I’m an ecologist, a writer, a musician, and a father, living on Ngunnawal country, what we used to call Canberra, what we used to call the capital of what we used to call Australia. My European Jewish family was uprooted numerous times over the 20th century, and I grew up feeling connected to Russia, China, Hungary, Britain, Australia, nowhere and everywhere. I’ve grown roots.
One of the things I’ve come to love is the feeling of lying in bed in the mornings, not quite awake, not really asleep, knowing that it’s totally fine to be here while some other members of my family, my extended family, my broad family, are up and about tending to the food garden we share in this gorgeous urban space.
It’ll get too hot to be out and about in a couple of hours, despite the shade trees we’ve cultivated to make sure the crops survive. So the early risers amongst us get up before the sun. Not me. That’s never been my thing. But then, since none of us need to work more than a few hours a day anymore, their work will be over before mine has really begun. Not that I consider it work, frankly, and neither do they. Our labour, we once would have said, I suppose. How strange it is to think back on how busy we kept ourselves. For what? To drive a made-up economy that made nobody happy, made a handful of people appallingly wealthy, and pushed our planetary home into the shaky state we’re slowly healing it from.
I promised the grandkids that I’d take them down this morning to the play park that’s been built at the lake, shaded by those new translucent solar panels the brilliant folks at ANU have developed. Better check the e-bikes are charged up. And we could catch the tram most of the way back, if it’s too hot to ride. Might check in on the way back with Uncle Wally to make sure that his mob are happy with the plans we need to discuss at this evening’s community council. There are some concerns about how we manage the quick testing regime for SARS-COV-38 at the High Speed Rail interchange. Doubtless, the yarning circle will deal with it, and I don’t want to pre-empt the conversation, but it’s good to be informed of people’s views in advance. And it’s always good for the little ones to get used to the idea that these conversations are part of everyday life.
Oh, and I mustn’t forget to pop in to the health co-op either today or tomorrow. I wanted to tell Dr Tsai about the co-op I read about in Buenos Aires who had managed to reduce their plastic use by 45% without compromising safety. I know the plastics we use here now are plant-based, but it’d still be better to reduce unnecessary materials. And at the last co-op general meeting, a few people raised their concerns about that. Let’s see what we can do.
But for now, I’d better get these creaky bones out of bed and find some coffee. Thank goodness we’ve still got coffee. Give me coffee, a book, some Ravel playing, and a bettong curled up in my lap, and I’ll be happy anywhere. But most of all here. We made it work.