Hills’ Fair Share Festival 1

With all the trouble in the world, it can be difficult to maintain our focus on the good things in life. Youngest Daughter has taken the attitude that since the world will end in a year or two, she may as well do whatever she likes until then. A melodramatic teen, perhaps. A common perception, maybe. What I do know is the perpetuation of misery and promotion of fear by politicians and media, is poisoning our children’s perception of their future.

We have federal, state and local governments who are promoting safety, taking a stance against family violence. The cognitive dissonance here is a government claiming anti violence who are the perpetrators of violence against the families being interred on Manus and Nauru. How can they live with themselves? How can we?

I face this darkness and dishonesty by focusing on what I can do. I focus on sustainability and strengthening our communities. I focus on being honest (sometimes too bluntly) and doing my part for a sustainable future, despite the dismal picture being painted by our ‘leaders’.

I am keen to follow the lead of Transition Newcastle who held a Fair Share Festival last year. A festival where community come together to explore re-thinking, re-sharing, re-using, re-purposing and re-hoping our lives. Tiny homes, food sharing, community energy, wicking beds, re-fashion, repair cafes, the list of ways in which we can share hope for the future is endless.

I’m taking a stand for hope.

Through the window – A Musing

It’s raining, it’s pouring, I wish I was still snoring. All the animals are inside, and slightly damp, the visiting teens are inside, and watching telly loudly. The view through my lounge window is of looming grey clouds and rain. All the plants are holding their leaves to the sky and laughing.

I’ve loved the power and light show though. Only because we have not lost power, for which I am most grateful. Parts of the town have. Trees down, creek rising but on the bright side, no fires. The ‘fire season’ is officially over. On the first day the fire bans were lifted, which was hot and incredibly windy, people went to town burning off. Guess what happened? Yup, fires out of control.

Reminds me of one year a neighbour down the road, lit debris at the base of a tree. The fire began racing up the trunk and the neighbour began batting at it with his plastic rake, sending embers off into the wind. I stopped and told him I’d rung the fire brigade. He gave me a few choice words as he ran for his hose.

Then there was the other neighbour who lit a fire near their fence and a tree. Youngest Daughter and I stood watching as the flames took over the fence and leapt to the tree. I called the brigade.

We’ve watched a fair bit of weather through our lounge window. One year, hail stones as large as golf and tennis balls bounced into our front garden. The car received a lovely array of circular dents in the roof. Youngest Daughter, being seven, raced into the front yard to collect some hail stones and proudly showed me three. We put them in the freezer to keep them.

Another view was our first year here in a bush fire area. It was Black Saturday. I was already freaked out and the power kept cutting out. I was very aware of how fast fire could spread and there were four big fires well within 20 kms of us. The winds of change could easily bring them our way. I was bravely staying, encouraged by a fire-wise neighbour, when Youngest Daughter went to the window. “Mum,” she said, “Look how pretty the sky is.” I whipped around and saw vivid orange smoke clouds. We cut and ran to our friends for the night.

Other views through my window have been spider webs of rain drops in the trees, gymea lilies silhouetted against the sunrise, children making mudslides down the embankment, cats sunning themselves and pouncing upon one another. I’ll keep watching and let you know what we see next.