The scrub today was all green and gold. At the end of a very wet winter, the bush was radiating with shades of sage, jade and emeralds with shocking bursts of beads and clusters of sun kissed yellow of all the acacias, common eutaxia and a few exotics out of place. You know why green and gold are our national colours on a day like this. It’s been months since I have walked through the scrub and along the beach, in this wintering, it’s felt like it’s been close and too far away. I haven’t been able to make my way there through a litany of excuses wrapped in winter blues, which is part of the reason for the attraction of the green and gold.
I was lying on a bed at the end of the week receiving some acupuncture treatment and from the window a towering stringy bark was shedding and layers were caught in branches and suspended vertically waiting for the next southern wind to lift them up and float them to the ground. The tree is probably more than a century old and quite close by are a cluster of red gums lining the route of a mostly now dry creek bed that are definitely pre-settlement. Seeing them through the window, was comforting, reassuring me of their deep roots and unravelling mirroring my treatment experience. The ancient intervention of needles into skin to unblock and call the body to release and relax. Just as the bark unfurls, so do I. It’s been a week or unfurling and unblocking and it hasn’t all been successful, some of my interventions lacked the precision of needles to pressure points. Although some were well marked and landed. Another example of the close and too far away phenomena at play.
Healing pathways are many and there were several occasions during the week where the medicine was over a meal. The well worn experience breaking bread, sharing a conversation, have some laughs and sharing advice and stories has healing properties. I have many meals alone these days in stark contrast to all the years with many around the table, and I miss the end of day of conversation and next instalments of personal soap operas and Quixote-like quests. So the opportunities of having a meal and hearing from peers about what’s going on in their worlds I always say yes too and I definitely am better off from the experience. Stories recounted, may require hushed and conspiratorial tones in public settings and others maybe accompanied by an hilarious roar in the intimacy of a private space. I always leave better from the encounter and a wondering on why I don’t do this more often. Last winter I held a series of dinner parties to bring people to my new location and that served a purpose to connect and give me some roots.
It is also the rhythm of a meal with others that I now value and didn’t at the time of having breakfasts and dinners. I can disrupt the routine of all this now by eating and drinking whenever I like, there is no one to negotiate any piece of the timing, menu or ingredients. The close and too far away phenomenon shows up as liberation, and like all liberations has a shadow inviting the potential to wallow in loneliness and or poor dietary choices. The same lack of discipline that kept me from the green and gold needs to accompany me into making times to eat with family and friends.
Meeting the moment where discourse helps with discernment, stories shape the narrative of our nation and witnessing and listening is healing for all, is going to require me to get some more rhythm around the hearth of mealtimes and listening to the trees for instruction.