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Midden


 A Novel 


By Jane Anderson

Available as an Ebook for $15

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Midden - Saving the Trees by Being an Ebook



Synopsis


Midden shows the beautiful exchange between people living in harmony with nature, living mindfully off the land and connecting deeply with spirit.  It also shows how healing after trauma can bring forgiveness and lessen the burden of past hurts.


Midden is a fictional saga novel that tells the story of several tribes living on an isolated Island called Wyemena. This story cleverly intertwines facts, spiritual beliefs and survival skills of traditional cultures, creating an interesting, dramatic, sometimes humorous and raw look at how life may have been for people living on an isolated island, before being discovered by English settlers one hundred and fifty years later.


Midden is set in an Australian landscape and bush setting.


The Manuka Tribe who live on Wyemena, are deeply ritualistic and use ceremony, initiation, sexuality, song and dance to enhance their connection to the Dreaming, spirit realm, nature and each other.


Lena and her daughter, Jiemba are revered medicine women who have visions and dreams that guide the people. They are highly skilled in bush medicine for healing and are the midwives to many women. The tragedy of birth and death are explored often through the story, with vivid detail and emotion.


The Manuka tribe eventually combine with the Burumurring tribe, after their camp is attacked by the violent west coast tribe. These men are no longer in control of their own lives through lack of spiritual knowledge, respect for nature and ceremony. 


The people of Wyemena  gathered annually at the summer solstice gatherings in The Valley Below the Mountain. There, they would trade, arrange marriages and perform ancient ceremonies and rituals. This created strong bonds, friendships and allowed for important talks between the Elders.

Midden is a 48,000 word novel.

Table of Contents:

Prologue

Chapter 1 The Midden

Chapter 2 The Valley Below The Mountain

Chapter 3 Laughing Star

Chapter 4 Grandmother Jarlie

Chapter 5 Summer Solstice

Chapter 6 Mama Jiemba

Chapter 7 Initiation

Chapter 8 Return To The Valley Below The Mountain

Chapter 9 Wyemena Dark Days

Chapter 10 Way Of Life

Chapter 11 Badu And Yananda

Chapter 12 Women’s Business

Chapter 13 Creation Story

Chapter 14 The Elders

Chapter 15 Walkabout

Chapter 16 A Good Day To Die

Chapter 17 From The Dreaming

Chapter 18 Mannena

Chapter 19 The Manuka Way

Chapter 20 The Children

Chapter 21 Two-Spirits

Chapter 22 Far South

Chapter 23 Return To Manuka



Sample from Chapter 9 - "Wyemena Dark Days"


"The day was eerily still and fog lay across the channel of water, which was like glass as the broken family turned into Manuka. The tribe waiting there gathered at the waters edge to greet them.
They looked pale, weak and changed. Jiemba and Iluka scrambled off their canoe towards Lena and Koa who cried out in relief that they still lived. A new tribe was formed that day, one that would heal, grow and flourish under the banksia trees at Manuka.
As the sky darkened, the fire was fed dry dead wood from the bush, and the freshly roasted meat was eaten virtually in silence. The orange glow from the fire illuminated their sad faces, sunken cheeks and droopy eyes that struggled to stay open as they fed their starving bodies while the children fell asleep in the laps of their Elders." pg 76, Midden


Sample from Chapter 15 - "Walkabout"


"Tarni slept by the fire on his own and decided he would leave early before the camp woke.  Just before dawn he gathered his things quietly and left an offering of red ochre in an abalone shell that sat by the fire.  He left in silence, knowing from this point on, to stay away from strangers and enjoy his time alone until he returned back to Manuka.  He walked all day, eating wild mushrooms as he went.  He would soon be near Kaeeta beach, and he knew that he would need to swim the Big River if he wanted to continue to the big cliffs he kept seeing in his dreams.  By midday he reached the beach, he foraged around for some shellfish for energy and drank fresh water from the cold tannin stained creek.  After a while he regained his strength and was ready for the challenge.  The day was grey, and the Big River was choppy.  He greased himself with his supply of kangaroo marrow, before bravely taking himself up to his navel into the cold water.  (He wasn’t as good a swimmer as the women, but still loved the water).  His small bundle was tied tightly to his back as he started to swim.  The current was pretty strong, and it took him down stream quickly, he had to work hard to get across, and at one point nearly gave up.  He finally arrived at the far end of the eastern shore totally spent.  He made a fire quickly to warm up and would rest there until tomorrow.  The view from the eastern shore was magnificent.  He could see the whole of the mountain, kangaroo valley, Kaeeta beach and the top end of Mannena Island.  The thick bush was lush and green and the tendrils of white smoke rising out of it here and there looked almost surreal as he enjoyed his solitude.  He gathered more oysters and mussels from the rocks for his food, and finally fell asleep.  Tarni woke at dawn to the peaceful sound of seabirds singing and set off eagerly in the direction of the big cliffs.  He walked for many days, resting only at dusk for the night and rising early again to keep going.  After a full rotation of the moon, he was now close to his destination.  He had seen so much along the way and became so used to his own company he at times forgot about his family and tribe.  The walking made him be present, and in his body.  He had no one to distract him, and nothing but himself and the bush around him.  At night he’d enjoy the small bats that whooshed past his head in search of moths attracted to the firelight and more often than not he'd see a white owl too.  (He felt this owl was his totem for the trip and offered it raw meat on occasion by leaving some on a branch).  The possums and Taraba were noisy too, but he was used to the comforting night sounds he’d grown up with. Eventually Tarni walked down hill through thick bush until he reached a long white sandy beach.  The water was clear and blue, with massive waves crashing in like he’d never seen before.  He walked silently along the noisy beach turning on occasion to look at his own footprints in the sand.  He had a brief moment of complete understanding…. We can walk this life feeling alone, but we are not alone, we have ourselves, our history, our story.  We have nature constantly trying to talk to us, but many do not listen or see. They forget the very land they walk upon is their mother… Tears welled in his eyes and he sat down in the sand.  He realised now that he was actually very near the place that his own mother Ilana was born.   This is the place Merri had come to steal her many years before!  He had come home, and he hadn’t even realised it till now. He wondered if he would find his mother’s family but wasn’t so worried if he didn’t.  After resting for a long time, Tarni continued along the beach and clambered up the steep bank back into the bush.  He walked east until the land began to change and the trees thinned and turned into short bushes.  The earth beneath now was nearly all rocks and he could hear the sound of the ocean crashing.  Finally, he arrived, the space around him opened up as he approached the cliff edge. He was awe struck by the immense beauty of this place.  The ocean was blue and mammoth.  There were giant pillars of rock emerging out from the sea like trees.  He walked to the edge of the cliff and looked down.  It was a long way and he stood back quickly to keep safe.  He sat there at last and smiled. He had arrived. The wind blew and spoke to him, he didn’t understand its language, but he felt it.  “Welcome home, welcome to your families land, welcome.” Tarni closed his eyes and could see the spirits around him.  The playful Naninga was there, as was the water spirits and sprites.  They played around him and touched him, he could see them in his mind and feel them as they touched his skin and made him shiver. “You are brave for coming here, you have travelled a long way, not only in distance but in who you are…your willingness to leave the safety of home and travel alone for many moons does not go unnoticed.  Bravery and inquisitiveness bring rewards,” said the water spirits. Tarni heard a sound he could not understand and then from behind him, footsteps.  He opened his eyes but could see no one, but there on the ground was a bundle, wrapped in soft kangaroo skin  tied with a flax cord.  He opened it slowly, and inside were four things..." 


