Hellena Post - Creatrix

I've tried on so many uniforms and badges that now I'm just me - mother of 8 children and all that entails, flowmad, and human animal parent. Writer of this living book of a blog, philosopher, and creatrix of hand dyed and spun crocheted wearable art. I gave up polite conversation years ago, and now I dive into the big one's.....birth, sex, great wellness, life, passion, death and rebirth.


Monday, October 10, 2011

The further adventures of the big little mob……

Sofala was absolutely beautiful…..gorgeous river with smooth stones and a long long riverbank to explore, stone skimming skills to be developed, a huge hill behind the camp for the kids to practice their rock climbing skills on, no neighbours (we’ve been really lucky with that aspect so far), and beautiful plants that we hadn’t seen before………..but absolutely freezing! 

Mornings till about 10, and nights from about 6 were hellishly cold.  I reckon hell would have to be freezing if you believed in hell, cause there’s no more intricate punishment than cold fingers and toes and head and that strip of your back between your pants and your top.  But it wasn’t just the cold, it was having 2 crawling babies that woke up at the crack of dawn and wanted to be out, out, OUT! first thing every morning, and my frustrated maternal instinct that wanted to keep them warm and cosy and safe…which led to screaming babies and a very grumpy mum.  And I took it personally!!  The cold, my protesting pregnant body, and the cold were specifically aimed at me!!  I had more than a few tantrums, as I went to sleep with 3 layers of everything, and my woollen hat underneath a ridiculous amount of bedding that I could barely move under.  And as I woke up having to keep two crying babies in and warm till the sun started to unfreeze us.  I told Currawong in no uncertain terms that I wanted a house with walls and a roof, and a fenced yard for the babies to crawl around in safely, and WARMTH!!  Regularly.  Poor fella was so busy feeling happy and free to be away from all the stresses we’ve had around us, that it took him a while to realise that I wasn’t deliberately trying to piss him off by feeling differently. 



We spent three days and nights in Sofala, and then drove out to see the town where I’d spent my first 7 years.  Took some photos of the house where I came after I was born, and it was really weird.  I so wanted to go in, and was about to knock on the door and then lost my bottle, so didn’t. 

Then we headed into Kandos, where I went to school for the first time, and my family shopped, and everyone seemed happy and smiley! We had a pub lunch on a verandah, and the woman gave us a blow up jumpy castle to play with at the same time.  Saw a groovy rainbow clad woman and her daughter in the supermarket, and then we chatted in the op shop, and she tempted us back to her place with an offer off a baby holder, a cup of tea, and a place to camp.  And there was Jules, living in a tiny country town in the land of my birth, totally awesome, living in an amazing space, and we very quickly realised we had a lot in common. 

The place to camp quickly turned into a granny flat to stay in for as long as we needed, and not only did it have walls and a roof, but it also had a fence to keep the boys in, not to mention the most awesome kids toys I’ve come across, as she was a day care mamma!!  She also had two gorgeous daughters who were around the same age as Spiral-Moon and Lilly, and they all set about playing and getting on like they’d known each other since they were born.  And Jules spread light, love, and laughter as a healing balm all round us, like a walk in a springtime forest.  We’d all been through a similarly tough time since about March, and helped, listened and talked to each other in a way that made us all feel better.  You know how good it can be to talk to someone outside of your friends and family about a situation??  Someone with no agenda, and no knowledge about the intricate details?  Not least, in telling someone else about a situation right from the start, it can help you gain some insight, by telling the story in a different way than you would to someone who already knows bits….  And also, to meet someone so groovy must mean that we were back on the groovy train again.  Thanks Jules for all the wonderful things you did for us!  She also has a circle of amazing friends, and we were honoured to get an introduction to the alternative side of the land of my birthJ  Kinda did something really special for me and the little girl inside, to be around the land where I was born, and bumping into awesome colourful folk, having an amazing adventure. 




But after a luscious five day break from the road with Jules, it was time to continue our journey, as the Rainbow Coroborree was calling.  So we drove through Mudgee, stopping to talk to a groover in a wheelchair with the most awesome attitude….he reckons the doctors told him he’d never move, and were totally stumped by his amazing healing – he said it was all in his head.  He said there was never a horse he couldn’t ride, and he had the same kind of attitude towards his healing.  I told him about what my mate Daniel had written on the back of his wheelchair years ago…..”My only disability is your inability to see my ability” and he loved it.  Not far from Mudgee we drove past the largest open cut coal mine in the country……we were all quiet as we drove through the surreal scene of massive vehicles on mountains of black that they’d driven from the huge gashes in the land.   

