Yesterday I was passing through Oaklands Estate Reserve at Marion. I paused to wonder what life would be like if, instead of navigating by the roads and railway lines, numbed by our devices, we instead found our way by the old landscape that’s still there underneath – the creeks and rivers; the trees that line their ancient floodplains; the soils and the plants they nurture; the rhythmic migrations of the birds and animals. To keep this land that we depend on alive and well, we need to find our way back to nature’s reality. The map, as has so often been said, really is not the territory. This city of squares that we have slapped over the landscape is not one that can sustain life for very long unless it respects the nature of the earth on which it sits.
Along the way I met this old eucalypt, cradling a young olive tree in her branches. She offered me a seat where I could look out over the regenerating landscape. She reminded me that no matter where we come from, we are held and nurtured here by the land of the Kaurna people. The people and the land have shaped each other for thousands of years, in a relationship of love and respect. We can all be part of this loving, respectful connection with land.
I walked on, and next I found this dedication to the trees and their history, so beautifully connecting past and present:
“…This place has old stories that make you want to rest your head and listen… This place remembers all the knowledge sharing and peacemakers…” I felt as though another tentative root had reached out from me and found the sacred groundwater that had been waiting there all along.
Last night, I joined my classmates at the conclusion of the City of Marion’s Community Leadership Course. We celebrated the courage we had unearthed, the projects we had birthed, and the affirming guidance we had received.
Today and all the tomorrows, through all the doubts and fears that visit again and again, may we remember the old trees that anchor us in this place, and go on growing together, taking our place among the knowledge sharers and the peacemakers.
Trees x 10 is an emerging project for local communities to rapidly restore tree canopy and diversify vegetation across the suburbs of Adelaide. There is no mailing list yet – please follow one of the sources below if you’d like to stay connected or become involved in activities:
- Little updates will be on Nadja’s Garden facebook page, until the Trees x 10 facebook page is ripe.
- Big updates will be on the Trees x 10 page of this website.
Garden guide posts are currently on hold while I’m dedicating time to this project, but the blog archive is full of monthly posts from recent years for your reference – search by month or by subject, or just scroll back through the ‘News’ page.