Things progressing for our adventure of a lifetime. All happy at home except our 12 year old daughter. While we endeavour to tick off our to do list such as securing sponsorship, completing our website, sourcing a support team and so on, our 12 year old worries about how she will do her hair, avoid snakes and survive weeks camping with her parents with no IPad, mobile, TV. Bless her! It’s all relative I guess. I’m equally beginning to wonder what was I thinking when I decided to embark on our adventure – weeks with hubby & a pre- adolescent in the bush. Identifying as a Buddhist I think I will need a new mantra to deal with those meltdown moments. Or just lots of meditation by the river.
Hubby on the other hand is on his own mission with an agenda. To finally catch a fish. Yes he has never caught a fish yet has managed to lose two rods off the back of the boat. And that’s was over one holiday Christmas period. He thinks fish in the Murray is a fable and all the advertising material shown in glossy tourist brochures a conspiracy as they don’t exist. Of course being a mere male it can’t be that he just hasn’t been lucky or using the wrong bait. Speaking of which he has used corn, cheese, chips, prawn, plastic bait of all shapes and sizes and dim sim to lure this elusive fish. Yes you read correctly a dim sim from the fish & chip shop. I should note the obvious he hasn’t used worms as he doesn’t want to take any from our home worm farm as apparently they are like our pets!!
This weekend was taken up with trying to fish at an alternative location – Lake Eildon. The statement in the morning was I will definitely catch something today. Again nothing! Oh he did manage to pull out a stick. Check out the photo to see my dilemma. Not until he catches a fish on the Mighty Murray will I ever hear the end of it. So for those of you who are religious please pray he catches one within the first week of our journey in order to preserve my sanity. For those who can shed any light on how to catch a real fish please feel free to provide advice below. Please, I beg you. P.S. Any advice on surviving the child also welcome.
Buddhist monk and poet Thich Nhat Hanh wrote ‘Alone we are vulnerable and afraid. If we try to go to the ocean as a single drop of water, we will evaporate before we arrive. But if we go as a river, if we go as a community, we are sure to arrive at the ocean’.
This statement encapsulates the birth of my dream to undertake a majestic Mighty Murray River expedition from source to sea. Fear is not an unknown feature of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or any other illness where unpredictability and uncertainly abound. If a single star were seen in a dark night sky we would hold little hope of finding other life force and perhaps feel overwhelmingly alone in the universe; however if millions of stars light up the night sky we are transformed and experience awe to the magnitude of our existence, hope at the possibilities of what we might find and courage to explore.
It is this exact sentiment I hold as we seek sponsorship, plan and embark on our journey on the 1st November 2015. Whilst we are a family of three travelling the length of the Mighty Murray River it will take a community of people, businesses, media and a generosity of individuals to reach the sea in the hope of raising awareness and funds in finding a cure for this insidious disease MS. Each a star in the grand plan and lighting the night sky as hope and courage lead the way through the many rivers and landscapes of this beautiful part of Australia – our longest river.
The Murray River is a location that always stirs my soul as I feel fused to its land with a passion for all it offers. From the smells of river gums that fill the air, fire wood from the paddle steamers as they release their black burnt smoke to propel forward and the fresh air, whether crisp from an autumn’s morning or a warm day’s air which invites you into its river shores for a swim. Not to mention the sounds of the bush – kookaburras cheering on the day, fairy wrens, corellas, swallows and cicada as they form nature’s greatest orchestra. All of which offer considerable relief from the many demands of MS symptoms when visiting the river. My healing place!
Boating has allowed me the freedom with MS to delve deeper into the river and explore its earthly beauty and mysteries along with my husband and 12 year old daughter. In those rare moments of solitude when we have navigated past the many deadened tree branches where they stand eerily as the keepers of the river when travelling to remote locations; I have experienced a sense of unity with its currents and land as I seek to absorb its life force as one with mine. Nothing feels more spiritually uplifting than sitting at the bow of the boat, hand in the water as the river separates through your fingers, wind in your hair and black kites soring overhead, swallows darting along the river like little fairies of the bush and cockatoos larking in the tree top and water edges as you snake around the many bends desperately wanting everything the Murray River has to reveal to you.
For this reason it felt a natural progression and privilege to take on an expedition on this amazing river of ours to fundraise for such a worthy curse. Four Australians are diagnosed every day with MS with many being in the prime of their life and female. So please support and join me on this adventure in raising awareness and funding into MS research for better treatments and hopefully a cure. Will you be one of the stars to light the way and provide hope and courage to those living with MS!
Please donate so that my mum and others can be free from MS!