Tuesday, February 05, 2008

forest festival

I know we're several days into February and the time for new year reflections has well and truly passed, but I've managed to live out my own personal reformation beyond the first thirty one days of the year so I'm going to write about it anyway.

Recalling 2007 calls out memories of racing from one task to another, the constant motion of busyness, failing to appreciate moments magnificent or mundane, and the ever present taste of panic in the back of my throat. Rarely did I relax and unwind because there was no time to stop. My year was consumed by the tyranny of the urgent.

2008 is the year of reclaiming my time and myself. Consequently I might be find sitting at the beach in the rain, just making the most of the chance to enjoy beauty. Or drinking in the green of nature, enjoying the lavish sprinkling of this calming colour that soothes my soul...

The trouble with noticing the moments of life is there is less time to write about them! I have so much I could tell you, but I'm too busy living the stories to blog them.

One thing I must record however is our weekend attendance at a hippy forest festival as a display of solidarity with those who consider nature worth defending and protecting. On Saturday we left behind the seeming pressing concerns of life and headed for the hills. And the hill billys, because there were a few of them too, with dreadlocks, hairy armpits and unwashed children to boot. It was all rather disconcerting for us straight laced, brushed hair, clean clothed, gainfully employed people!

This was my first festival of any description and it was a little disappointing. Being low on numbers there wasn't a whole lot of atmosphere to get caught up in. Just a small, interesting blend of hippies and city slickers looking for a way to make a meaningful contribution to conservation... and I'm not sure this festival was the best use of our city-slicking time. Maybe when it was birthed amongst the trees twenty five years ago the forest festival was a potent blend of people and passion bent on preserving the beauty of our state. At the time they succeeded in blocking the construction of a mammoth dam that would have flooded an incredibly beautiful valley on the Franklin-Gordon River. Now we're fighting to save the forests from the pulp mill but it seems people are looking for something more mainstream... or maybe something closer to home. Or maybe just a better selection of music, since the head banging heavy metal of the children of the hippies is not to everybody's liking.

As it was, we still had a nice day. The drive to the site was beautiful, the valley setting was lush and comforting and a short rainforest walk unearthed some incredible specimens from old growth forest.

Phewee, those trees were big! We figured this one was a couple of hundred years old when it fell.

This one was big and in perfect condition with barely a torn limb.

Then there was the magical glade of giant man ferns...

Before we stumbled upon the big mama of them all... a tree that stood more than 65 metres (or 200 feet) tall before it crashed to the forest floor.

Yes, that root system is only partially exposed and still more than three times my height! Incredible.

After our forest walk we headed to the kitchen tent where (courtesy of our free entry) we were enlisted to wash dishes and assist with the production of wood fired pizzas... that was actually the most fun of the whole day. Rubbing shoulders with people we had never met before, all finding our niche and working around each other to produce more than 60 little pizzas! What a team! What a moment! Something to savour and enjoy, reclaiming my life, reclaiming myself.

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At 4:37 am, February 06, 2008, Blogger Cherie said...

This post was good medicine for me, Cecily. All the way around.

You've got some great photos here, and some very uplifting thoughts put into words. Good for you for reclaiming yourself! A noble and stirring undertaking for sure. You encourage me to get out of my comfort zone and mingle with the 'unwashed'.

The wood fired pizzas sound delicious - and the fun you had making them is obvious.

Those trees and ferns - fantastic! Tom will be particularly interested in this post I know.

At 11:38 am, February 06, 2008, Blogger Sandy's Notes said...

I think you could fit just about anywhere...with any kind of people, doing any kind of job. You have the ability to get down and dirty with nature and put a meal together better than most restaurants.

No wonder Frank loves you so much!

At 1:55 pm, February 08, 2008, Blogger Deanna said...

Beautiful, ginormous tree! You look good, too.


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