Wilderness — A Meditation

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Salvation Creek

Clear skies shimmer outside my office windows this early morning. Didn't go for my forest walk this morning. Gonna write the last entry of the year instead. Like there is a one or the other option in my busy life. NOT!

Just finished reading a memoir by Susan Duncan entitled Salvation Creek. Very disconcerting to meet a character in someone else's manuscript who mirrors a character in my own work.

Which leads me to tell you that our little manuscript is currently being considered by two small publishers, one in USA and the other in Scotland. Cross your fingers for us. It would be grand to see our manuscript inside a brilliant 'bush' cover sitting on a book shelf in Borders or Avid Reader or advertised on Amazon. We have also sent off a proposal to an agent here in Brizzie, hoping that she would like to represent us with some of the BIG publishing houses here in Oz.

And so..I wish you a delightful New Year's Eve..tomorrow for those of you in the USA, but tonight will be full of bubbly here in Oz. Pay for a taxi..don't drive, but do to all.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

5:30 a.m.

Yep; the New Year is still a couple of days off, but we've begun our resolution just a tad early.

For the last two days - and one day four days ago - we struggled out of bed at 5:30 in the morning, just before the Kookaburra laughed his silly head off, slurped a huge glass of water, changed into runners, shorts, and a t-top, wrapped a rag around the forehead to soak up the sweat, grabbed my two trekking poles, and headed off for the Kolgun.

The first day, my sunnies from America fogged up so badly that I couldn't see the rocks littering the path. But, the second day, my regular dark glasses tied onto my head so they wouldn't slip down my sweaty nose fared a bit better. I wore a hat the first day; the the gum tree forest was enough to keep the sun off my cheek and shoulders.

In Oz, it is unwise for oldies to wander around in the sunshine. Skin cancer aided by the southern hemisphere sun is rampant.

But, it feels good to have exercised and then to come home for a cool shower, and slip into a spaghetti top, short shorts, and wander barefoot around the pine floors of our colonial. It is warm, warmer than I like, but if there should be a breeze, our open windows usher it into my office on the third story above the newly red leafed mango tree. It may not cool me down, but it will evaporate a little of the glowing on my nose and forehead.

Welcome to summer! Forecasters are predicting scorch! which probably means afternoon thunder and lightening showers like the one that caused us to turn off the tv set and all the computers last night.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Twas the afternoon before Christmas and all through the house smells of turkey float
Five salads include a homemade FIVE BEAN fill the refrigerator as large as a boat
Presents are wrapped and piled on the back verandah table
Pretty and packed for those who are tomorrow able

Chrissie lunch will serve all three children, dad and partner and two others
Lonesome folks with no family with whom to celebrate their druthers.
A lad from Tanganyika and a lass from the planet- too many homes to list
Have come to join us because we insist.

Rain is predicted; winds clear the flies from the kitchen smelling of good food
Hopefully as always in this paradise the water will fall before the dawn interlude
to smooth the route of Santa to children on the east coast of Oz
just cause!

Wishes from down under to all you dear ones in the northern hemisphere
We promise to let you know if skies will be clear.
On our third longest day of the year
We send happiest Christmas cheer!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Whew..we've been home for two weeks. Where does the time go? I know, we all wonder!

Supposed to rain last night. Storm passed us by but left dark skies this late morning. Should be cooler. Not sure if the lack of warmth will slow down the midges that use my blood to feed their eggs in some small corner of the greenery next to the house. Actually, I am told the little buggers better known as 'no see-ums' fly three kilometres from the Brisbane River in through my office windows to suck my blood.

I really wouldn't mind if they would just stop with the injections of itchy stuff. Urgh!

Had a traditional Aussie BBQ last night with friends over in Wooloowin (how do you like that for a burb name?) There were three kinds of meat, snags (sausages), lamb chops, and risoles (lamb burgers mixed with cheese). And a salad. yummy!

But whilst I was feasting, I was being feasted upon, even though Wooloowin is a tad farther from the River than my office. Double Urgh!

Hope all is well this week end before Christmas. May your two weeks off be joyful and full of laughter - the good kind -

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Yup! New topic for the morning. Those obnoxious folks who manage to slip through the filters we all set up to protect ourselves from assault (emotional, verbal, or physical) are to be avoided at all costs.

