when in Eden

There are the things I absorb when a child. I still find feet and inches more immediate in understanding than the metres and centimetres with which I’ve worked with for most of my adult life.

That same unconscious absorbing and acceptance, without much questioning, covered every waking moment. The routines I followed, the religious instruction, social norms and educational curriculum were already in place so – we fit in as best we can and try to make sense of ‘it’ as our brains develop – mine has been slow.

I suppose I could call it a natural, fairly benign, cultural brain washing whereas my dad would have reduced it to learning how to march to the same beat of the drum as everyone else. Still not sure what to make of that and didn’t follow that path. I know that I simmered through much of childhood with a strong sense of ‘what’s fair.’ A large family, struggling, tends to bring that out if sharing is seen as a positive value but there’s also not much to go around.

As children, a case can be made, as it was amongst us, that food should be distributed equally – that’s fair isn’t it? Hmm … could also make the case that the eldest child needs more food because they’re twice as big as the youngest child. Even as children nuance comes into focus.

Ah – ‘we wuz poor.’

There’s a real disconnect in the world view in which I was immersed as a child, complete with a version of Christianity in which Noah’s Ark and Adam and Eve were both real and perhaps not so, and the ‘world’ was maybe not much older than 5 to 10,000 years old yet we also have the stark difference of the Aboriginal reality of 60,000 years of life upon this continent. They can’t both be right.

A few hundred thousand years since man appears in the evolutionary record ... or so I was taught yet no ‘missing link’ between ape and man has been found. Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’, in that respect, is theory based on shaky ground.

And then there are the ‘Out of place artifacts’ and what’s not to like about such mysteries. Upsetting accepted time lines by vast periods of time.

Early Spring here and bush fires rage in the north of the State and could continue to do so for months. Drought continues with no rain in sight so poor prospects on many fronts and yet, here, all appears well, nature makes the most of a few showers and the garden bursts into life.

A few hours each Spring gazing closely at the ground, on my hands and knees, in exactly the same way in which I once ‘specked’ for Sapphires in Central Queensland but now it’s scores of tiny Lady Birds which catch my eye as I undertake a bindii hunt through the grasses and moss which make up most of the lawn. It’s very satisfying and allows for bare foot in the garden. Bindii are beautiful before they set seed at which time barbs replace softness and barefoot becomes painful. It’s worth the ongoing effort but I’d never have thought of just digging them out if I’d not had the vision of a couple of women at an ashram who, while talking and sitting on the grass, were quietly busy with dinner forks digging out the bindii which surrounded them. As the ‘lawn’ was the size of a small football field this struck me at the time as both marvellous and pointless but they did assure me that they weren’t trying to clear the field – just making a start where they are. Something profound about that … think I while remembering and plucking out a small handful of bindii beneath the flowering fruit trees while Lady birds go about their mysterious activity below and bees browse busy above. Glorious.

I suppose any activity could be seen as a distraction but … a distraction from what? A continuous soul sapping focus upon the ills of the world isn’t constructive and glad I am that the Rugby World Cup is happening, that Wales is doing well and that minnow teams cause upset wins.

It’s also a ‘win’ that, in Britain, smart meter installation has temporarily stalled, due to ‘glitches’, thus slowing the roll out of 5G technology.

“The rollout of smart meters has been delayed by four years, [British] ministers admitted last night. In an embarrassing climbdown, they announced that families will now have until 2024 to install one of the devices.”

Hmm … sounds like ‘no choice’ is offered. Hmm … if no-one is offering no choice then …er … nothing can be happening, can it?

What’s absorbed without much question.



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