Emblazened across his chest ‘nature’ and her arm ‘planet’ encircled with two pythons and an eagle. The dream-catcher bounces along the road swinging like a pendulum determining which beach they will cruise into for the night. A cactus-grown wetsuit hangs on the back along with the designer hoodie. They have chosen their camp spot in the nature reserve of course and now can afford their organic activated almonds.
Out jumps Rainbow, rescued from a dogs’ home and therefore entitled to free range all night on the beach. She can channel the endangered little terns and wallabies warning them she will chase them, but just for fun.
They sit and meditate next to their illegal fire and then send a pic to their friends on insta with a deeply earth-loving quote – nature so precious so blessed to be in Byron.
So many people are blessed to be in Byron. They are coming in droves. They all deeply love nature, have dream-catchers, are free spirits and, it seems, just can’t read signs.
Sunrise is #glorious as they head off after blessing nature with their ablutions. They know how to do this ethically and stack little sticks around their offering like a shrine. Shrines are popping up all over the Shire in carparks, nature reserves, locals’ front yards with their white toilet flags like the Tibetan silk flags.
Surf’s up – they speed up the road just missing the resident nature, a python and some plover birds.
At night around the carparks, shampoos in hand, they prowl, hair wash and conditioner blessing the ocean with their products.
Dave loves Byron. True Blue the dog is with him off to nature but he can’t get a park and after driving from Queensland he is entitled to a spot. He uses his entire grunt and pulls out the ‘No Standing’ sign and nudges ‘gently’ his love deeply into the rainforest.
If Byron were your partner you fell in love with her because of the trees, pristine rainforest, biodiversity, clean beaches, lack of commercialism, artisans, healers, nature, alternatives, give a damn people that kept it free of large-scale developments and highrise that makes it the same as everywhere.
Why then are you dumping on our true love? Our nature reserves are being trashed by the constant free camping and violation of rules designed to protect and respect them. Dogs where owners know they are not allowed, dumping of rubbish after a holiday or backpacking trip – yes mattresses all over the Shire.
It is greed beyond belief when trees are cut down to squeeze another few rooms onto a development. Do you really need to squeeze that fourth bedroom into your development at Suffolk and rip out the trees, or could you be blessed just to partake in such a lifestyle and perhaps give as well as receive?
No camping means no camping. Showers at the beach are for rinsing off and not doing your washing. No dogs means no dogs at all. Buy the dream-catcher made by a local rather than in China and consider your paid parking well worth it considering what you get. Take your joint butts with you rather than jamming them into the picnic tables. If a guest, consider that your neighbour might be a nurse or a parent and need to go to work tomorrow, so turn down the volume.
This is our home, we work hard to keep it Byron by sitting up late at night, when we could be with our partners or kids, writing submissions to stop West Byron, protect Belongil beach, slow down unthinking visitation numbers to our nature reserves – so we can protect and conserve what we have.
Show some respect. Engage, protect and point your white feather in the direction of true love for Byron’s sake.