I've been off line in more ways than one since my last post. My first WWOOFing gig has been at Prema Shanti Yoga and Meditation Retreat Centre. Almost as soon as I got there I came down with a cold (caught off the snotty baby I was dandling in Cairns) and so had little energy for anything other than my WWOOFing work and yoga classes.
WWOOFing was pleasant enough in my mucas-addled state: I fell into a trance as I swept and mopped the temple floor and verandas, feeling as though each swipe of the mop was a gentle sponge across the baby Buddha's bottom. The most energetic thing I did was attack the overgrown gardens: hacking weedy shrubs and pulling down huge garlands of vines. As always such clearing leaves an ugly hole (which will no doubt be grown over within a week of rainforest vigour) that offended my eye. I tried to compensate by weeding the gravel path, and was able to leave that looking nice. As I got sicker, my energy for doing even light work declined and Suzanne, my host, was extraordinarily kind and generous in letting me stay on an extra day to just lie around resting. So I barely ventured off the Retreat grounds for three days, and spent most of my time lying on a sofa on the veranda watching the rainforest and dozing or reading. Nonetheless, it was not boring!
I spent an afternoon watching a huge golden orb spider catch, subdue, wrap and consume a green spotted triangle butterfly while the tiny red male on her back clung on through her exertions. I saw numerous musky rat kangaroos which are the size of large rats, the shape of wombles and the colour of rust and which are the oldest type of kangaroo. There were further spider adventures when one of the other guests with a spider phobia found a large huntsman in the shower with her and shortly afterwards got herself locked in the bedroom with an even bigger one! My own loudest squeal was while I was weeding and felt a tickle on my leg. When I looked down a stick insect about half the length of my calf was clinging to my bare leg, camoflaged for sitting on bark not skin. The most amazing camoflage though, was a little brown frog which looked almost exactly like a dead leaf sitting on the lawn among nearly identical dead leaves, only the frog's shiney eyes in their beautiful dark mask giving away its true identity.
Yoga was great, and I will keep on doing classes with Suzanne while I'm in the Daintree. The meditation was challenging as always and an opportunity for self-awareness. It seems I am more addicted to modern communications that I would have liked to think. Cut off by no cellphone coverage in the Daintree (Telstra lied about NextG) and my low energy keeping me from going out in search of landline and internet opportunities, I gradually became obsessed, in my meditation time, with the calls, texts, emails and posts I wasn't getting or sending. Monkey mind couldn't stay away from worrying about that during the practice, even though in the non-meditation times I could easily let go of any concern or urgency.
Anyway, I am mostly recovered and hardly blowing my nose any more now. I have moved on to my next WWOOF host (Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm) where I am able to use the dial-up (thank you Allison and Digby!). But I still don't have cellphone coverage and will not for weeks or months, however long I stay up here in the rainforest. So, dear reader, if you are one of my texting or phoning buddies, I'm sorry but we will have detach from that method of communication for a while. I do have a snail mail address, so if you are inclined to send me a real letter or care package email me for the latest.