Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I finally figured out...

what I get from going out to Wauchope cemetery every Sunday...apart from marking the week...

I was out there last Sunday and it was really hot. A dry heat. Cicadas were so loud I couldn't hear anything else.

As I replaced the flowers and washed the bird poo off the headstone, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. When I stood up it felt as if time had stopped and the heat didn't matter anymore...nothing mattered which was as frightening as it was wonderful...if this makes sense.

The bush in Australian summer seems to hum, not just with cicadas, but with something...the quality of the air... the incredible feeling of age which has a way of putting you in your place. It can be a bit unnerving almost alien at times. I think just about anyone who has spent anytime in the bush or close to it has had this feeling. Its almost unAustralian to mention it.

Wauchope cemetery is just on the edge of town...so that you can't see any houses. It is surrounded by tall gum trees and I often see kangaroos out there, all sorts of birds...whoever chose this place for sacred ground knew what they were doing. It has a feeling to it and I get this every time I go there.

It really hit me this last time that what matters isn't how bloody rich we are, how big our "McMansion" is...none of it...all that is inscribed on the headstones of most I could see were little endearments of love. What matters most. What matters most is how we are and how we treat people, not how we are treated...though at a lesser time I will rail about that as well...and take pure bloody enjoyment in doing so.

Now, I know Don is no more out there than he is anywhere ...but its a marker and we all have our sacred ground. For some its the edge of the ocean, for some a favourite tree, whatever...and in a hundred years unless the land becomes too valuable and is desecrated for profit, the stones will crumble as they should...and in that hundred years there will be people who will pass by and wonder and have exactly the same thoughts as I do now...

It really does not matter all the things that we find such a worry...in the end it really does come down to the sort of love that is without conditions, and is compassionate and understanding.

That was something it took Don and I our whole lives to come to. I remember one day about 6 months before he was killed, that we had been bickering...for no reason...just two people in the same room for too long will do it...and he looked at me and said "lets just not do this anymore." I felt the same, because the ones who love you, and who you love are the ones who can hurt you the most and who you can hurt...

after this we never had one more moment of even dissent...it was like as if we were on the same page...not just some of the time, but all the time...should have known something was coming along...and in a way we did...

On Sunday out at the cemetery standing there in the incredible heat, I had such a feeling of peace, a moment of something "other"...that it has stayed with me. The hard thing to do is to remember that feeling.

Sometimes from somewhere if you stop for the moment, you are given a gift like this from somewhere...



.. then there was a really strange dream I had in the wee small hours which had me crawling out of bed crying actually asking out loud "what the bloody hell was that all about?" Scared the cat! It centered around the girls...and their having gotten to a certain age so that we had to plant their feet in the ground as if they were part tree part human. Of course they didn't want do this, and hundreds of images of them seemed to fall about me of them free and human. It seemed to go on for hours and there was a dreadful feeling of loss...loss of freedom for them... but the inevitability of them having to have their feet planted... even had me encouraging them, but knowing that when this happened I would lose them because they would turn into trees... So I told them I'd stay in the middle of where they were...it just got too sad and I woke up crying... Nothing to do with headache tablets or booze ...nothing I could think of which may have created this.

I get very nervous when I have these sorts of dreams about my kids. After the experience the other day I should know better than to have useless fears...but am superstitious enough not to discount these things


17 comments:

Mom said...

One of my favorite songs says in the chorus,
"We are standing on holy ground, and we know that there are angels all around."
Sound like you were experiencing that holy ground and felt it's peace.

Linda J said...

I get that feeling of immense age and distance in the Australian bush, too. And, summer seems to intensify it. A bit like the evocative "Picnic at hanging rock", eh Therese?
Lovely to see your lovely new cat is faring well ;-)
Linda

Sling said...

I think Don would be pleased to know that you can find some peace.

Cazzie!!! said...

