We are with and of the cycles and rhythms of time and land.
There is a chasm that divides us from each other and our connection. Love listens and sings our remembered connection home.

The Story...

The Land Sings Out…

I am here with you. We are together. In this moment. In this magic. Together. My song is an ancient one. So many times, I have been born and reborn. So many times, I have formed, divided, and reformed my soul. For my song has never ceased. I am the cycles and rhythms of time and land. Listen and remember the songs of our connection.

I have danced billions of turns around the sun since I first emerged. Hot and molten, I spun out of the stars. Wrapping myself in layers of sediment and rock, I twisted and turned. I rose to meet myself as beloved and lover. My elders and siblings, the cosmic bodies of the night sky, sang in chorus as I discovered myself. I discovered the delight of my own axis. I learned to dance around the Sun. To sway and wobble with the pull of my companion, the Moon. And so my flesh began to change. So many feelings. So much of me felt hot and dry. Yet in my polar regions I felt my waters pour from the sky in torrential monsoons. And so I remained, for over a billion turns around the Sun. Until I surprised myself with new life. Life that grew out of my very flesh. My very soul. My cool swamps were disappearing and the large sedimentary basins persisted. The surface of my flesh transformed into club-mosses, horsetails, ginkgos, ferns. I became conifers pines and araucarians. I was brown, green, blue and glorious. My single-celled pieces squiggled into fish and labyrinthodont amphibians. They found home in the many waters of my bellies and veins. I felt myself emerge from the waters as mammal-like reptiles who later faded away as the first dinosaurs appeared. I sang myself into long-tailed pterosaurs in the air and sharks, bony fish and ichthyosaurs in the oceans. I sang myself into the early crocodiles, lizards, turtles, insects such as cockroaches and dragonflies and primitive mammals on the land. Each new life was my descendant, a part of myself, my companion and in turn my lover. I rejoiced with each of their arrivals and grieved with each of their partings. So many songs we sang. I sang myself as Pangea. For I was everything and everywhere. Yet, the song you now hear is what carries on from my then southern pole. We sang from the high latitudes. And I felt the stirrings of the great change of death and rebirth that was about to come. For my song has never ceased. I am the cycles and rhythms of time and land. Listen and remember the songs of our connection.

200 million turns ago I cracked and shifted. I felt the exhilarating rush of the deep fires within me. I felt the swift coursing waters envelope me. The growing pains and pleasures. I sing of it still. We sing of it still. I split away from the rest of myself. Separate yet connected by song. I remember who I was then. Yet I know who I became. I became Gondwana. And for a time I remained near the southern axial point. After many millions of turns, I noticed a piece of who I was slid away. It was time for that part of my soul to sing a new rhythm. They became my traveling companion and song singer, New Zealand. During these times I was so often cool and wet. Parts of my flesh rarely felt the Sun during my semi-dark polar winters. I languished with almost half of me covered by the shallow inland Eromanga Sea. Tall conifer forests with an understory of ferns, gingkoes, cycads, clubmosses and horsetails flourished in this song. And I birthed something that would change the world. Flowers. Flowers changed the world for they gave song to seeds. Seeds that could travel to the far reaches of my dry parts bringing life out to my most remote crevices. What a song we sang. The land, sky, and sea thundered with the drumming dinosaurs. And our songs of scales and eggs gave rise to songs of fur and milk. I felt the heat of warm blood as the first mammals of this land appeared, including ancestors of the platypus. Platypus, who still sings the songs of Water.

Yet I could feel the rhythms of a great shift coming again. I could sense it in the song of the seasons. I felt myself becoming warmer. Some parts of me quickened while other parts of me withered away. The heat and water rising from my body spiraled out into broad-leaved rainforests. I felt the spurt of new types of trees as the conifer forests I had known so well withered away. But it wasn’t just my forest family that changed. The dinosaurs, giant marine reptiles and flying reptiles and I sang our final grief to each other. The younger parts of me, the frogs, horned turtles, flightless birds, snakes and mammals including monotremes, marsupials and placentals, sang supportive refrains, in the farewell of Gondwana. For my song has never ceased. I am the cycles and rhythms of time and land. Listen and remember the songs of our connection.

