They want me to celebrate
There is no right and no wrong. We celebrate for all occasions. We celebrate brith, growing up, adulthood, unions and death. There is a celebration of the seasons we go through. A new year, if you want to call it that. Since white men to hold of this land and drove us to the outskirts of their towns, we celebrate differently.
Our customs sometimes clash with the newcomers. They celebrate a lot of things. This time it’s the new year. They are heading into 2018. What an achievement. After 68’000 years we don’t need to count the years. White men says that we, the black fellas, have been on this land for that long. Back then we could wander straight to Tasmania, as you call it. Even to the islands up far north. There was no water in between.
And yet white men make such a fuzz about a couple of hundred years. They say they give us medicine, schools, houses and proper food. They look after us. For those thousands of years we had bush tucker and medicine that is slowly forgotten. Poison in our food, water and air. The trees are dying and the fish sing out for help. Mother earth isn’t in the mood to celebrate. She is talking to us, no, she screams at us. The world we know is going.
The trees carry lots of fruit. White men see this as a sign of prosperity and good fortune. But brother tree is raising his voice. He can’t keep up with the level of poison in the air. So he does all he can to survive as a species. It is too late for him. In a few years he is gone, but the seeds he produces today is in the ground for better times. He told me he can wait. And waiting is all he can do. He will be back and smile upon mother earth. Until then he leaves us to clean up the mess.
But the fish, the snakes, kangaroo and all the other animals have no choice to wait. They need to move. No use going south, the water arrived and separated Tasmania from the rest of us. And there is nothing beyond. Just more water. Most birds have it best, they can fly. Not so for cousin Emu, who finds himself cornered. He knows and so do all the others. It’s just the white men who don’t see.
There are changes that can’t be reversed. It will take many generations of the mighty gum tree to bring back our fertile land. We are destined to eat dust and drink hot air. I have seen it with my own eyes. Most of us will perish. Few will survive and tell the story to the next generation. As we have done so.
White men will understand one day. But until he does he likes to celebrate another year. And another one. He likes to life now. Meanwhile mother nature is starting to clean up.