’d pass my husband on my way to the garden, sweat pouring from his body as he nailed, screwed or cut something for our house. We’d both stop, smile and comment about the energy of the lands. We were both happy. When working on the Sunshine Coast we hadn’t been very aware of anything except mortgages, food and appointments but there, in the forest we began to feel something new. At different times of the day or night a buzz that is difficult to explain used to tingle in our physical being, emanating from our chest like a controlled surge of adrenalin. Its vibration would sometimes wake us up at night. We’d talk for hours, explore each others bodies and surrounds, full of energy and creativity.

We discussed more and more often the chances of someone squatting in the forest. Our thinking mind wanted to understand the noise, the vibration that sang through the trees. It was state forest one side and National Park the other, dense and steep. We pondered loggers using a generator or the low gear change of a truck but nothing could explain the drone of an engine that changed its tone as much the wind changed directions. Of course we took a walk several times to unravel the mystery but we never found anything or anyone. One time I saw an aboriginal man standing beside a mountain ash tree near to where we felt the buzz most intensely.  Skinny arm holding a stick,  with his knee perched atop a mirage of a wooden stump, he reminded me of my father and brother all merged together, but black. The instant I turned to see him more clearly, the apparition was gone.

A few weeks later we met our nearest neighbours(1km): aka Flo, Rock and Snoop the dog. They were walking alongside our dusty road waving some white papers. We stopped to talk.

Öne conversation led to another and before long we asked if they knew anything about loggers or people up in the forest behind us. They knew the property well and had been living out here for almost a year.

Flo laughed, “you mean the portal?”

“What portal?” I questioned.

Flo described a sacred energy that ran through the hills. She also tried to tell us about a man who believed there was a yeti and a large prey mantis type of creature that would stalk him on clear nights. Hhhhmm…the conversation took a downwards turn and we put it down to the magnificent mushroom season that had erupted in the last few days of humidity and rain.

TCR 8

Returning to our farm, family and friends, life continued on. I needed a health practitioner for my daughter and was given a local contact. After leaving our appointment I felt the treatment was more for my spirit than the nasal complaints of my child. I was given a number to call about the energy of our land….and connect with someone who had dreamed of me weeks before – it was all very strange.

In the same week a close girlfriend had an aboriginal man perform a cleansing on their farm. My friend told me that while he was ceremonially smoking the lands he asked about a girl with fire-red hair (I did at the time) who came down from the hills and bought with her a tribe. He wanted to talk to the girl with the red hair.

I rang the number. It was Friday afternoon. “Hi, I was given your number to call…….” I paused not knowing what to say.

A deep, elderly voice spoke, “Ï have been waiting for you to call”.

We talked for a minute or two and arranged a lunch at our farm the next day.

I prepared (as I love to do) a feast and invited our neighbours. Any occasion out this far is worth celebrating and sharing. We heard a vehicle entering the driveway and walked outside to greet our guests.

Uncle Larry introduced himself first. A dark aboriginal man, 70’s, dressed as my mother would dress my father. Shirt pressed and clean jeans, belt in tight and a head of slick grey hair. His wife, Aunty Christine was laughing and talking before her feet hit the ground and Uncle Barry, a friend of Uncle Larry’s stared at the hills in quiet memory as we ushered them to the back deck.

We all sat, wide-eyed staring at each other and talking of the coincidences that bought us together. Uncle Larry said he had dreamed a vision of a white girl with fire-red hair who left the ocean waters to live in the hills. She was followed by many  ancient ones with long sticks. They were coming home.

We learnt Uncle Barry had grown up as an indigenous boy with his mother in this exact part of the forest. I felt joy and guilt at knowing this history. Occasionally Uncle Barry would talk in his mother tongue with the spirits as if they were sitting  right beside us……..Uncle Larry laughed at his brother in skin as the birds raised their songs and the wind-swept light across our hearts. Sunlight shone directly into the eyes of us all. The conversation died. We sat in awe at the life that moved around and through us. We all acknowledged the flow of sacredness in silence, knowing we appreciated its power.

Uncle Barry was the first to speak as he pointed his finger towards the Mountain Ash tree where I had seen the apparition……”You got a portal”……then the three guests began their conversation as if nothing had happened, chatting to themselves.

“Whhooa, whooa” said my husband. “Portal, what do you mean portal?”

Flo, our neighbour, who had been pretty quiet till now couldn’t help herself, “see…I told ya….told ya….its a portal”

Uncle Larry explained that this portal was for men’s business (which explained my unsettled feeling when ever I tried to walk the path beside that area). It was a concentration of energy that followed the spirit highways of our ancient Australian lands. Mountains and wind tunnels, ritual and time contoured the portals dimensions. This concentration of wisdom’s settled and swirled about 60 mtrs from our home. It is not visible with eyes and not heard with the ears but sensed.

I had so many questions, my mind was racing. As far as I could understand the aboriginals would enter a trance state (some not) and jump between lands, between seasons. Portals were for the awakened souls to meet and dream, share and connect with self and others and all creatures, dead or alive.

As our three new friends” were leaving, Uncle Larry turned to me and said”, “just keep meditating near the portal and doing what you’re doing, the land here needs no cleansing. Everything you need you already have.”

Ï continue to this day to do what I did then. Meditate, stay open and try as much as possible to move in a direction that enhances life for me and all others.