Just came in from my INFJ list serve on a different network. Topic of the morning was why folks determine to reach out and ruin even a moment of someone else's life.

The answer - they simply do not have the inherent or learned tools to be aware of their own garbage and so storm through life spewing same evil smelling detrius in the direction of the rest of us.

Most of the time I manage to miss these folks. There seem to be fewer of them in my life here in Oz. Aussies may whimper, but they seldom whinge, if you get my drift. As a result there is a whole lot less evil floating in the air.

Another good day in paradise. Hope the same is true in your world. Time to go oil the teak veranda furniture. It's been sitting all by its lonesome on the front and back verandas through the last three weeks of electrical storms and seems to have picked up more than a little life form of its own. First one must clean off the mold and then add some life giving teak oil to spruce up the rain forest wood.

be well - ctch you laters

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I meant to mention yesterday that the klan of kookaburras arrived around seven yesterday morning to welcome us back from the northern hemisphere. What a chortling chorus they created in the back gardens of our block.

Oh, I know. The birds didn't know we were back. Anthropormorphism, delightfully so.

As always a weather report - bluest skies with scattered puffy whites. Everything is so sparkley, scrubbed by three weeks of rain. I understand many homes in our neighborhood lost their roofs in storms two weeks ago, but looking out over the valley surrounding us, I can see no topless houses. I suspect work was begun immediately to protect contents.

Today is one of those firsts this trip. A walk down to Rosalie and a bus ride into the city for lunch at the Hari Krishna abode, Govindas, with friends. Vegetarian food seldom tastes as good as when it com from a Krishna kitchen - something about he spirituality and the clarified butter used in all recipes. A walk home would take care of the extra calories, only about two miles.

So, happy Wednesday to those of you in our corner of the world..and delightful Tuesday to the rest of the planet.

BTW, did you notice the live feed that I added yesterday? Keeping track is kinda fun.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Ah, sunrise! Not so rosy as an eastern Sierra morning, but soft blue skies suggest warm temps later today.

4 a.m. seems a good time to slide out from beneath the sheets, turn off the fan that keeps mossies at bay during the night in this land without window or door screens, and head for the kitchen and the jug to boil water for my first cuppa of the day.

Angst swirled round my office yesterday afternoon - something to do with a dearth of responsibilities. Time to start the next short story.

And so with spring sprunging full of colour - Poinsianna trees in full flower, hibiscus orangeing up the lawns, rosemary in bloom, frangipanni glowing with fragrance on the front veranda - I guess I can manage one more day in paradise.

Monday, December 08, 2008


Monday morning 5:30 a.m.

Ah, it's good to wake early - after three months waltzing into winter, this spring time waking ritual feels energizing despite the high humidity and warm temps of the southern hemisphere.

Found this addy in my email during my dawn raid on the internet. Try it: you'll enjoy. just a lovely smile.

As I was sitting in my Brisbane office lookng out over the valley to th next ridgeline in my neighborhood, three very noisy Cockatoos skimming the skies below the cloud cover reminded me that there are all kinds of wake up calls on the planet.

Right now the southern accented Aussie crows are chatting in the local gum trees.

Ah, it is good to be home - time to unpack - jet lag over for the moment, I can organize myself once again.

Happy December, all

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Home Again, home again: jiggidy jig

We are back in Oz! A good couple of flights! Central California freeways ought to be as clear of trafffic as the Tasman Sea between Auckland and Brisbane. It took us as long to drive from Carmel Valley, California, to San Francisco International Airport as it did to fly 2340 kilometers from Auckland, New Zealand to Brisbane, Australia.

However, Main Events, the shuttle through the megapolis of San Francisco and environs, employs an astute driver who made the trip entertaining with a constant patter for the entire 3 hours. No complaints.

We reached the airport with time to spare in the United Lounge where we munched carrot and celery sticks; Is that traditional American airport fare?

Temps here in Queensland summertime hover just below 90 F with plenty of huge puffy white clouds dotting the skies - You know that means we who had spent the previous month at 8000 feet in the wintery eastern Sierra of California have some acclimatizing to do.

As soon as jet lag subsides, I'll share just how we intend to do that.