Then we drove through the incredible land with epic rocks and breathtaking vistas on the way into Scone – the horse capital of Australia – and Currawong made a bizarre little movie about the road we were on.   We stopped that night in Gundy, a little showground up in the hills surrounding Scone, with the most awesome facilities we’d ever seen….and the bathrooms had showers facing each other which meant that we could chat as we showered and washed babies.   We were almost tempted to stay another night, but again, the road was calling. 




After an insanely slow drive with a massive headwind, the next stop was Bendemeer, where there was a free camping spot on gorgeous lawns near the river, and a crappy caravan park in the dirt up the hill….and you can imagine how happy the caravan park owner was about that.  Our first interaction with the town was an elderly fella in a tractor telling us that we had to camp closer to the toilets and away from the lush spot we’d picked, cause of the ‘idiot on the hill’.  He and other volunteers were trying to keep the free camp open, so we didn’t rock the boat, and went back where he said to camp.  And had only been there a short time, when we got a visit from the local constabulary, in the form of a woman with a lady tattooed on her forearm, a rather short haircut, and you’d have to describe her as having a slightly masculine demeanour.  There was obviously not much to do in the tiny town, so she was checking us out (our van does tend to stick out just a tad…), and told Currawong that she would have met us sooner rather than later if we’d parked in our original spot, as the poor ole caravan park owner was watching EVERYTHING that went on by the river.  She turned out to be real friendly, even flashed her lights for the kids as she left.  And afterwards, Currawong was saying he thought she was a dyke but couldn’t be sure, and after a bit of thought, I said “Of course she was!!  Not only was there the short haircut and the butch effect and the tattoo of the chick on her forearm, but on finding out that Currawong was travelling with 6 kids in tow, she said he was a braver man than her!!………..”  She even told me as soon as she met me, that she’d just told my husband that he was a braver man than her to be travelling with the big little mob.  Made us laughJ  There were swooping magpies which the kids hadn’t encountered before, and those caterpillars that clump together in the hundreds and spit at you, so the kids were totally entranced.  Dodging magpies while observing clumps of caterpillars provided entertainment for our entire stay.  There were also some grey-haired nomads in camp, and we kinda kept away from them, and then wished we hadn’t as we chatted just before we left.  A sweet couple who had been chatting to the kids told me that our kids were absolutely delightful, and we should be proud of the job we were doing.  And a Vietnam Veteran that Currawong chatted to said exactly the same thing.  We left with a warm glow…..



And then drove to Armidale, where we set up camp at Dumaresque Dam outside of Armidale that had a fungal bloom in the water so we couldn’t touch it.  Which was another sort of torture.  Cause it was really hot the next day, and Currawong’s back was out, and we could see all this beautiful water around us but not touch it.  Torture. 

Not to mention, it was at this fateful dam that I had to come out of denial and realise that those spots on the kids weren’t mozzie bites, and we really did have a case of Chicken Pox.  We’d hung out with my soul sister and her mate the day before we left, and their big boy was contagious unbeknownst to them, and she’d let me know early on in the trip, and we’d just kept going, hoping that it wasn’t going to become an issue.  But we had em.  And I thought I’d had them before, as my big girl had a mild case and I didn’t show a spot, but I got some spots on my belly that couldn’t have been insect bites and started to freak out.  It was hot, we had spots, we weren’t going to make it to the Rainbow Coroborree, and I was worried about the unknown, and being pregnant, and Currawong’s back was sore, and it was time for another tantrum……



But on the happier side…..I put my spider web up for the first time in the Soul Pad, and it fit amazingly.  Like a vortex leading up to the pinnacle.  After living with it for a day though, and catching hair in it, and dipping down to walk because of it, I decided it was absolutely gorgeous to look at, but a total pain in the arse to live with.  Currawong reckons that could sometimes be a metaphor for our life…….

