Missing in action yet again. Do you ever need to just hibernate from humanity?
We have been living through interesting times I guess and no matter how together you are and how minimally affected you are by the pandemic and everything else going on in the world you sometimes just need to retreat a bit.
It can seem a contradiction. I like people, enjoy company and care about people but I also desperately need moments of solitude, preferably in a wild space of some sort. I can seem very anti-social at times. My daughter and I can seem to be extraverts, B especially so and yet we both have this deep, deep need to retreat from the world and re-charge. On the other side of the coin is a deep commitment to community but most importantly these days a deep commitment to the planet and the environment that sustains us.
In the last 12 months we have not had the same regular escape to the natural world that I can usually indulge in and that has had a bit of a negative impact. Just watching the news has had a negative impact. Not all negative though, a friend at work got me involved with the local Wilderness society and that has been a huge positive in what has otherwise been a bit of a “slough of despond”. I have discovered the best way to deal with environmental/climate despair is to get active and seek out fellow travellers to work even harder to bring about much needed change.
It has been a revelation just what a strong pro-environment community exits in my notoriously conservative town and it has been a joy to discover so many like minded people all working to improve our environment and community. The diversity and inclusivity of the community has felt inspiring as does the sheer camaraderie. Wilderness society is a group I feel particularly at home with. Not only do they celebrate the environment, lobby on its behalf and support projects with other groups, they are such a supportive, inspiring group. In Toowoomba we have a number of environment groups all worthy of support, just thought I would mention a few and provide some links in case anyone would like to get involved:
- DDEC: Darling Downs Environment Council, our premier environment group on the Downs – they provide all sorts of co-ordination and support services to all of the groups, run by fantastic people!
- Toowoomba for climate action – an awesome grass roots group devoted to climate action. (Currently holding a weekly Friday afternoon vigil outside the local member of parliament’s office).
- Friends of the Escarpment Parks Toowoomba a great hands on group working to rehabilitate, improve and protect our fantastic escarpment parks including the wonderful Redwood Park. Amazing people, with amazing knowledge, a great group to join.
We also have branches of RENEW, a sustainable living group that have been instrumental in promoting e-vehicles, especially bikes, in the region and HOPE (Householders options to protect the environment)
The Toowoomba Wilderness Society has been my group of choice, partly because a friend got me involved, and it has been a rewarding experience, especially so a couple of weeks ago when we organised a planting of 200 trees to be used in helping to supply koala carers with fodder leaves for animals in care. Working with a local school and the Lockyer council we had over forty people, including young families turn up to help. It was an incredibly fulfilling morning. So much joy at the feeling of dirt and mud in my hands and the experience of watching kids and adults just have such a great time doing something. We finished the planting much earlier than expected and the kids then played games like poo bingo, (B is also a member and she is determined to turn every child into a junior ecologist), and waited for ice blocks to arrive, which left time for adults to just talk and socialise.
The Toowoomba Wilderness group has a zoom meeting once a month but also a face to face meeting/ event once a month. Those events can be anything from a meeting/picnic in the park or at someone’s property or a bushwalk or a tree planting day. We could also be working individually or as a group on letter writing or a market stall to increase awareness. Sometimes it is just nice to spend time with well informed people who care about the environment. We don’t have a link I can include but if you are interested in joining the Toowoomba Wilderness group you can always email me or just leave a comment and I will get back to you. There are lots of other great events planned.
Just a few photos of the Withcott koala tree planting day:
Hopefully this post breaks the blogging drought and I am back into the swing of things. I apologise for missing so many posts of people I follow, will be catching up on missed content.
If you know of any other great environment projects or groups in the region let me know in the comments.