About one year ago we attended a small indigenous festival. Long story short we connected with a lady who seemed tirelessly busy, performing, weaving, swimming and actively promoting equal rights for her tribe back in WA. Passing her one morning she asked if we wanted a reading and although we had not spoken prior to this moment, I agreed.

Both my daughters were standing beside me. She placed her hand on my youngest child’s shoulder and began rattling off a series of personalities traits that only a mother could know. She whispered in her ear to feel Ok with herself and don’t be scared of the black sisters. My eldest daughter was next and again she read her like a book. I was in disbelief at her ability to know us….really know our past, present and apparent future direction.

She then placed her hand upon my shoulder and said “welcome home – welcome home sister….hhhmmm busy times for a gatekeeper….you know that portal on your land…well I’m shuttin it down….no more mens business, its time for the women….hhmmm open to it sister”.  She shared so much more, so much knowing. I put it in my heart hoping I could access it later for my mind at that moment was numb.

I listened and trusted I would understand but still to this day I don’t really know what I am doing….I trust all is flowing on its karmic course with me steering the boat forwards.

I see the river banks and sometimes go ashore for supplies but mostly I try to move ahead towards the ocean again.

All we need is already within us. Love to all.

The Muezzin of Marrakech

The Muezzin are calling ezan in Marrakech right now. Some voices are deep and inviting, others harsh and scratchy from years of dryness. They call for the people to come, attend the mosque, for the sun is soon to rise. I guiltily lay in bed knowing that his final call reminds the people “prayer is better than sleep”.

My family however is sleeping. We have our own faith. I should get up and meditate.

Nestled in the middle of a traditional riad, in the heart of Marrakech, I found a bear like cave that shields my family just enough while allowing the daily flow of Moroccan life to circle around us. Its been a long 5 months on the road, in a bus and on display.

The riad is centred in a traditional Medina or town and surrounded by a 20 foot high polished earthern wall. It is cool, mysterious and secured with a chain smoking security gang who stop every car with as much determination as the morning Muezzin. I only wish they had put down their cigarettes long enough to catch the kid who smashed our bus window yesterday. It seems that security only starts once you cross the red and white line and not a meter out. We didn’t catch the kid and we didn’t know what we would do even if we did.

I found this little oasis on the net and after just one day our bodies have relaxed enough to sleep peacefully. Everything you would need to survive a 2 month sandstorm is right at our disposal and the compound also boasts a few cafes, a little shop for various supplies, a pharmacy and mosque. I think I saw a pool too but swimming is prohibited on Friday and yep – that’s today.

There is an eclectic strange mix of global warriors and hard to understand French speaking Muslims who share the compound. Over a strong black shot and cheap pizza yesterday afternoon, I have already met a gorgeously garbed designer who I want to buy from for my market and an old time rocker from the 80’s called ‘Mr Tiger’ who has an amazing energy and recording studio. Dare I say, I lost my husband for hours yesterday. There is something here for each of us and we haven’t yet explored the world renowned markets of Marrakech located only 10 minutes away.

Light starts to creep into the bathroom window and cars begin to choke outside. The compound is still quiet and I imagine the Inam or leader of prayer has begun his service. I wonder a lot about the Muslim faith and would like to talk the many of the men and women who fill the mosques but the language barrier makes learning slow.

A friend of mine traveling through Morocco at the moment wanted to learn more about this religion so thought he would attend a mosque for the Muezzin had called so beautifully this day he told me. He followed the swarm, removed his shoes and entered the inner sanctum. He was respectful, removing his shoes and sitting quietly up the back but it wasn’t long before someone approached him and asked what had happened to him.

My friend replied, “I am here to learn”.

The stranger said “Well learn outside”.

Although my friend has the sweetest heart and a humble manner I am thinking he forgot to bathe or prepare himself for prayer. Just like in our home or hearts there are certain ways in which we perform sacred offerings or blessings, even the way we go about bathing or eating. To practice or pray here one must be in good shape and pure condition before starting prayer. It is necessary to wash the parts of the body which are generally exposed to dirt or dust or smog and going on past experience I doubt my friend had cleaned well in days.

Prayer to me looks like a gymnastic exercise and a mechanical act but one thing for sure its brings the awareness of God into their daily lives. I can only hope my day is filled with such devotion.

I hope for you too that your day is filled with such devotion to life and a love inspired by higher forces.

Rock on Marrakech.

 

Prayer or chant for Muslims carried out 5 times a day.

Allaahu Akbar (four times – “Allah is Most Great”).
Ash’hadu an laa ilaaha illallaah (twice – “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah“).
Ash’hadu anna Muhammadan-rasulullaah (twice – “I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah“).
Haya ‘alas-salaah (twice – “Come to prayer”).
Haya ‘alal falaah (twice – “Come to the good;’).
Allaahu Akbar (twice – “Allah is Most Great”).

tHE eLEMNTAL jOINING of fORCES – starting a community in Hungary

I long for wild winters and calm storms, meandering streams and a mountain that knows no limits.

I am nature as long as my blood runs red and I return a little more each day to the old ways that allows my spirit to rise. I am wind and rock, embedded with ancient wisdom’s.

I seek those that love as I do and tend to those that do not.

Run with me, naked in the rain and we shall dance until the waters of illusion are clear.

I found home long ago when I listened to the wind and now she blows me into the hills of Hungary calling others on her way.

fRIENDS cOMMUNITY sPIRIT and lAND