Across the road from my hotel in Kununurra is Celebrity Tree Park. Yes, although a highway, it’s a stroll across a road that is often without heavy traffic! There are plenty of boab trees at the Park, but I love the oldest and largest boab tree. It is huge, tactile and the urge to lean against it’s wide girth is something tourists, like children seeking their mother’s skirt, cannot resist. It is my go to place in the Park, too.
Late at dusk one evening I was heading back to my hotel when a honeyeater caught my eye. She bounced off the side of the old boab and suspended in space, flapped her wings vigorously like a hummingbird. She was quick and agile and I could not get my focus right. Oh! the frustration! She disappeared over the other side. I circled the boab with her. She then stopped and to my amazement I found she was feeding her chick. Her frantic wings were a way to disturb the insects off the boab. These are tiny birds so the chick was no bigger than a small thumb. Perfectly camouflaged, it was safe. I stood still and at a distance witnessing a precious moment of nurturing.
As a child my play consisted of dolls and houses. I was constantly tending to my children. At one point I had so many dolls that I played hospitals, taking turns being doctor and nurse to my patients! The need to nurture was strong. It followed through into my career and my personal life.
I’ve enjoyed a long weekend at home and the opportunity to catch up with my children. In a world that is chaotic and the propagation of fear rife, I made a concerted effort to make the house a home and to have meals with the family. It seemed important to create a base of safety for them. As I walked through the house, which, three years on, I’m still trying to settle into, I found a strong motif emerged in the paintings and sculptures I have. They all represent the theme of mother and child.
On holidays, the theme was still strong. It’s one of those things. If you seek it, you’ll find it.
Until next time
a dawn bird
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