Ali Cobby Eckermann

The weather changed rapidly overnight, and I woke to a warm wild windy sunrise. The avenue of old gum trees in the main street of Koolunga were shaking with fatigue already. No galahs or parrots were resting on those trembling tree limbs this morning. My cat Mavis and I watched the ever-moving horizon of trees through the kitchen window. Only after my second cuppa did I venture outside.

The apricot tree beside the outside bathroom offerred some respite from the wind. Wheelbarrows full of sour sop weeds were filled and carted to the trailer. Shovel loads of pig poo, left to break down over the past twelve months, were gently dug around the base of this fruit tree. I noticed the scarcity of bird life today. The back yard felt saddened by their absence. So did I.

What is it about wind? I know many members of my family are nervous of wind, and the possibility of it getting trapped in one’s body. Amongst my family, the traditional healers are busier after windy days, removing illness from their ailed clients. Headaches are a common symptom. You don’t see mob sitting in the shade of a tree on a windy day, unless it’s sorry business!

The wind carries Spirit. It is constant work to protect oneself from the bad energy Spirits that float the breeze. No wonder cyclones do so much damage! The wind is so powerful to carve mountains and valleys. I for one, can feel their invasion, and I have become more observant and wary.

While in the supermarket at Port Pirie this afternoon, I could feel the trapped Spirit. There was no wind inside, but it felt the same. So many people in a confined space, with all sorts of Spirit attached. It felt like being in the ‘eye of the storm’. What silly places we create these days. It is much more healthier to hunt and gather one’s own food, and share under a tree, or around the campfire. These are the moments when the good Spirits can caress and soothe.

POEM
around the corner of the house
out of the wind
flowers grow

she has not nurtured them
only the leaking roof
provided water

butterflies gather daily
their wings mixing colour
with the blooms

we spy around the corner
both holding our breath
holding our wind

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