11 | kelly’s swamp | peek whurrong country #Lent 2023

The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season; you open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing. (Psalm 145:15-16)

When I drop my daughter at the stables, I look across the wetlands to the dunes. Between the weathered, flattened dunes are two perky dunes side by side. For all the world, they look like a young woman’s breasts. I prayer-dream a woman lying across the landscape. Her hair streams like kelp into the sea; her breasts rise among the dunes; her womb encompasses the fertility of the wetlands. Continue reading “11 | kelly’s swamp | peek whurrong country #Lent 2023”

9 | phillip island (millowl) | bunurong country #Lent 2023

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed their mind about the calamity that God had said they would bring upon them; and God did not do it. (Jonah 3:10) 

My family started holidaying at a beach on Phillip Island when I was maybe seven years old. This stretch of perfect kid-sized surf, maybe 400 meters, between two reefs of rockpools teethed with mussels and adorned with Neptune’s necklace and painted lady shells. It was just right for our family, an instant coming home. We would return to the Island more or less every summer holidays, and even when we could not stay in the house near that beach, we would shun any closer coastline to drive back it. Continue reading “9 | phillip island (millowl) | bunurong country #Lent 2023”

8 | the school on the hill | peek whurrong country #Lent 2023

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them. (Matthew 5:1-2)

Teachers with generous hearts seeking to nurture the young
So many young needing to be nurtured – not always knowing
So many pressures here
Much that’s hard
It’s easier to feel You by the sea, by rocks, in deep pools
But surely You are in this place
And Your love keeps pointing to deep knowledge here,
of whole selves,
and what a whole world needs. Ω Continue reading “8 | the school on the hill | peek whurrong country #Lent 2023”

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”

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