So off we choofed again, heading towards Tenterfield, and we’d picked a camp in the Basket Swamp National Park in the hills behind.  As we drove up there though, we noticed they were burning off close to where we were going to camp, and there was only one road in and out, and there was also a huge amount of dry wood and grass in between the fire and us.  And the girl inside who grew up in the fire prone Blue Mountains said “Nooooo!!!” very loudly.  Not to mention, when we finally found the campground, it was the most insalubrious camp we’d ever seen, not even remotely baby friendly, and I was paranoid about paralysis ticks…..  So we headed back into Tenterfield and set up camp to much wailing and weeping in the dark, trying hard not to let our tempers fray too much and lose the plot.  Having a family shower first thing in the morning kinda made up for it, but we were all happy to leave Tenterfield. 


And from Tenterfield the land started showing up signs of rainforest, lush green landscape, and the semi-tropical finery of the area of the Northern Rivers that we’d been dreaming about so long.  The air started to smell of ridiculously opulent bouquets of wild flowers, and you could almost FEEL the trees growing.  Through Casino, and on towards Lismore, the kids were checking it all out, and Griffyn was telling me that he was wondering whether the land we were driving towards was really as lush as I’d told them, and whether he’d get there and think it was just like any other place after all.  Until we started driving up the hill to Protestors Falls, into true rainforest, and they had their heads out the windows whooping and sniffing and calling out all the amazing things they were seeing, and were yelling to me that it was BETTER than I’d told them, and amazing, and wonderful, and as many other big happy words they could think of. 

Now, if you’ve never been to pristine rainforest that’s never been logged, at this point I have to stop and tell you that you really really must do it as soon as humanly possible.  Because it’s amazing.  It’s alive, and lush, and splendid, and huge, and puts a human in it’s proper perspective…..as tiny and insignificant.  The majesty of Protestors Falls takes my breath away, and has done ever since I made it’s acquaintance.  If you don’t know the story, way back in the late 60’s, they were going to log the land called Terrania, where Protestors Falls is, and a group of people got together and strongly lobbied and WON!!  They not only protected Protestors Falls (hence the name), but set the precedent for many other rainforests in the area to be protected as well.  And I for one profoundly thank them, for what they saved and their strength.  When we first got to the cool welcome of the Falls, the kids disappeared down to the creek, and as we went to check on them, we saw an amazing family of two elders and two daughters working industriously in the creek, making balancing stone sculptures from the river rocks on the shore, and on ridges, and in the water, and the effect was completely spellbinding. Currawong told me later, that the woman had told him that her squatters camp in the forest had become part of the heritage application.  An archetypally magical rainforest river with stone sculptures scattered throughout became a mystical fairyland…… 




And then I walked over to the fella who looked like he was sleeping in his car, and asked him if it was okay to sleep in our van for the night, and it turns out that he was David Birch, not only one of the original protestors who’d defended the forest, but the fella who wrote the protest song to boot!!!  He pulled out the Terrania magazine from the early 70’s that had been all about their protest efforts, and showed me a picture of him with his guitar, at the head of the pack!  I was blown away, and honoured, and I figured that if that man said it was groovy for us to stay, that was all the permission we neededJ  He went on to tell us stories, and play with our kids, and he couldn’t quite believe that we were all travelling in our van and sleeping in it as well, and reckoned that we came with the most amazing entourage that he’d ever come across.  Which was high praise coming from such a man……  And to my great delight, he came over to eat with us that night, and sung us the song that he’d written for the Falls that they successfully protested about and saved.  What an honour.  And what a spectacular welcome to the country we’d driven so far to be in. 


And the next day was equally amazing, but I’m going to save that story for my next post………


5 comments:

  1. oh gorgeous! What beautiful, blessed journeys!
    My first rainbow gathering was at Basket Swamp Creek - such a beautiful place; pity you didn't get to explore there too much.

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  2. sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting to read. yes i am . on my side of the world it is turning autumn , the leaves are starting to change colors . we got two new kitties this spring and the chickens are still laying well... lets see. everything is groovy here and peachy keen. youre in my heart young lady. .love, babz

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  3. Wow! Just WOW!! Sending love and positive vibes for your journey xxxxx

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  4. I am so enjoying reading your journey. The little stepping stones and people you meet as you travel.
    Thank you for sharing!

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