Blog Post #8 – Bush Love.

I have fallen deeply in love with Tasmania. It all began with a visit at the end of last year. It was Spring and I was blessed with a few warm days and some bearably chilly nights. It was too cloudy to see much from the top of Mt Wellington but we drove up the side of it anyway and gazed out across mist so thick it could have been water.

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It was five days of bush walking and cider drinking and learning. We climbed to the top of Mt Field and drank water straight from lakes so clear you could see tiny creatures living at the bottom.

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My friend Jarryd, who’d kindly offered to show me around, taught me about old growth forests and threat they’re under. It was the first time I could really understand the magnitude of a tree farm, even though I spent my childhood traipsing through them. I came back with a new motivation to work; I’d need a car if I was to go on my own adventures and who knows how long our national parks will last.

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Since then I’ve been dreaming of ways to integrate employment with thinking about and being in nature. I read Bob Brown’s autobiography and tried not to get carried away. It was absolutely too easy to fall in love with him.

That night in 1993 I lay alone in the rainforest beneath the stars. A ringtail possum whistled. A shooting star flashed across the Milky Way. I was out and free, having just resigned after ten years in the Tasmanian Parliament. The moon climbed slowly through the branches. The roar of the falls echoed in my mind and, in the quiet of the wilderness evening, I went happily to sleep on Earth.

Of course, we can’t all be Bob Brown and I’m certainly not strong willed enough to be a politician. One sideways glance and I’d fall apart. My wounds are still open after what they did to Julia Gillard (and I haven’t even read her book). Instead I applied for a job at Bush Heritage Australia and was promptly rejected.

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Early this week I found another book of interest, this time in the bookshop in the main street of Daylesford (another place I’d love to pack up and ship off to), it was Anna Krien’s Into The Woods. I’ve never been more pissed off and delighted at the same time. It’s a book about the struggle to save Tassie’s old growth forests and I really wish I could have written it. Maybe there’s something there that’s left to write…

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Where to from here I’m not sure. But if you find a good book about Tassie do send it on.

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