Lessons in Currawong

Sometime on Friday in between watching Gladys and Dan’s COVID updates and getting our sons to do maths instead of Minecraft I hear what sounds like someone tuning in an old fashioned shortwave radio out in the backyard.

I go outside. Over the fence in our neighbour’s fig tree a Currawong is calling to its mate high up in the lilly pilly by the tool shed.

In his immaculate shiny black plumage, a flash of white under his tail, he registers my presence with a nonchalant yellow-eye and continues calling– so effortlessly cool.

If I came back as a bird I’d desperately want to be a Currawong even though I know I’d probably return as a Noisy Miner or some other not effortlessly cool bird.

A year ago when COVID came birds helped so many of us get through the lockdowns.

The Twitter hashtag #birdsarelouder was trending, BirdTheFeckAtHome, a birdwatching Facebook page set up by a Melbourne father and daughter gained 8000 members in a few weeks and in The 2020 Aussie Backyard Bird Count more than 4.6 million birds were counted in 7 days!

In the morning as I take our dog for a walk down the Merri Creek my mind grinds over my to-do-list; next week’s work Zooms, the online learning juggle and my 2019 Tax Return I still haven’t done.

While we walk the local Maggies and Crows are having some kind of Pitch Perfect craw-off in the trees beside me.

I look up from my boots and my eyes widen.  Overnight it seems like someone’s set off a golden-bomb – all along the creek bank the silver wattles are in glorious bloom.

I stop and take in the impossible blinding yellowness of it all and my work-life worries drift off into the sudddenly unimportant folder.

Harry Saddler, author of The Eastern Curlew, believes birds are gateway creatures that can lead to a deeper connection with Mother Earth.

And though another lockdown brings back all the usual shitty stuff, I remember it also gives me a chance to meet another bird….

302 Flower farm bunches
Looking after each other

Each time we lockdown there are asylum seekers, new migrants, international students, farmers and small businesses who either don’t qualify for income support or will take a huge hit in sales while we all stay at home.

For people who can’t afford to buy food Open Table with their partners Cultivating Community and Yarra Libraries operate a free food market on the Fitzroy Housing Estate.

Since October we’ve been paying-it-forward to Open Table so people can cook their own food their own way.

You can find the pay-it-forward link here.

In lockdown there are also farms and businesses who lose out because restaurants can’t buy their produce or they have to restrict access to their shop, café or farmer’s market stall.

We’re supporting our friend Buttons at the Mushroomery who usually sells most of her oyster mushrooms to restaurants.

We’re putting special Mushroomery packs in our Generous Cooks, Veg Only, Medium and Large Fruit and Veg set boxes.

And this is a list of farmers and makers we can support by enjoying their produce, flowers, chocolate or heat-and-serve meals while we’re all staying at home:

Dan’s Empanadas and Chimichurri (Delivery on Wednesday’s only)

Jungle Curry wrapped in banana leaves (Friday’s only)

302 Flower Farm – Native Flowers (Wednesday’s only – that’s them in the pic above)

Schulz Milk, Cream and Yoghurt

Lello – Gnocchi and Sauce

Ratio Chocolate

Himalayan Tibetan Tent’s Momos

Have a great week



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