Taking yogic principles beyond the yoga class……
Once upon a time I lived atop a hill on a 20 acre property with sweeping 360 degree views as far as the eye could see. Affectionately named The Ranch, this property was a wonderful place to be and connect with nature. For the first five years there I lived with James, my husband, who had an affinity for living in high places. People would say we lived up near heaven and thankfully we did.
For three years James lived with cancer and early one morning in July 2009, in the peace and tranquillity of The Ranch, James’s soul left his earthly home with just a short journey to heaven. He was a remarkable man, forever offering heartfelt support to the people in his life, to which the words inscribed on his gravestone attest “Who taught us to believe in ourselves and inspired us to achieve”.
For the next seven years in the solitude of The Ranch I grieved and experienced the loneliest times in my life. I spent many hours in contemplation and reflection and pondering those really deep questions like “what is the meaning of life and death?”
In December 2014 I visited for the first time Lacebark Nature Refuge, a 240 acre property spanning part of Mothar Mountain. I had come to visit Shane who I had met a few months prior. We had spent many hours sharing insights and words of wisdom on topics of common interest, so I thought it time to check out his digs.
With a mixture of farm grazing land, lush wildlife habitats, gullies, dams and a huge mountain slope partially draped with remnant rainforest and home to a few remaining rare giant Ironwoods, this property had a welcoming appeal. Now myself having an affinity for high places, wide open spaces and expansive views, I immediately felt at home.
Shane’s latest undertaking on the property is hand-raising local Australian native seeds to grow and revegetate the mountainside, with a goal to planting some 25 000 plants by the end of 2017.
Wowsers – why on earth would someone want to spend their time growing plants and traversing a very steep mountainside to plant them? The short answer – for the planet to continue to live and breathe, Sue. Oh.
During 2015 I spent my leisure time helping Shane at Lacebark Nature Refuge – building a jetty on the dam, setting up the nursery, weeding paddocks, preparing a huge veggie patch, trekking through the forest and listening to Shane explain his understanding of how this land can be lived and worked upon efficiently and harmoniously (I better not say they were ramblings).
Thanks to Shane I have discovered a deeper appreciation and understanding of living with and caring for the planet. I am also more aware of how the choices I make impact the environment and planet.
In July 2016, seven years after James’s death, I left The Ranch and moved to Lacebark Nature Refuge. With nothing but gratitude and love in my heart for my life with James, the time had come to shift my horizons.
So, mountain musings, what’s it about?
From my perspective, I cannot help but be enthused to share my new found awareness and feelings of living more consciously with the planet and what my experiences with life and death have shown me.
Living up near heaven with death at his door, James spent the last few years of his life pondering his life and his view of the world. He wrote many interesting and inspirational pieces and these writings are worthy of sharing.
For Shane, it is his thoughts and insights from one man’s journey, both the years on the mountain and for the years that led him here. This quiet, humble soul is quite the wordsmith, artiste and craftsman when it comes to working the land, drawing, carpentry and, actually, anything involving his hands. He philosophises and he thinks, perhaps a bit too much he does confess. As he cautiously navigates the mountainside, one cannot help but draw an analogy to life’s journey and put these words to paper.
Through our eyes and hearts we will share with you our Mountain Musings.
We hope you enjoy and find inspiration from our Mountain Musings and invite you to send in any of those BIG questions you may have pondered and we’ll ponder away with you.
I will leave you with this thought inspired by the writings of Canadian Environmentalist David Suzuki; The One-Straw Revolution author Masanobu Fukuoka; and Shane.
“Nature does not hurry and nor should we”
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