This time last week I was up the mountain with Tim and the girls and some other earth lovers, stopping a drilling rig prospecting for gold on the edge of Conservation land. I wrote about them trying to mine the mountain a couple of weeks ago, and a few days after that some friends spotted the rig high on a ridge over the river from us. (There is a time for writing and a time for civil disobedience.)
It’s a five hour return trip, so it’s a leg aching protest but there is something powerful in walking through the forest we are trying to protect. By the time you arrive at the rig you feel like the mountain is urging you on, strengthening your bones to stop the mining, whatever it takes.
(Protect Karangahake is on Facebook if you want more info on those efforts)
Right now I’m writing from a bus on the wild West coast of NZ. Our cups are all full to the brim after four days at the Autumn Unschooling Camp and we are having a bit of a holiday – it’s felt flat out for months now.
We are parked up in a village with a few other families on the road in buses, unschooling with their kids. Lots of different ways of doing life, hey? Don’t believe any one who tells you contentment is only found in jobs and a mortgage… (Brick walls – so overrated hehe.)
We’ve still got a few basic amenities missing at our place, heating, hot water etc but we’re working on it. We do have a grand deck so at least we have an island floating on the mud that surrounds us. April has been a forgiving month of weather after rain-every-day March. We’ve had sun and warmth and we’ve felt so so so happy in our palatial tent at the foot of the mountain. The family we share the land with have fully moved in now and we are loving it, making plans for the farm and having a lot of fun together (although this fun pales in comparison to the fun our kids have as they spend hours on mud missions/ hanging upside down as Vampire Bats in their collective imagination…)
Do any of you get The Green Parent magazine? I’m stoked to tell you that I have a new column in there – each season I will be telling some stories about our off the grid lives here. I’ve always loved The Green Parent, in fact I did my apprenticeship in Attachment Parenting in the online GP discussion forums (or so it seems- I asked those good folks about three questions a day when I first became a mama) and it feels like a real *stars align* thing to be a part of that team.
For a few days now I’ve had a chant (or something) floating around in my mind. I think it was spurred by a Momastry post- about how every day as you go about your life people will be calling “this is important!” “THIS is important” “look! This is important!” And you need to put your hand over your heart and say “no, THIS is important”…
I thought it was totally lovely but a little bit of me did go “Oh, yikes, I am one of those people saying HEY LOOK IMPORTANT THING HERE!” All my life I’ve been one of those people.
But, thinking on it, we don’t need LESS people saying “This is important!” because there are lots of important things and all those people pointing out the important things are simply inviting others to join them in stuff that will often bring joy, peace, the privilege of knowledge/ changing someone’s life/ restoring dignity/ protecting the earth – all good things.
What we need is MORE people putting their hand over their heart and following the lead in there.
So the saying that has been tripping over my mind and laying itself down, draping itself over all the small actions of my day has been:
Pay attention and your heart will show you what is important.
I’m so often away with the fairies, in one place with my head and another with my hands. Thinking about last year, next weekend, what I felt when this happened that time when I was 19 and how much stock I have left for tonight’s soup.
More and more I’m trying to be faithful to each moment as it happens, to really be there in each now, to pay attention with my whole body and mind. I reckon that if I make a habit of this, when it comes to making decisions about how much energy to give to each important thing, the way will be clear. When I am figuring out how many times to climb the mountain to stop the drilling, and exactly how much mischief to cause while up there, I will just know.
So yay, for important things (mundane important things and adrenalin spiking important things) and hearts that can so clearly urge us into the right way.
Back soon with another Really Important Thing!