Rocky Creek Dam. Tuesday, 12.15pm
Sometimes, you find beauty just when you need it. A salve to the soul.
I’m walking along the Rocky Creek Dam wall. It’s a beautiful summers day – except it’s winter. I’m sweating. This makes me a little uneasy. Call me old fashioned, but I like cold winters and hot summers. That seems natural, right?
I look at the forest around the dam: rainforest trees already looking a little dried and fried. What will summer bring? Bloody climate change. Wrecks eveything. Makes me anxious. I can’t even look at a beautiful forest anymore without wondering how it will fare in the future.
Climate change is the big issue facing humanity. (Yeah, yeah, we know, but what about NBN download speeds?) But few want to address the awful reality. You talk about climate change these days and people roll their eyes, quickly finish their tumeric latte and make some excuse for leaving.
The problem is too big to contemplate. Especially for the government. So they go about making a complete and expensive meal out of marriage equality when it should have been a morning’s work before they got down to the real business of reducing carbon emissions, implementing renewable power and preparing for an uncertain future.
For a delusion of importance, they imitate the huff and puff of that American weirdo and are prepared to send Australian troops to yet another war (we love making war) against that Korean weirdo (who has a better haircut than the American weirdo anyway).
Politicians live in another world that is barely connected to reality. They live in subsidised denial, confident that their privilege will give them better survival opportunities in the future.
I’m coughing a lot now and my throat is sore. I suck on some sugary menthol thing, breathing in the cooling menthol flavour, but it makes no difference. I’m coming down with the flu. Oh dear. Maybe that explains the sweating. This morning, waking up in my shack under the cliffs, I was okay. But now I’m rapidly spiralling down into a black hole of biliousness.
A few days ago, a mate told me that I should get a flu shot. I laughed at him. Ha, ha, I laughed. I’m not that old. What next? Measles shot? Slippers? (I’m in age denial.)
Getting the flu, I said to him, makes you tough. It’s as Aussie as dual citizenship.
That’s why we have sick days. Now if there was a hangover shot, I said, I’d have one of those for sure.
I sit on the dam wall, and breathe deeply. I’m tempted to assume the lotus position but there are other people around and it would be embarrassing. I’m not sure that deep breathing helps with the flu, but it is a general hippie remedy for most things. It does help with my anxiety.
The flu can exacerbate depression. My body is under attack from a horde of nasty germs. My body situation is a metaphor for the planetary situation. Sick and wheezing. And time has nearly run out (some say it has already) for our politicians to take decisive action on the issues that matter. I don’t feel good.
Sometimes, you find beauty just when you need it.
I look out over the dam. At its edge are lillies. Hundreds of them. A carpet of many colours – from baby green to mature gold to dying orange. It’s gorgeous.
Like a sunset, even an ending can be beautiful, I guess.
I don’t assume the lotus position (I’m not that flexible), but I straighten my back and put my hands together in my lap.
The winter sun is warm on my back. That’s better.