7 | tyrendarra IPA | gunditjmara country #Lent 2023

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation … (2 Corinthians 1:2-3)

Tyrendarra IPA is not a beer. It is an Indigenous Protection Area at Tyrendarra, about two kilometres north of the Princes Highway. As you approach the area, you can see to the west a fold of hills running north-south into the sea. To me this seems to guard the flat fertile plain to the east, with the Fitzroy River running north-south between the fold of hills and the fertile plain. Continue reading “7 | tyrendarra IPA | gunditjmara country #Lent 2023”

6 | panmure swimming holy | kirrae whurrung country #Lent 2023

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. (Mark 1:9)

I am prayer-reading the story of Jesus’ baptism. Using the tools of lectio divina, I read it slowly once, twice, three times. Using my sacred imagination, I place myself in the crowd, watching; as a priest, coming down against this baptism; as John, holding people close as I plunge them into the river … Continue reading “6 | panmure swimming holy | kirrae whurrung country #Lent 2023”

5 | stingray bay to shelley beach / kuurn naa mullin | peek whurrong country #Lent 2023

‘I am the Alpha and Omega,’ says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:8)

About a year and a half ago, I was listening to a conversation on Radio National. An Aboriginal woman was explaining the Indigenous preference for the word ‘Everywhen’, in place of the term ‘Dreamtime.’ She explained Everywhen as an Indigenous concept of time where past, present and future are interconnected. It resonated deeply with me and, over the last year and a bit, I’ve enjoyed looking at things through the lens of Everywhen. Continue reading “5 | stingray bay to shelley beach / kuurn naa mullin | peek whurrong country #Lent 2023”

4 | the second and final grave of wombeetch puyuun | camperdown cemetery | leehura gunditj country #Lent 2023

Now Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it on a rock for herself, from the beginning of harvest until rain fell on them from the heavens; she did not allow the birds of the air to come on the bodies by day or the wild animals by night. (2 Samuel 21:10) 

One hundred and forty years ago, not far from where I sit here in the solitude of the cemetery, a man gripped the handle of his shovel as he dug to try to set things right. He could not truly set them right. Not by a long shot. He could and he would do what was within his sphere of control. His shovel unearths the body of his dear friend from the scrubby bog as his tears join the raindrops. He lovingly carries him to the place where I now sit. The second and final grave, now with a towering monument, to guard against the evaporation from collective memory. Continue reading “4 | the second and final grave of wombeetch puyuun | camperdown cemetery | leehura gunditj country #Lent 2023”

3 | mount difficult | djab wurrung & jardwadjali country #Lent 2023

Night will fall but I will not be afraid when I dwell in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 91:4)

I remember leaving our overnight camp early that morning. It was overcast, but you could tell that the clouds would burn off by mid-morning. I bid farewell to my companion whose knee had given way the previous day, swinging the small backpack onto my shoulders as I disappeared into the dry bush. Continue reading “3 | mount difficult | djab wurrung & jardwadjali country #Lent 2023”

2 | cudgee creek | kirrae whurrung country #Lent 2023

Happy are those … who delight in God’s law … They are like trees planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither. (Psalm 1:1, 3)

The air becomes moist under the bridge, the sound of the traffic on the road above more muted as you near the creek’s edge. Spring fed, this creek never runs dry, it never stops. In spring each year, it bursts its banks, spilling over into the low lying paddocks and regenerating bush on either side. Yet in the height of summer, at this the ‘centre’ of Cudgee, it is a constant stream. Continue reading “2 | cudgee creek | kirrae whurrung country #Lent 2023”

1 | budj bim | gunditjmara country #Lent 2023

You send the springs into the valleys; they flow between the mountains. All the animals drink from them; the wallabies quench their thirst. Beside them the birds of the air make their nests and sing among the branches. You water the mountains from your dwelling on high; the earth is fully satisfied with the fruit of your works. (Psalm 104:10-12)

Around 37,000 years, or 1,500 generations ago
‘the land and trees were dancing’
as one of their ancestor creators
revealed part of himself in the landscape
as Budj Bim.
Life was given … with laws to follow …
in the Dreaming. Continue reading “1 | budj bim | gunditjmara country #Lent 2023”

intro | our spiritual geography #Lent 2023

Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:24)

Once upon a time, our ancestor Jacob went on a journey. He left the place called Beer-sheba and came to the place called Luz. It had been a long day on the road;  it was now twilight. The first stars were becoming visible in the darkling sky. So he took one of the stones of that place, a flat stone, a smooth stone, and brushed off the dirt; then he used it as a pillow. He wrapped himself tightly in his traveling cloak, and drifted into a deep, God-filled sleep. While he was dreaming, he saw a stairway reaching from that place all the way to heaven, and God’s messengers were travelling between heaven and earth. Continue reading “intro | our spiritual geography #Lent 2023”

dawn | it’s your turn #Lent2022

The Psalmist sings, “You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.” (Psalm 30:11)

My mother says there is a lot of bitterness about the Christian church. “They came here and totally disregarded our beliefs of the Creator who created all things. We didn’t have Jesus but we had a lot of other beliefs. We have to acknowledge, though, that in reality, we would have been wiped out if it wasn’t for the churches. But now the church is changing. It is more accepting of Aboriginal traditions. Some churches invite our elders to do smoking ceremonies—our traditional way of cleansing—in the church. And many of the clergy talk about one God for all people now. Deacon Boniface Pridot, he’s a tribal man from Daly River, he’s in the Catholic church. He brings together the two beliefs so beautifully.” Continue reading “dawn | it’s your turn #Lent2022”

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