Miranda’s Daily Blog: Day 141

I’ve just been enjoying sitting on the deck quietly observing the moonlit landscape. I probably I say this all the time, but it is amazing how different the view looks day to day. Tonight I could almost have been looking out across the desert or the ocean stretching infinitely into the horizon. Thick white cloud lies low across the valley. Instead of its usual habit of ebbing and flowing over mountains and into valleys, or softly blending the tree line gently into the sky… tonight it sits flat, a white horizontal line dividing the sky from the dark depths of forest below. It is like the world has been given a bowl cut. There are no contours, no mountain ranges, no tall trees even dare to poke their heads above the line.

I sit looking into this new horizon. The forest around me is completely still, a stark contrast to the rest of the day. Now it is so quiet that the only sound I can hear is that distant sound of the water rushing, from the collective creeks in the valley. I like this sound. It reminds me too of being in the Florentine Valley. From the tree sits there it is about the same distance to Mount Field as I am now, just a different orientation. And on the days after snow fall, you can hear the heightened sound of the snow melt as it rushes through swelling creeks and cascades down numerous waterfalls on the mountain. Even from this distance, the sound of all that water travelling along hundreds of different paths down the mountain echoes over the valley and into the tree tops.

This picturesque evening is not what I would have imagined when I woke up this morning. I have to be honest and say I felt a little bit grumpy. I awoke with a chilling breeze like a slap on the face. My tarp, still ripped at the bottom, just does not tie down well anymore! I had a good system worked out, but after dismantling it on a sunny day, I couldn’t quiet put it back in place! Now there are blankets in a haphazard attempt at recreating a wall. Every gust would have them billowing inwards, crowding the already small space and allowing the cold wind to blast its way in underneath. And of course, that is right in line with where my face is as I lie in my swag. I roll over with a bit of a grumble. The air is getting its wintry bite. I don’t want to get out of my sleeping bag. I consider staying wrapped in its warmth all day!

But of course I have to get up sooner or later, so it might as well be now. When I sit up I notice the next thing that will make me grumble. Beside my swag lies a soggy wet book. My friend had sent out a book, with a note saying it’s one of her favourites. I just started reading it last night and was really getting into it, looking forward to today’s reading session. But I’d accidentally left it by my swag, and that pesky wind had shoved aside the blankets and tarps to let its friend the rain get a look in, right in the spot where the innocent borrowed book lay. (Sorry Zoe, if your reading this!). The good news is that I had crew on the ground today, warming themselves by a lovely camp fire (hmmm… that does sound nice). And so I sent the book down and they carefully and diligently dried it page by page, being careful not to let it to close to the fire of course!  It was returned to me after steaming by the fire… with a little note from the ground crew saying “I don’t know what genre your book is, but this puts a new meaning to ‘steamy novels’!” So, it’s not quiet good as new, and looking a bit worse for wear, but it is readable, so at least I’ll get to find out what happens in the end!

It seems that up here my life keeps following the same pattern. I get frustrated (usually relating to the cold, rain or spiders!) and then I remember how amazing and special this place is and the frustration is replaced by a sense awe and appreciation. And so the pattern seems to go over and over again. So, sorry if the story has become repetitive!

And that is how I came to be sitting this evening appreciating the beauty and silence of the forest, with its cloud-topped bowl cut. And I suddenly feel like I want to soak it all in. Appreciate and remember every little detail, every moment. I can’t believe I even wasted my time grumpy and not wanting to get out of my swag… when there is an entire forest out here to look at! And I realise that while sometimes I may be sitting here day-dreaming about a warm, cosy, dry room….the reality is that at some point in the future I will be sitting in a warm, cosy dry room and I’ll be day dreaming about being here!! There will come a time when this is over, however that happens, and I know that when that time comes I will miss this tree, this forest, this view. I will miss these quiet nights with nothing but the sound of distant waterfalls.

I know the saying is a cliché, but I think this has shown me that it is not enough to just try to “survive” this experience. It’s about “thriving” in it. Because no matter how challenging it may seem on some days, I am up here experiencing something that not many people get to. And it is absolutely incredible.

Then I started to think about what this means …. not just surviving, but thriving….. and I realised that although it is particularly relevent to me up in the tree right now. it is actually a lesson that applies to all of my life. And maybe to yours too. Sometimes it just feels like you’ve to get through it. Just got to get through the day.. Just got to get through this week, this month, this year.  It happens so easily that you just end up concentrating on “getting through”, that you stop noticing things.. the things you love, the beautiful things, the things that make you happy, the things you will one day miss and wish you had appreciated more. (Of course it is easy for me to say all that, given that I do not literally struggle to survive on a daily basis in the way many people in the world do. I’m not sure, but maybe that is all the more reason to not take for granted things in my life).

I just went outside and it’s incredible out there! The landscape has completely transformed since my previous description. In fact it has reversed. The forests been swallowed up by white mist. And above them the dark mountains have appeared, distinguishing land from sky. The clouds are clearing and I can even see stars! I might finish up my blog for now, so I can go spend more time outside enjoying this beautiful night.


