Early morning tranquility in the bush was shattered by raucous bouts of laughter from a family of kookaburras. The spirited little birds greeted the sun that rose slowly but steadily from its resting place, in the same way that their forebears had done every day since time began. Among them on the low hanging river gum bough above the creek, sat a young male by the name of Cooinda.
Life was good to Cooinda. Everyone in his extended family looked out and cared for each other. No one ever went wanting and everyone chipped in by sharing food, warding off snakes and taking care of the young. That is why he had every reason to be happy every morning when he woke up and cheered on the sun, as it made its way into the sky to shine its warm and nurturing rays on him and his family. To Cooinda, everything was one and it never occurred to him that there could be such a thing as division.
Bindi, who was of Aboriginal descent, did not look up. Regrettably, she had become accustomed to this sort of abuse. However, the fear-based aggression that came with it stuck her like a knife to the heart. Then another voice sounded that did make her look up.
“Show some respect, mate,” a very old but fit looking man said to the youth. “If anything, you should get off your lazy arse and do your bit for society.”
“Mind yer own business, you old wanker!” the youth scowled.
The old man did not give it another thought. With big powerful strides, he went up to the youth and punched him full in the face, sending him crashing to the wooden floorboards with a loud thud.
“I went off to war in 1943 to defend the freedom of the people of this country, even that of the likes of you,” he said calmly as he stood towering above the youth.
The youth, who lay there stunned, simply stared at him in disbelief, trying to comprehend what had just happened. Everyone, including his mates, was in silent awe of the old man.
“Ian Garrett,” he said, introducing himself.
“Thank you,” Bindi replied, flashing her teeth in the most beautiful smile Ian had ever laid eyes on. “My name’s Bindi Griffiths.”
“Pleased to meet you, Miss Griffiths. Can I be of further assistance?”
“No, thank you, Mr Garrett,” Bindi replied shyly, impressed as she was by Ian’s gentlemanly behaviour.
“Call me Ian,” he replied.
“Okay Ian. My boyfriend’s driving over from Noosa to pick me up and meet my family for the first time.”
“Sounds exciting. A bit nervous, are you?’
“Haha,” Bindi giggled, “is it that obvious? I’m sure my parents and my brother will love him, but I’m not so sure how the rest of the family will react,” she replied with a look of uncertainty on her face.
“Well, as long as you love each other, and most importantly, as long as you love yourself,” Ian advised. “Then everything will fall into place, no matter what other people think or do.”
“Thanks again, Ian,” Bindi said.
“You’re welcome, butterfly.”
“That’s what my name means.”
“I know, and you know what butterflies symbolize, don’t you?”
“Yes, I do, transformation.”
“Well, I reckon an intelligent and fine looking young lady like yourself will do a wonderful job of transforming neediness into abundance, and separation into unity,” Ian stated.
“Hmm, I don’t know about that.”
“Sure you do,” Ian emphasized as he gently placed his right hand on her left shoulder. “Have faith in yourself and you’ll be alright.”
“Okay, I will.”
“Take care and have a great time,” Ian said with a wink of his eye as he turned around and headed off down the street.
“Bye bye Ian,” Bindi said with a smile on her face and a warm feeling in her heart.
There is enough for everyone
From ‘Warakurna’ by Midnight Oil
Harsh words had been spoken, leaving their mark on Bindi. With tear-filled eyes she had taken Arvid by the hand and left her parents behind to quarrel with Shane over his cold and hateful response. They went to a nearby creek just outside of town, where Bindi often used to come when she was a little girl. It was a tranquil place that made her feel happy when she was feeling down or when something unpleasant had happened. Now she hoped to experience that same happy feeling and to feel calm once more.
“I know, but he’s my brother,” Bindi replied. We used to be so close and I don’t know what’s gotten into him. That’s not how Mum and Dad raised us to behave.”
“Maybe he’s jealous of what we have and so he sees me as a threat to your relationship with him,” Arvid suggested.
“Hmm, I dunno’. It feels more like he’s been hanging out with the wrong crowd and listening to hateful talk.”
Then Bindi told Arvid about her encounter with the youth outside the pub earlier that afternoon.
“The world’s falling apart,” was Arvid’s conclusion.
“Don’t be sad,” a chirpy voice said.
Bindi and Arvid looked upwards to their right. Much to their surprise, they saw a young kookaburra looking at them from a large river gum bough. They looked at each other wide-eyed, having difficulty to believe that it was this cheerful looking bird that had just spoken to them.
“That’s right, I can speak,” the kookaburra continued, reading their thoughts.
He then waited a few moments for them to take in what seemed to be a bewildering experience.
“My name’s Cooinda,” he said in a cheerful voice.
