Message from 25m above the Sumac forest

I’m currently 25m up in a giant Eucalyptus obliqua at the blockade camp occupying a particularly special patch of forest off Sumac road in takayna / Tarkine. I’ve spent a few nights in the tree-sit and the weather has been nice; sunny with a slight breeze but the wind is picking up now. It’s expected to rain over the next few days and I’m hoping the fly keeps me dry.

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When I’m not gazing at the crazy spectacular view of forest as far as I can see, I’m occupying myself reading, writing and playing a game that was downloaded on the burner phone called ‘forest defenders’. You have to fight robots to protect an ancient forest, a fitting choice!

I’ve read and added to the messages and drawings left by previous possums; messages of encouragement and inspiration written in the wooden platform under my sleeping mat. I know it’s hard to imagine being able to chill out when you're 5 cm from a 25 m fall and you have to loosen your climb gear to move around, but I've slept like a log and feel very much at peace.

I know many people wonder how we go to the toilet when days are spent up here. Well, all I’ll say is it requires a container and a bucket hanging off the sit and some acquired skill. Care has to be taken to ensure no one is standing under the tree when the pee container is emptied onto the forest floor.

People from camp bring me hot meals, which is always a special treat, and I have gotten quite good at hauling the bag of goodies up on my rope and neatly bundling the rope as I go so that it’s easy to lower the next time I need it.

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Aside from little quirks and accumulated routines of tree-sit life, there is a lot of time for contemplation. I’ve thought a lot about the wilderness that this camp is protecting and I still feel that the scale of its value is truly unfathomable. We are only on this earth for a small blip of time compared to these ancient ecosystems. They have been breathing like one living body for hundreds of centuries before we colonists arrived. Our inability to comprehend this is perhaps what allows this forest to be destroyed so quickly. Only thinking through the toxic lens of capitalism that has enslaved us all and is ultimately killing the planet every second. So those are some uplifting thoughts in my mind. I’m more at peace with these ideas when I’m up here; this space brings you to the present. The Yellow-tail Black cockatoos call as they fly past and it makes me smile every time.

HOT CHIPS NOT WOODCHIPS! I wrote in the wooden sit. it always makes an activist laugh as we all have a soft spot for some hot chips when you’ve been out bush for a while. The leatherwood is in flower and it’s a stunning sight from above, although it attracts a lot of March flies that like to get friendly up your nostrils and ears and buzz around the sit. I just have to remind myself of their crucial role pollinating the leatherwood and I’m able to forgive them.

Feeling grateful for all the warriors in different roles fighting the good fight on the frontline of climate activism. Also for all those who aren’t as privileged as I am who’s struggle is just to survive and who are most directly affected by climate change and colonialism.

Eva

10 Feb 2020

 

Photos:Tim Cooper


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  • Greg edkins
    commented 2020-02-11 09:56:20 +1100
    Thank you so much for your actions…. I cant help but make the distinction that i believe we arent here to save the planet we are here to save ourselves. The planet and most likely a lot of the vegetation will ultimately survive….Its the animals and humans who wont be around in the future to experience life as we know it.
  • Robin Maguirte
    commented 2020-02-11 09:46:50 +1100
    “Our inability to comprehend this is perhaps what allows this forest to be destroyed so quickly. Only thinking through the toxic lens of capitalism that has enslaved us all and is ultimately killing the planet every second.” – if you didn’t have such an optimistic outlook on life, that’s enough to undo your safety harness and take a step off your platform.
    Thanks for your efforts.
  • Steven Chaffer
    published this page in Updates 2017, 2018, 2019 2020-02-10 23:02:02 +1100