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Posted on May 3, 2012, in Daily Blog. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. thanks Miranda … goodnight hope you sleep well -your descriptions of the forest are beautiful and I eagerly read everyone

  2. Thank you Miranda – can we get you a new tarp?

    • mountmueller

      Thank you for such a generous offer! As you can imagine I need a tarp of specific dimensions and one that is very strong too. So I have some people in Hobart looking into it, and it might be quiet expensive. If you would like to contribute to the cost with a donation, however big or small, it would be very much appreciated. The Observer Tree bank details are:
      Bendigo Bank
      Acc Name: Still Wild Still Threatened
      Acc Number: 144673571
      BSB: 633000
      Thanks so much for your support!

      • As I am going overseas soon for a couple of months and won’t be so active in the campaign for our forests I will donate today and I am calling on all other people who can do so to make your new tarp a reality. hugs and many thanks Miranda. xx Cass

  3. John Considine

    Nice one… such wisdom. 🙂

  4. Thank you, Miranda. Very insightful. You said some subtle but important things in this post and I’m going to savour them in days to come.

  5. Wow Miranda! I haven’t been reading every single one of your posts but I’m glad I read this one! It’s so true that one day you’ll be thinking back missing life in the tree! I’d really like to replace Zoe’s book for you. Can you please email me the title & author and where I can have a copy sent for her? katlo32@hotmail.com
    Hope you have a beautiful day today!

  6. Chris Ramsay

    HI Miranda, just spent some time with your Dad and he sends a big shout out. Your passion is a thing to behold and you have my support. Regards Chris Ramsay

  7. Garry Stannus

    We are going to have a super moon, Sunday evening I think. The May full moon is scheduled at 1:35pm and we will see it probably at around 5:08pm as it climbs up into the darkening sky. I’ve long looked at the moon and thought of it connecting people. I’ve thought how, even if we are separated from others, we can all see it at the same time – on our side of the world, that is. Miranda, I hope you can photograph this moon from the Observer Tree. I hope the cloud will not block it out and that you can get some great images. I’ll be trying to get some myself. Also, the setting moon.

    Once, in my back room at Liffey, in the dark early morning, the moon was going down over the bluff and the sun was just rising in the east. My back room is not wide, and has windows in each direction. Light and shadow were coming in from the the window on the moonside, and from the other side, so too were rising sun shadow and light falling on the carpet on the floor. There were two cross-cutting sets of light and shadow, from opposite windows.

    Sometimes, great expectation is rewarded with non-event. Once, a long time ago, I went three nights/mornings running, to a creek along which on one side was a very high cliff. It was a magic place, though now it’s got concrete paths along the side of the stream and people jog and ride fast bicycles along it. When I was there, I had to find an old path leading down from the height to the water below. Somewhere near the top of the descent, on the third morning, I found in the dark, a spot on a rock and stayed there to watch the playoff. Shivering and rolling Champion, cupping my hands around the warming glow. Below me in the darkness, the Merri Creek, and her waters reflecting up to me the light of the Full Moon. I was waiting for the third and final round of the competition between the power of the rising sun and the subtlety of the setting moon.

    The finale … was a non event, which is a story for another occasion. And from it, I had to construct my own truth.

    This moon, that’s going to rise on Sunday, will do so with silver light. Maybe I can be there on the slopes of Mueller to see it. Maybe I will see it in the north. I’ve never loved gold. It is thin and unsatisfying. Whereas silver speaks to me, of calm metal; cold, like thought, beauty without tinsel. Oh, to see this moon rise from Mueller.

    [-excuse poetic licence: the moon won’t rise over Mt Mueller, from the Observer Tree, it will rise, I hope, in the east.
    -for me, I think of the full moon as being over three nights: the first when it rises before sunset, and maybe looks a bit wobbly somehow in its roundness; the second when it rises perfectly round as the sun sets from the western landscape (though the moon not necessarily at its exact fullness, but virtually un-noticeable); and lastly, when on the third evening, its rising occurs just after sunset – what is it, some 40 minutes or so?]

    What will this ‘super’ full moon bring?

  8. Steven Jurgeit

    Thank you Miranda! This journal rates high amongst some of the best things I’ve ever contemplated. I somewhat envy your experience. The physical, emotional and spiritual bond with creation, and The Creator, that you are cultivating is absolutely priceless. You are a gem!!! You are so right in your motives, and so inspiring for the present and future environmental movement. I wish you well!!!

  9. anne jackson

    i wish you a new tarp.. and have donated to help

    Thank you for all you do, may the inspiration you share engulf you in a warmth so thick and fluffy that you will never need it anyhows 😉
    Big respects atcha
    ❤ ❤ ❤

  10. anne jackson

    $100 4 u in Still Wild Still Threatened 633-000 144673571 🙂

  11. Hi Miranda,
    I was so inspired by your words and actions that I would like to organise a group visit in the next couple of weeks to come up and see for ourselves.
    Can you think of anything we can bring up for you to make your time more comfortable/pleasurable?….books,wine,chocolate,cheese,DVD’s,music?? just drawing on my own experiences here,lol….let me know

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