“I’m Bindi and this is Arvid,” Bindi said as she slowly recovered.
“Hi Cooinda,” Arvid said.
“Hello,” Cooinda replied. “Why are you so sad, Bindi?”
Bindi told him what had happened at her parents’ house and outside the pub earlier that afternoon. Cooinda found it hard to believe. There was never any friction between members of his family. This was very new to him and he took his time to think it over. Then he remembered what his grandpa had told him a long time ago when he was very young.
“How do you mean?” Arvid asked with a curious look on his face.
“Have you ever had one of those days when you feel a bit uncertain?”
“Yeah, you bet,” Arvid replied.
“Same here,” Bindi added.
“Well, whenever I feel uncertain, I fly off on my own for a bit and just look around me at the other animals and the plants and the trees. That helps me to appreciate the wonderful world I live in, and in no time, I start to feel happy again.”
“So, what you’re saying, is that you don’t take your unhappiness or feelings of uncertainty, out on others, but deal with them yourself,” Bindi suggested.
“Yes, you could put it that way,” Cooinda replied. “By being on my own, I feel one with myself. Only then, can I be one with the world.”
“Wow,” Arvid said. “You really are a very wise little fella, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, you really are, Cooinda,” Bindi agreed.
Cooinda said nothing. Instead he started cooing, which was his run-up to laughing, and really let her rip:
His laughter was contagious, and within seconds, his new-found human friends joined in. When they had finished laughing, Bindi walked over to the bough on which Cooinda was sitting and held out her hand. Cooinda understood what she was gesturing at and hopped on to her hand with an ear-to-ear grin on his face. She then bowed towards him in reverence and gently kissed him on top of his cute, feathery little head.
“Thank you, my dear friend,” she whispered with tears of love in her eyes.
“You’re welcome, sweet butterfly,” was Cooinda’s reply before he leapt up into the air and flew off.
She was standing by a billabong on a bright sunny day, when a woman’s warm voice sounded deep inside:
“Beautiful butterfly, I am the Earth Mother and I have come to tell you this. Remember your union with yourself and the Universe and you will witness unity all around you.”
Bindi did just that. She felt and visualized it, and felt her heart glow and radiate a warm and powerful feeling throughout her body.
“Thank you, Mother,” she whispered as tears of love poured over her cheeks and into the corners of her mouth that was smiling radiantly.
“You are whole, you are one,” the Earth Mother said and then faded away.
“Good morning, sweet butterfly,” Arvid whispered with a loving smile on his face.
Bindi looked at him and responded in kind.
“You can feel it too, can’t you?” she asked.
“Yeah, it’s magical. I feel as if I’ve awoken into a new world with a new life,” Arvid replied.
“I know what you mean, sweetheart. Something tells me the world is finally turning into a happy place with enough for everyone. Then she pricked up her ears. “Listen,” she said, staring into the distance like people do when they are imagining something.
A little further upstream, the tell-tale laughter of kookaburras sounded. It was Cooinda and his family who were carrying out their daily ritual of welcoming the sun:
While Cooinda laughed with all his heart, he made contact with Bindi and Arvid and spoke to them without words:
Everyone and everything is connected. Every thought, feeling and act, however small, influences everyone and everything. How you think and feel about yourself, and how you treat yourself, will be presented to you in the outer world. So, may all of your intentions be loving. We are whole, we are one.
From that day on, Bindi made a habit of getting up early each morning to join in with the kookaburras to awaken the world and spread the feeling of unity. And Cooinda? Well, Cooinda still frequents the spot by the creek where he first met his human friends. Human? Hmm, you know, a strange thing happened on the day after Bindi’s dream. Together, she and Arvid became aware of the capacity for living beyond the limits of time and space. And it is said, that if you visit their spot on the creek bank early in the morning, you will find a young kookaburra couple sitting together laughing. When you do so, remember that it is up to each and every one of us to create unity. Know that when the kookaburra laughs it is to remind us that it is only through unity that the world will become a happier place.
We are whole, we are one
Kookaburra: happiness, the bright side of life, family, good parenting, loyalty, unity, humour, healing, cheekiness
Bindi: Aboriginal girl’s name, meaning ‘butterfly’ in the Nyungar language of Western Australia
Arvid: Swedish boy’s name, meaning ‘of the people’
Cooinda: Aboriginal word, meaning ‘a happy place’
Waratah flower: Undying love
‘Kookaburra’ by Skeeze on Pixabay
‘Reflection’ by Kalexander73 on Pixabay
‘Detail Of Grillwork’ by Peggyapl on Pixabay
‘Ulladulla Australia’ by ElisabettaDaniele on Pixabay
‘Waratah Flower’ by PropertySold on Pixabay
‘Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo’ by Missterryw on Freeimages.com