Miranda’s Daily Blog: Day 322
In the pale light of the pre-dawn I watch the shadows of trees slowly take their form. The forest is changing shifts, as the nocturnal animals make their way home and the early risers start their calls across the valley. The air is crisp with the smell of the fresh rain and eucalyptus leaves. And the valley is shrouded in mist. It feels like a glimpse into another world, like I am privy to a special and beautiful secret.
I almost can’t believe this is real! That I am here in the tree tops of an ancient forest, witnessing an entire world that otherwise goes on without anyone knowing. If I wasn’t watching- the Currawong would still be making it’s morning calls, the forest would still hum to the pulse of the fan-tailed cuckoo’s cry, the mist would still be stumbling through the upper branches of these giant euclypts. I think of all the people who are asleep in their houses right now, not knowing that all that takes place in the forest as they sleep.
That’s the thing about the forest, it is a like a hidden treasure, a secret world. But the thing is that out there, in the human world, it is easy to forget that there are other worlds like, this one. As I sit and watch the forest, how many people around the world are waking up to walk across a floor, sit at a table and read a newspaper that are all made out of the ancient forest that once surrounded this one. Will there come a time when this forest too, makes it’s way into people’s kitchens … flattened, sawn and pulped?
Please take action in defense of Tasmania’s forests: click HERE.
The thing is that when we don’t see the forest, when we don’t get a chance to glimpse a reality other than buildings and streets and cars.. it’s easy to forget that it exists. And then it’s easy to start talking about resources, wood supply and residues. It’s easy to start talking about contracts and 150,000 cubic meters of timber a year, when we do not know the secrets and stories behind each tree, each forest.
We can be oblivious to the daily routines of the forest, the animals and the birds. And in turn we can be oblivious to what goes on out here when we are not watching. As the sun begins to rise, how log trucks are loading up with tonnes of Tasmania’s native forest? How many chainsaws are cutting into the first tree of the day… to be followed by tree after tree after tree until the sun goes down? The scarred landscape of Tasmania is covered in clearfells. Behind locked gates and out of site, most people never see the real damage that is being done. Most people can forget. But when I look out across this forest… I know I will never forget it. And if the chainsaws ever return here….well, I can’t even think about that.
I never get tired of this view. You might think that after 320 days there would start to be a sense of monotony, after all I haven’t looked at anything else for over ten months! Yet, incredibly every day is so different. There are routines and patterns to the forest of course, but there is never the exact same set of colors as the sun rises and the mist never takes the exact same form as it makes it’s way through the valley.
The trees are coming quietly out of the night’s shadow as the sun begins to peer above the mountain ridges. The birds are making their calls like no body else is listening in. I feel like I’ve stumbled into a lost, enchanted world as I sit still and quiet, observing. A world that has been doing it’s own thing for millennia for no other reason that it’s own… certainly not for the sole purpose of generating paper and furniture for the human species!
It’s funny, isn’t it, how often we, as humans, forget to be humble. Maybe every species thinks the universe centers around them, I don’t know? But I guess that the problem is that our self-centeredness has lead to the destruction of most of the world’s forests and is changing the very climate itself.
I imagine all the secret worlds that exist, the ones that no body ever sees…. deep in the forests, under the sea, in the desert, and at the very tops of mountains. The bird calls no one hears, the flowers that bloom and will never be seen. It is a comforting and humbling thought. There are landscapes that have existed for a long time before our lifetimes and that will live for a long time after I die, if they get the chance. I hope this forest is given that chance.