29 May 2008

Crossing the Border Ranges

"Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me
leading wherever I choose."

— Walt Whitman

Song of the Road

and so yay, alas, On Saturday the 24th of May, I set sail to cycle across the land.

With last minute packing, and a final check-over the tree planting down in the gully, I set-off only a few hours from sunset, to my friend Darrens home on the edge of the Border Ranges.

I spend a couple of truly grounding days up on this magical little ridge, nestled on the southern edge of the world heritage Border Ranges National Park.

The vegetation would best be described as Mexican Desert~Rainforest eco-tone.

We went on two bushwalks, one in the day and the other at night.

The sound of the Sooty-owl is etched in my minds eye, a most hauntingly beautiful intense spiraling whistling screeching sound. What an adventure trekking through the Rainforest in the middle of the night.

The next day we climbed Mt Gipps, and I heard (wow) and eventually saw (WOWeeee!) for the first time ever, an Alberts Lyrebird, and extremely rare ground dwelling bird that mimics the sound of other animals and even chainsaws and camera lenses. They are an ancient species with no living relatives (besides the more common Superb Lyrebird).

they are only found in these Ranges between NSW and QLD.

Listen to some of the birds sounds on the Lamington National Park Website

This transitional experience is just what I needed before heading out on the road alone. A time to reconnect with my what I feel to be my home, the life on these mountains. To listen to the birds, touch the moss and lye in the sun with the company of a warm hearted brother who absolutely loves nature.

So, alas, the time did come When I crossed the border from Mexico (aka northern nsw) into Queensland and rode in a some-what vague North-Westerly direction. (which at times became south-west ... or was that north south ?)

The first couple of days were difficult. physically, emotionally, spiritually ... you name it.

there is the personal quest of "Being true to me", finding a way to express my gifts and talents that provide me with an income which could also somehow make a difference in the world, for the good of not just mankind, but the entire living biosphere.

I'm aware that we live in most uncertain times, our disconnection from nature has lead man to exploit and consume much of the Earths natural resources, at a rate that is totally unsustainable.

this troubles me, it sometimes leaches the hope from my soul. What world will our children live in ? how many species will go extinct this century all because we forgot how absolutely beautiful our Mother Earth is ? (you remember? the colour of sunrise, the water in the creek, the sound of the wind?)

and so, when I'm heart connected, I feel that all is well. there is no need to fear, follow your passion, stay close to the Earth, do what makes you feel whole and happy.

be present. stay awake.

like the poem...

Feel compassion for the world
but don't let your passions turn into rage..

See the problems and imperfections
but realize that it's just a passing phase..

stop trying to fix the whole world

and work on your own soul and self..

and when you have changed enough my friend
you'll see those changes everywhere else.

sometimes we loose touch with our heart, and get swept up int fear and uncertainty.

Who Am I ? Why Am I Here ? What is my purpose ?

I welcome these feelings and just allow myself to naturally 'undo the knot' so-to-speak, by just breathing and observing. riding along, feeling a bit out of touch with my vision, I remember to breath and acknowledge the age old quote "no rain- no rainbows".

very interesting how the outer-landscape matched my inner-landscape for these first couple of days, the bare deforested country in South East Queensland, a direct result of an intense land clearing lifestyle that took hold no more than 200 years ago.

and yet hope and inspiration to live for the bigger picture came in the form of the Eagle, a powerful animal that for me, represents Freedom, Vision and Insight.

everything in nature (and we are nature) is cyclic.

In every winter's heart
is a quivering spring,
and behind the veil of each night
there is a smiling dawn.

-Khalil Gibran

just like climbing a mountain, what goes up must come down. All patterns in the pulse of life

One day we feel super light and alive and connected, the next we feel dense and our energy becomes restricted.

“When I die and my ashes are sprinkled in the places I love, I wouldn't want people to say of me only, "She was a great teacher," or "I loved her writing." I would like at least one person to come closer, to add, " she was also lonely, she suffered alot, she was mixed up, she made some big mistakes ...but she was important to me." Then I would feel really honored, as though someone had seen and known me. "

— Natalie Goldberg, The Great Failure

And so riding along, north of the Border Ranges, a few days into the ride, within site of Main Range National Park in the west, my energy shifts and I feel lighter, ready to take on this big mountain pass called "Cunninghams Gap".

it was this moment when I really felt, this is happening ... I'm doing it.

Not sure how high this pass was, but it was a big one and I have since reassessed what I truly need on this journey (balsamic vinegar? hahhaha, yehhh right).

I made it up into the Main Range National Park right on sunset, with massive big mother Truckers hooning passed at 100km an hour.

At the top of the gap is a magical refugium of sub-tropical Rainforest, home to many rare species.

