Our eyes to look, ears to listen

Early morning fog lifted as the pressure from a lone garden hose released to the sight of purple horse shampoo. Touching up the soft, flowing feathers from just a few hours the night before, it was then onto the float and back inland for the Dungog Show. It was the first horse show since May, but Izz took it in her stride and reintroduced herself to the ring.

Following the horse show on Saturday, our remaining weekend time was spent fencing the backyard to the skies of a rainbow cloudscape. Just another step in finishing off our little home, it’s good to be able to look back and see change.

Dark chills of 3:30 mornings opened to a new layer of fog and another week of travel. Yorta Yorta bound for the National Indigenous Dialogue on Climate Change, the week promised uncertainty to the nation’s activities conducted on home country by many mobs.

Gracefully, traditionally welcomed onto Yorta Yorta with ancient smoke flowing and cleansing past worries, the conference sang connections together. Around tables we discussed Mother Earth, our duties and our understanding, all building to continue tradition. Knowledge kept and passed on optimistically for the future, unsure as to when our voices will be heard.

Climate scientists surrounded conversations, eager to understand lessons for future change. The science can tell quite a horrific story, passively involved in the general community. Yet it also tells of hope. It tells of our mob, Aboriginal People, surviving ice ages and dramatic climate change before. We have survived the challenges of tomorrow, yet our wisdom is silenced.

Drawing on country, Uncle shared a story passed onto him. With such detail and precision he explained the importance of protecting country, the passion tearful in joy. Yet moments later in a tour boat, the story adapted, shortened and brutishly told in a Western slang. Without meaning.

Aboriginal knowledge is sacred. Incapable of being boarded like the muster yards down the road, instead coexisting seamlessly into nature and lasting boldly like an eternal flame. It is nestled into the landscape, told in caves and shared through water. It is ours and we are it, mere holders for a new generation.

We all have eyes to look and ears to listen. We have story and culture and song. Yet all of us need to be prepared to share and understand empathetically, not pay lip service for commercial gain.

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