I read this with such emotion, I cannot put into apt words. I FEEL your emotions, I cannot explain it. I have the same bond with my husband. I had a dream the other night, I forgot about it until you mention your dream here. It woke me, and well, it was time to get up to get the kids off for their first day of school. So, naturally, a busy mum getting 4 kids ready...I had forgotten about it.
I was boarding a big aeroplane with the kids, I had forgtten something back on the seat at the terminal, I ran back to get the item, I don't know what it was..and the plane took off with the kids in it, and hubby too. I was frantic, I was beside myself, I thought they could not do without me. Desprate, I cried. Then, another frame of the dream, they are alighting from the plane and I am there, they run to me, we hugg, there was peace.
I am so glad you felt calmness....it was coming, I knew it would have been sooner than later. It is what your soul needed.

Mal's Team Gherkin said...

The bush is the great reconnection with our soul (or something). I love getting out into the middle of the bush, and just sit and let it envelope me inside and out.

rosemary said...

Therese, you are such a great writer....you should think about collecting some of these posts and publishing them. This was just lovely...so very lovely.

Random Thinker said...

The quality of the Australian bush you describe is similar to the feeling I got when I was in Yellowstone Park in the western US. An almost other worldly feel to it. One of the few places I've been where it feels like humans are just one equal piece of the whole picture.

Jules said...

I get this feeling in the NZ bush, or at the river or in the mountains. There is a place in Arthurs Pass called Castle Hill. That is a magical place for me.

I too read this with such emotion flowing through my veins. You have a way of making me FEEL your feelings. I swell with love and feeling when I read your words.

You are so insightful darling lady, I thank the pagan gods of nature that I found you through Cazzie and that I get to share your thoughts.

Much love.

As for the dream, maybe, just my interpretation, you could be worried that the girls are settling down into their lives and may forget to include you as much as you would like, putting down their roots, developing their own little families like you and Don had. And maybe you have a worry that they are making personal sacrifices about THEIR values to be settling down. Not sure if I have gotten this across in the way I wanted to.

Middle Child said...

Mom, I guess that "sacred ground" is where you find it... nice words - thanks

Middle Child said...

Linda...one of our favourite movies is "Picnic at Hanging Rock" such that we made our own home version "Picnic at Don Rock" I got to play Mrs Appleyard Apple cart " Its about 20 mins and on DVD and if I could ever figuire out how to get it up on you tube I would...its a real hoot...Don played little fat eadie...I might even watch that again tonight...

Middle Child said...

Sling, "peace of mind" it comes and goes... these last years have been a lesson to me...I never imagined it would be like this...all part of life hey! Never too old to learn...

Middle Child said...

Cazzie - I am so pleased you have the same bond with your husband...its rare enough these days...but even after all the pain i would do it again and again... all the years of love and fun, despair, worry, silliness etc were worth it many times over...

I just wish more people felt this way. As you know its not easy and there are times...but if you get through them...its worth

Middle Child said...

Mal...I wonder do kids who have onoy lived in large cities like Tokyo or beijing get this feeling amongst the towers or do we need the bush to feel this way..how sad for them if do we need the bush this way.

Middle Child said...

Rosemary... thank you...i write best when i feel...I just wish I could get back to writing something funny for a change...I do print out the ones like this just in case blogger dissapears...its like a sort of diary on here really.

Middle Child said...

Random thinker...sounds like a wonderful place... some places have that something...if we are still long enough we feel it...shame we are always in such a hurry these days... maybe get over younder one day just to see...

Middle Child said...

Jules you are a wise kiwi...I felt that about the dream about the girls...and also a worry that they are settling for less...their choice... and no doubt the right ones...I think you might be spot on with the dream...

glad you have magic places over NZ way...my youngest sister lives on the south Island...but she never talks about magic or that feeling...they all mountain climb and bike ride etc...but maybe need to stop and smell the roses...once in a while.

cs said...

Precious friend, how you sort things out in your mind is quite amazing. Dreams and images..sometimes they do tell us things, but mostly it is our soul gathering a comfortable place to roam--our minds

Your Don, is at home. Your love is an inspiration to all of us. That never fades away. It is that love that conquers all, and it permeates the heavens. You are right about the people--not the living large and McMansions. How we can be so wicked to each other and hurtful. The devil is alive in many of us.

Let him not reign in our hearts any longer...