And the moment came, when I realized my purpose in life, was to ride my bicycle 4km through a Rainforest Trail to the campsite.... I wouldn't be surprise (at all) if I was the only person in the Milky Way Galaxy who has ever ridden this trail)

WOW ... this experience was one of pure bliss. the light was fading but the trail just kept sweeping down through gully's and around ridges ... perfect off-road cycling.

the bliss subsided when I got to the bottom and had to cross a creek and go up 20 or so steps (with a bike, 2 panniers and a trailer !!!) ... eeek

The energy of this place was amazing, I sat back in total awe. I feel connected to the source of life and just happy to "BE" alive. feeling how my breath naturally draws in oxygen from the environment. I am a living "Being".

the stars were out so I slept under them, and early in the morning the moon came to visit ... and then a storm cloud came and I quickly put the tent up.

after a visit from the local Satin bowerbirds, I ate some porridge and took off for Toowomba, over 100km away...

The first 20 or so kilometers was all downhill ~ yummmmmmmy. more bliss

I rode through Goomburra country for the second time, and eventually I got on the New England Highway and rode into Toowoomba with a big dark storm chasing me down as the sun sat in the West.

And so here I am today, having a chill day, as the weather is windy and looks like rain any second.

my legs are a little saw after yesterdays 100km plus day.

and so, alas, I've now ridden 280km since leaving home.

my direction ? I'm sourcing it from each moment, but generally I aim to reach the sacred Bunya Mountains in a few days, and then keep heading west towards Canarvon Gorge, out in the Central Highlands. (hopefully to do some volunteer work with Bush Heritage Australia.

I'm still very much feeling to reconnect with the Newcastle tribe for Climate Camp in July, but not on the bike, either hitch or fly.

After that, I'll follow the sun north ... eventually reaching the Daintree or maybe even Cooktown (wow, or maybe even Papua New Guinea .... or India ... or Ireland).

until next time, remember to breath ~

Love ya's

"Every Step of the Journey IS the ultimate destination"

- Kenny

Tiny Blue Dot

Click for Interview with Joanna Macy

7 May 2008

Rainforest Rescue

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

...Robert Frost

In a little over a week I shall leave the little town of Kyogle to cross the border into Queensland and ride my bicycle 2,500km up into the World Heritage Wet-Tropics area.

This is a unique time of both personal and global change, and I'm feeling a great sense of joy to be alive, despite the challenges we all must confront.

Amongst the ever-increasing destruction and degradation of our life-support systems (ecological service providers), I feel that there has never been a time like this one, when the global community can come together in the spirit of co-operation and work together collectively as one unified whole in the battle against fear, inertia and ignorance.

The main intention for this bicycle adventure is to experience a Journey through both the inner and outer landscapes of my perception.

To meet different people and see new communities of plants, animals, birds, fish, reptiles and frogs (eco-systems). From the drier highlands of Central Queensland to the lush Rainforest Country east of the Great Dividing Range, up into the pristine Daintree and Cape Tribulation.

The aim is to learn, grow, expand and educate myself by observing and learning new ways of living more gently on the Earth.

I've joined WWOOF Australia (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) and hope to meet and experience a range of people who are "Walking the Talk" by creating sustainable living systems.

I also hope to make new connections for seeds of tropical Fruit & Nut Trees, especially anything rare or unusual, for my family to grow back home at Daleys Nursery.

Another aspect of this adventure is to Raise awareness of our need to appreciate and conserve our remaining Natural Eco-systems, which bind together the fabrics of all life on our planet.

One of the Earths oldest living communities is the Rainforest, which is home to over half of all species, yet now only covers less than 5% of the total land surface.

Experts estimate that we are losing 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation. That equates to 50,000 species a year.

Although this is a devastating reality, the only remedy is HOPE and ACTION

Together, collectively, we ALL have the power to make a real difference

So I've connected with a local environmental not-for-profit organisation RainforestRescue and aim to raise funds for their crucial Rainforest Conservation work.

If your feeling generous and ready to make a difference ~ please

Make a Tax-deductible online


Print, complete and return the Daintree Donation/Gift Card Order Form

Rainforest Rescue is involved with the Conservation of Rainforest eco-systems all over the Earth. From their local "Big Scrub" project in Northern NSW, to the ancient Forests of Borneo, Sri Lanka, South American Equador and up in the North Queensland Wet-tropics.

As I'll be riding to the Wet-tropics of Northern Queensland, Australia...
Two thirds of the lowland Daintree rainforest is currently at risk from rural residential development. Your donation will help buy back and protect forever this World Heritage value land which is habitat for over 100 threatened species.

Each $25 buys and protects 5 square metres of the Daintree.


Although surrounded by the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area parts of the Coastal Lowland Tropical Rainforest from the Daintree River to Cape Tribulation still remain unprotected and endangered.

These rainforests are of international conservation importance as one of the most significant regional ecosystems in the world.

They record the eight major stages of the evolution of land plants and in particular the origin, evolution and dispersal of the flowering plants (angiosperms).

The Daintree rainforests possess one of the greatest concentrations of primitive flowering plants in the world and contain more plant taxa with primitive characteristics than any other tropical forest.

Of the 19 most primitive plant families world wide, 12 are found in the Daintree, a similar number of primitive families to that found in all the rainforest of South America.

The Daintree Rainforests are the last extensive areas of lowland rainforest still connected and linked as a continuum with the main upland rainforest massif to the west. This connectivity is integral to the long term integrity and sustainability of both these forests and their fauna.

