December 18, 2012
Asides action, Australia, bravery, Children, empathy, fear, Free Range Kids, gun laws, Hoddle Street Massacre, Lenore Skenazy, Obama, pain, Port Arthur, Port Arthur Massacre, Sandy Hook Shooting, teachers, United States, world 17 Comments
December 15, 2012
One time I walked there, just courage and me.
It’s dark and it’s scary, I wonder what’s there,
A hundred spiders and bugs every where.
I scratched in the dirt and leaves on the ground,
And hardly believe what my toys and I found.
A well trodden path leads to the mouth of the cave,
I take a deep breath and try to be brave.
With hands on my knees and neck stretched out low,
I smell fungus and leaves, and damp things that grow.
There’s a horrible sound, it scares me a lot,
I look in my hands to see what I’ve got.
I throw Action Man in and Spiderman too,
Then pull down my pants and go to the loo.
My toys are gone, my hands are now free.
I push away cobwebs and long stems of grass,
Can’t wait to tell this to all of my class.
I know I will see something, ugly and bad,
Very angry and hairy, a bit like my Dad,
I let out my breath and pick up a stick,
I’m so frightened and shaking, it makes me feel sick.
I give the monster a poke, it lets out a cackle,
I get ready to grab it and give it a tackle.
I touch something smooth and a little bit soft,
I’m not sure but I think, I heard the thing cough.
A cackle, a crow, and a flurry of feathers,
It’s in there for sure, away from the weather.
The monster it’s gone, my grab gets thin air,
But I see something else, hiding in there.
Some leaves and some grass, all soft like a bed,
And nestled inside, a warm speckled egg.
December 15, 2012
Today’s tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School as left me feeling legless.
Are you like me and want to help the families of the victims of today’s senseless shooting rampage, but don’t know what to do? I want to give each of them a hug, and while not a religious person, I want to say a prayer on bended knee with them.
December 15, 2012
I could write an introduction, but who would read it?
No one. Because.....
THIS IS THE PRESENTS POST! Goodies for all! Remember that Ashley and I invite you to write your own Festivus-inspired post on your blog. You can drop hints on who you gifted, muse over who gave you your gift, or air your grievances about anything! Just let me know if you write a post so I can link to it on…
December 6, 2012
Galloping Hooves on a Lonely Road Australia, Barmah State Forest, Cattle, cattle dogs, Floods, horse, Moira State Forest, NSW, sheep, Station (Australian agriculture), stock route, Stockmen 36 Comments
The sheep were delivered to the sale yards as requested by the stock owner. Our dogs, in their element, scrambled over their backs and nipped and pushed them up the narrow races of the Hay Sale Yards as we sorted them into manageable lots of 1000 per yard. Our journey with these sheep had come to an end.
Sheep are generally mustered using motor bikes and dogs unless the terrain dictates the use of horses. However, I became a Jillaroo primarily because I love horses and cattle. In addition, the drover I was working for was moody and self absorbed. I found the evening silences to be oppressive and depressing and I was reduced to constantly second guessing my abilities and decisions as a result of no positive feedback to draw upon.
I can’t remember how, but I was invited by another old drover to move over to his team after the sheep were “docked”.
This job filled me with excitement. It had the promise of an adventure that I yearned for. In the time that we were moving the sheep, rain had bucketed down days upon days. Rivers were flooded and cattle needed to be moved off the sour grass that had been leeched of all nutrition by the swollen river. 2000 cattle had to be mustered from the Barma State Forest and taken onto “greener pastures”.
My new Drover was older than the first. At the time he seemed ancient to me but he was probably only in his early 60’s. He was serious, but humble and had a twinkle in his eyes that belied the hard life he had by now accepted. I was allocated a horse that was reliable and well versed in the in the job we had ahead of us. Ten additional Stockmen, with their wily dogs and eager horses were also employed to cooperate in this massive job of “hide and seek” we had ahead of us.
The cattle were spread though hundreds of acres of forest. Some in large groups, but others in groups of two or three. Others were solitary; but all were doing their best to eke out the maximum nutrition from their increasingly diminished pasture.
On the first day of muster, we arose at 5am to a dark and stagnant edge of dawn. By the time we were dressed and breakfasted, the dreary light of a daybreak confirmed itself, promising nothing more than loaded black clouds and fat, unrelenting rain for the mission ahead.
Despite the ominous and foreboding prediction the dawn inspired, by the time the team of horsemen had gathered, rays of sunlight streamed through the gaps in the clouds like the fingers of God; caressing the damp earth and drawing a blue haze of eucalyptus steam from the thick bush beyond. As the plan for the muster came to bear, the men sucked their hand rolled cigarette, horses fidgeted and jingled their bits, saddles squeaked as weight shifted, oilskins creaked and dogs lay and slept, scratched or licked. Smells of wet horses, tobacco, leather and sodden bushland mingled, and an air of excitement took hold that made me feel at odds with this experienced tribe of misfits.
We headed off down the dirt road and disappeared in groups of 2’s and 3’s into the wild Australian bush to commence our seemingly impossible task of drawing this scattered mob together for their journey ahead towards the lush stock route awaiting them.
December 4, 2012
I have all of these things. They are treasures to me. All of these things have changed the direction of my life forever. And they will always be a part of me. I cannot throw them away. How do you throw memories away? Physical or mental, they are always with me, like it or not. I treasure these memories though, as they punctuate an important time of my life with wonderful words and amazing experiences; a time of discovery, a time of, adventure and a time that I learnt about love even though I didn’t grasp it in the way I perhaps should have.
I didn’t learn from it then, it has taken two decades, but I am learning from it now as I write and read and sit alone with the company of the person I should love most .
To understand this, I will have to go back and tell you why the bar for love is set so high. I know what I want and I know what I need; I just didn’t recognize it until now. I would never have recognized it unless I had already experienced it. I’m going to wait now until I find it. I have settled for less before and less is not good enough. I deserve better. It may be around the corner. I may have already met him, but I am happy to bide my time and give myself the grace of a decision that is built on the foundations of experience, friendship and courtship; rather than the immediate gratification of lust and spontaneity.
I’m going to be old fashioned.