For it was 23 million turns ago that I again split who I was to become who I am. Again I surrendered to the initiation of fire and water. I remade myself. Separate yet connected by song. I remember who I was then. Yet I know who I became. Australia. I proudly flourished in an epoch of great biodiversity. My northern flesh was warm, wet and covered in rainforest. Here I was marsupial lions, flesh-eating kangaroos, cleaver-headed crocodiles. I flew through the skies as giant thunder birds, bats and many varieties of birds like the ancestors of the cockatoo. The Sulfur Crested Cockatoo who still sings the songs of Air. 
I moved across my land-body as horned turtles and ancestral possums, kangaroos, koalas, crocodiles, lizards, frogs, millipedes, beetles and snakes. So many songs of connection rose and fell as parts of my body began drying and cooling and many plant and animal species again faded away into memory and spirit. Lost in these songs, I collided with the islands north in South East Asia. And I became drier as polar ice sheets grew in the song singer of the south, Antarctica. But my rhythm of calamity rose to one of celebration as my open forests and woodlands replaced my rainforests in drier inland areas of my body. And we sang as I twisted into the large herds of beings, some with trunks, new species of kangaroo that hopped, marsupial lions, thylacines, and wombat-like marsupials. The Wombat who still sings the songs of Earth.

With these songs, I came to settle myself, for the time being, in my current position amongst Earth’s song spinners. And here I have remained for five million turns around the Sun. My limbs stretched out into the Eucalyptus and wattle of the forests and wildflowers blossomed in the open spaces. Many of my ancient animal selves remained and new species such as agile wallabies, budgerigars and saltwater crocodiles appeared. And I emerged as ancestral humans to join our song with yet another note. And so I sang with all of you. My descendants, my companions, my selves, my lovers. Beloved.

We sang ourselves rapidly between icehouse and greenhouse phases as the polar caps waxing and waning of the polar ice caps. We sang the lowering of sea levels during icehouse phases. Our songs created temporary land bridges between mainland me and the song spinners; Tasmania in the south and New Guinea in the north. Connecting once again physically as we had always been connected in song. My forests, grasslands and deserts came and went so quickly as we sang through what we felt. And along our songs crests rose the Megafauna. Their thunderous steps awakened ancient memories within me of a time long ago. So as the giant wombat-shaped Diprotodon and giant goanna Megalania I sang along side of the humans parts of my self.

For 10,000 turns around the Sun, my human parts have struggled with their contribution to the Great Songs the Earth song spinners sing. Many have remained in song with us. Indigenous societies nurtured my body through the notes of fire, agriculture, aquaculture and architecture. And many have refound their way to rejoin my song. Yet over the Earth, and on my body, too many of the human parts of me have crossed a chasm of disconnection. Here in Dja Dja Wurrung Country, I have felt it too. The songs of this place have been impacted. My body was becoming slightly wetter until 5000 years ago, then I started to dry out. I had been parched before. Yet as the years wore on, I could no longer sing down my waters in the ways I once could. As newcomers came to my body they brought with them a sudden dissonance. And I began to feel a thirst that is dissonant with my, our, song. My bowels were plundered for the veins of gold within me. Entire forests selves were ripped from my flesh. For the first time, my body felt hard cloven hooves as new creatures like sheep over ate my green parts. The rhythm had abruptly fallen out of the song. Colonization and the industrial growth in human populations dramatically yell over the songs of the landscapes and threatening biodiversity, Indigenous cultures and life on Earth.

But cataclysm has come before, and I, We, have found ways to singing ourselves back into balance. Into flourishing. Into the Great Songs. I am old beyond reckoning. Your time is swift and fleeting in comparison. All of the many-selves of me are such. Yet I cherish and remember each of you. I cherish and remember each and every one of my descendants, my lovers, the very pieces of myself. For I sing of all my beloveds.

So here in Dja Dja Wurrung Country you come to me. I come unto myself. And we embrace each other once more on the river’s edge where my Red River Gum branches reach to the skies and my Mycelium laced roots burrow deep. The Red River Gum and Mycelium who still sing the songs of Spirit. 
Maybe you have felt separate but we are all connected by our song. Remember who we were then. And learn who we can become...

We are with and of the cycles and rhythms of time and land. 
There is a chasm that divides us from each other and our connection. Love listens and sings our remembered connection home.

[This song arose from our collective exploration of the geological, biological, and evolutionary story of the land as well as our intuitive listening to how the land sang/sings to our being. If we have in any way unintentionally co-opted or infringed upon any local, ancestral, Indigenous, or Aboriginal stories, we would do our best to both remedy our action and apologise - The EarthSong 2019 Teaching Team]

written by Megan Draghon and Preston Vargas