The Daintree Rainforests are critical habitat for the endangered Cassowary. They are also vital habitat for the primitive Musky Rat-kangaroo, the rare Bennett's Tree Kangaroo, endangered Spotted-tailed Quoll, and a myriad of smaller creatures little known to science.

With the road to Cape Tribulation now bituminised settlement of the privately owned allotments within the Daintree is escalating, resulting in the on-going loss of habitat and forest connectivity.


The Daintree is the heart and soul of the Wet Tropics

Rainforest Rescue's Daintree Buy Back and Protect Forever Project has contributed to the purchase and protection of nine properties so far. The properties are being managed for their conservation values, which will be protected forever.

Please join us in saving our priceless rainforest heritage.

Increased residential settlement will lead to calls for reduction in Crocodile numbers.

1 May 2008

Words are Seeds

The words you speak sow seeds in the minds of those who hear.
The formed word is like the shell of the seed. It hides the potential
for manifestation in its tiny, unassuming exterior. The word can fool
us with its humble appearance. It passes swiftly in conversation:
just a couple of syllables, spoken and then gone.

And yet, like the seed in the earth, the word may have vanished from view, but there, under the surface, it enters a transformational process.
With just a few favorable conditions, that camouflaged fleck takes root.

The shell of the word (its spelling, sound and language) cracks open in the fertile ground of consciousness. Out pours its vibrational essence.
Three Kinds of Words.

You can find countless more complex classifications of words
than this one. This little system has nothing to do with grammar or parts of speech. It simply sorts all your words into three piles of seeds.

Flowers. Flower words beautify your experience. When you speak them they brighten those who hear. They highlight what is wanted in a way that makes good things palpable and present.
When you speak flower words, these seeds sprout into beneficial experiences in the lives of those who are listening.

Fruits. Fruit words nourish. In times of tragedy, fruit words offer ease and comfort. In times of challenge, these words bring encouragement. In times of inspiration, they burst with colorful, nutritious enthusiasm.
Fruit words fill a gap with just what is needed. They carry the recipient forward. Fruit words work miracles.

Weeds. Weed words perpetuate habits. Some of them can even look pretty and serve a function, but if you sow too many weeds they tend to squeeze out the flowers and fruits.
Weed words are the ones spoken with no clear intention. They fill whatever
space they can and they offer no harvest.
Weed words dampen your sense of aliveness. 

Two Kinds of Soil.
Words float from your lips and they land in two places at once.

They land in others who hear your words and they also land in you.

Others. Once your words have been spoken and heard, the seed's shell begins to dissolve very quickly. The vibrational essence reverberates in the recipient and mingles with their experiences and associations. A whole new creation takes form.

You. When you hear your own words, they re-impregnate your field of consciousness with the essence of the meaning you intended when you spoke them. 

If they were flower words, your life would become happier because you spoke them.

If they were fruit words, you would feel more satisfied and stabilized in their wake.
Many times in the day we tend to speak weed words. In that case, you maintain your state just the way it has been.

No great benefit or detriment comes of it.
If you begin tipping the scales toward more and more weed words, you'll start to feel the undesirable outcome of your sowing.

On the other hand, if you get even a little bit
more intentional with your flowers and fruits and cut down on your weed words,
... the difference in your manifestation will be remarkable.

No Dictionaries.
It's easy to tell which words are which. You can tell by the way you feel
as the words are coming out of your mouth what kind of seeds you are speaking.
You don't have to look up a word in the dictionary to see if it is a flower or a weed. It won't even work to make a list of fruit words and decide to speak only those.
Since the spoken or written word only shows you the outer shell of the seed, you must look inside yourself at every utterance to know what kind of seeds you are sowing.

The very same word, when spoken in different situations, may germinate with
completely different results.

Instant Harvest. Although words can instigate creation of tremendous duration, there is a moment of instant harvest as the words are spoken. You can feel the immediate sprouting even before you finish your sentence.
At that moment, if you recognize a weed taking form, you can shift your conversations and produce a flower before you even pause for your next breath.

Joyous Harvest. Paying attention to the seeds you are sowing with your words has nothing to do with word selection.
Let your words flow. In order to harvest a joyful
satisfying life, follow these three simple instructions and let the words choose

ONE. On the day-to-day path of your consciousness, let your attention be drawn to things you love.
The more you allow this natural movement, the more you will be
inspired to utter flower words.

TWO. In your interactions with others, see everyone you encounter as an expression of divine life force in a unique configuration. The more you look into the essence of others, the more you will be inspired to utter fruit words.
THREE. Assign brief periods, maybe five or ten minutes, when you pause before
speaking. In these segments, check your intention before the words become sound. In these brief, private training sessions, you will invite greater expression of flowers and fruits and you will begin to naturally diminish the weed population in your conversation.

You can inspire others to greatness. You can open your access to ever expanding joy. Make your sowing of words more intentional and your life will overflow with a continuous harvest of fulfillment.
by Rebbie Straubing