Last week I attended a Sorry Day talk at the Library and it was a very moving experience. Susan Moylan-Coombs told her story as an Aboriginal woman who was taken away from her parents, who had each been taken from their parents before meeting up in the mission. Susan was born and immediately taken from her parents in 1964 when Aboriginal people were not considered people but as part of the Flora and Fauna Act. During the talk Susan described having no memories of her life in the mission, a happy life with her adopted family, the moment of meeting her birth mother and the intense emotions the National Apology stirred up for her. She explained that the apology made her realise for the first time the magnitude of what happened. That it wasn't just her but two or three generations of Aboriginal people were affected with ongoing repercussions for generations to come. As a positive and powerful person Susan has overcome so much in her life and her achievements are inspiring. I felt privileged to be in the room hearing her story.
She described returning to the hospital where she was born - "The nurses said 'all your needs were met' as if to say why are you upset? She explained that despite her basic needs being met in terms of Maslow's Hierarchy, there was a fundamental need she feels was not met - Spirit. She explained that Spirit is very important to Aboriginal people sometimes described as Country or Dreaming. Just because someone is fed and clothed doesn't mean that their spirit is nourished. I thought about this as I returned to my desk after the talk. My spirit was low and I thought about my spirit animal... the owl.. and there it was... someone came running through the offices calling 'there's an owl outside a window upstairs, come and have a look!' My spirit called and the owl appeared! I ran upstairs and there it was, sheltering from the pouring rain, in the tree with a rat in it's talons. I was glued to the window looking at it and it looked back. I showed it my owl gumboots (I'm wearing them again today) and my spirit soared!
flickr. I hope you all enjoy the journey and perhaps find your own spirit animal to nourish your spirit.