Miranda’s Daily Blog: Day 258
I awoke in the middle of the night to something soft and cold brushing against my face. I squinted into the darkness, the slight tint of moonlight barely enough to see by. small light flakes of snow were softly drifting onto my face and settling on my sleeping bag. In my sleepy haze it took awhile to work out what was going on. As I looked around I saw that the wind was blowing the gap in the tarp open and with the wind came the snow. Unlike all those crazily rainy nights when water somehow always seemed to escape inside, this time I didn’t mind. In fact the feeling of flakes of snow on my nose made me smile. And so I just snuggled down into my sleeping bag and drifted back to sleep.
In the morning I opened my eyes and looked out across the platform. A perfectly smooth, crisp white layer of snow-covered everything. There is something remarkable about this type of snow. The way it settles so perfectly clean and fresh. I didn’t even want to walk out there and disturb it with footprints! I could see small loops of rope poking out of the snow. It reminded me of a sea-serpent. And in the center of the platform, the sharp black lines of the metal from my little step machine stuck out from white snow in stark contrast.
I spent a long time peering over the edge of the platform looking down towards the ground. I love watching the snow fall this way. Watching it settle on the branches. Watching the tops of the understorey trees get heavy and start to droop. Watching the flakes of snow swirl this way and that with the wind. And when the gusts come, they way the snow is pelted hard against the tree. I love watching it gather on the trunks of the big trees around me. Piling up in amoung the rough strips of bark, making a polka-dot pattern down the tree.
And as I watched in awe at the magic of snow I had this feeling. Like a sudden strengthening of spirit, a hardening of courage, an uplifting of hope. It’s hard to describe, but I guess it is all that and more, mixed together. “This….” I thought to myself, watching the snow fall. “this is why I keep fighting.” I knew that it was true. that in the incomprehensible beauty of that moment was the very essence of why I am in this tree and will keep on fighting for these forests. And I felt like I would carry this moment with me for the rest of my life, as a reminder of why i fight. Not just for this forest, but for everything… for all the big and small struggles I will face in my life, for all the times when i will be faced with the opportunity/ responsiblity to do something to make the world a better place I will remember this moment. And the hope that comes from the innocent and uncorrupted beauty of the natural world.
It’s funny because the night before I had a similar feeling. But on the opposite end of the spectrum – courage that comes not from beauty but from rage. The anger and pain at the destruction that is occurring to our environment and our communities. I had been having one of those moments that is easy to have when you are spending so much time with nothing but your own thoughts. I was reflecting on memories of my life. And I was thinking about one memory that I will carry with me forever. A moment in time that represents for me the essence of why I will never give up on fighting to make the world better. A moment that held the pain of all the injustice and destruction in the world. Something that once left me feeling powerless and overwhelmed. But instead of feeling sad and despaired as I once did, I now hold that memory as a reminder of why I will never give up fighting for a better world.
As the snow melts, it begins to reveal again the forest beneath it. It begins to reveal again the branches of my tree, and I look at them fresh as though I am seeing them for the first time. And I realise that my tree carries so many memories too. Scars that run in its bark, marks where branches once grew, burls and hollows. My memories are not so visible, but they are etched deep into the bark of my heart. I carry them with me…. the memories of destruction and rage, beauty and hope. So that I will always have the courage to stand up. And so I will never forget why we must.