About the Author


Jane Anderson lives in quiet southern Tasmania, Australia.  Jane grew up on the NW coast of Tasmania, where she enjoyed farm life with her family and grew to love nature deeply.  Jane completed an Advanced Diploma of Sacred Arts in 2009, where her love for nature expanded. She has facilitated drumming circles, women’s retreats and drum making workshops for over twenty years, amongst raising her four children with her partner Gerrard, of thirty years.  Jane has always experienced vivid dreams and visions, which have often inspired her to create in many forms, including this novel, Midden.  Many of the spiritual experiences and visions had by the characters in the story, are derived from Jane’s own personal experiences. 
Having suffered PTSD after an event several years ago, writing Midden has helped Jane personally, to come to a place of healing and forgiveness after trauma.  She hopes that the readers can find the same feeling of healing and forgiveness after reading Midden
Jane currently works as a nurse in Hobart, Tasmania along with still facilitating healing retreats and drum making. 

Testimonial Reviews

"Some books come at the perfect time; Midden is one of those books. The wisdom in these pages is much needed, the day to day lives of the characters, the values of family, friendship and tradition, the trials of loss and separation offer a panacea for todays challenges. Midden is infused with heart, encouraging the reader to reflect on their own place in the world and the way in which we move through it. Midden has that magical quality of making the reader feel transported into another life. The characters are rich, and authentic, they will stay with you long after you have finished reading

Jane Anderson has crafted an extremely engaging, and insightful view into a time past, the respect and care taken in writing this book is obvious to the reader."  

Diane Summers, Yoga Love Freedom Teacher, Tasmania




"Thank you for writing this special story, and that it stalked you enough to put it on paper - guided by Spirit to birth the healing message

You have wonderfully woven in the different ceremonies and focus on women giving birth and the plant medicine used

it helped me to understand the tribal ways and how the Midden developed over hundreds of years

I especially love how you have described the different parts of southern Tasmania and how they would have lived - untouched and respected
Hastings Cave & the thermal pool, had powerful energy through your writing, and could feel the healing spirits

It's been years since I have been there and saw it through new eyes.

Your channeled words have invoked a clear healing channel that is infused in your writing, and can palpitably feel the transformation in the cave, it brought tears to my eyes

I yearn for that simple life, paradise, connection, understanding, mutual acceptance from others

I celebrate the time that this has taken to write and honour your commitment to the process, 
healing you through each phase, which will help to heal others"

Mariangela Parrodi
Alkymia – Passion, Purpose, Prosperity
Transformational intuitive, Naturopath, Wellness Coach,

Lenah Valley, Tasmania.




Authors Statement of Intent:

"Who am I and why did I write Midden: I am not a First Nations person, I was gifted the story of Midden which is a novel, and I in no way claim to know the true ways of native life or their beliefs. The fictional novel draws on native ways, my own spiritual experiences and a mix of both Australian Aboriginal, Native American and other teachings. Some Tasmanian Aboriginal words are used respectfully within the story. Ultimately the story is about healing and forgiveness after trauma, and also a portrayal of how connecting with nature is an intuitive dance if we are in tune with our environment. When Midden is read you can understand its intent.
I feel I was gifted the story and like any writer will say: I literally sat down and started writing the story, some people call this channelling, however I do not use that term as it doesn't sit comfortably with me personally... I like to think of it more as a gift as that is how it felt. I could see the characters in my mind, and the words flowed through onto the key board which took over two years to finish. Blessings, Jane Anderson."