Walking the Mountains of Home

After the dismay of the election, and a sense of wanting to crawl into my shell, perhaps it’s more helpful if I learn how to engage with alternative media, this other world we can reveal and create together, the different stories we can tell. So, a little something to say sorry, for sorry day, and a tale of imagining it different in the future: 

This autumn, for the fifth year in a row, we walked the mountains of home. We climbed Mount Little Joe, steep and dry and stony, and then the next weekend, the grand, moist and misty Mount Donna Buang. 

On the morning of each pilgrimage, we began by visiting the Yarra where everyone collected a river stone. We each carried our small token to the summit. Over the years, we are very slowly shaping a cairn. This is a place we visit annually, to remember the long legacy of love of this place by the first peoples, and to renew our commitment to learning about and caring for this country into the future.

It was seven years ago that I set off on a four day trek around the mountains that surround Warburton. It was a wonderful experience, up to the top of the peaks, then back down to the river and across to the mountains on the other side, camping on the summit one night, then at friends’ houses who dotted the route. I wondered how I could share something of what I loved of that journey, and so these small pilgrimages came into being. 

These humble adventures are part of a dream of permanent culture – the bigger notion behind the concept of permaculture – that in order to be truly sustainable, we must reshape a culture of the long term, of deep belonging and intricate ecological understanding. It’s been a wonderful project to be part of: thanks so much to fellow organiser Cat McKay and to the community who keep turning up, especially the kids, walking a bit further every year on stronger and longer legs. 

This is only one of many good things happening here in our home. As for the rich and tasty culture brewing here in so many places here in the Upper Yarra Valley, I look forward to the ferment! 

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