The term ‘social influencer’ is an interesting one. Some have made a profession of it. Back in the day, my mother saw it differently. “If you see someone with a good habit, emulate them, if someone has a bad habit, learn how to avoid doing the same. And, remember, you are that person for someone else”, she would say. She was not talking about being ‘a social influencer’ or celebrity in all its forms. Without realising it, she was asking her children to be observant and mindful about being human.
There are others who influence people through their chosen work. Sandesh Kadur, is that person for me. Some years ago, switching channels, I stumbled across a National Geographic documentary. It was on the Western Ghats (along the west coast of India). I was bewitched by Kadur’s cinematography. I then learned he is an internationally acclaimed wildlife photographer, who also promotes conservation. Soon after I bought my first camera. I have never looked at the world the same way again.
Kadur has taught me to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary. I don’t ‘instagram’ my photographs. Partly because I’m not tech savvy with the camera! I aim and shoot. I know nothing about filters, lens and settings! I’ve found I enjoy seeing things as they are. The tiny feather of a Silvereye, the spikes of green grass. Ordinary things one can miss, I’m drawn to instinctively.
One of my favourite places in the South West is Big Swamp in Bunbury. I hear the alarm call of the swamp hen when I park my car and long before I see them. I had taken this picture some months ago and only realised last night, I had photographed a mother and chick near their nesting area.
I notice flowers in the garden. Any garden. I have become inquisitive and curious. I want to see detail. I want to see how nature ‘packs’ and ‘unpacks’.
I’m enthralled by perfection evident in nature, even when there is no one but a solitary traveller to see the beauty in fields.
I’ve found flowers appearing magically in a bowl in my kitchen.
I’ve found a raging bushfire is followed by carpets of delicate wildflowers. So I wait for nature to heal, as I know it will. This one I found in Yalgorup National Park a few months after a fire destroyed the town of Yalgoo. Like nature, people, too, are healing. Some have returned, determined to make a new start. Resilience is a beautiful thing. Like the wildflower, delicate and breathtaking to observe.
I’ve discovered the tiny swallow starts her day by facing the sun. So I do too.
And, the exquisite New Holland honeyeater will stand her ground, even if she is perched precariously. A lesson learned.
To paraphrase my mother, what you say and do, matters. Know your power. Know where it is strengthened, where it is diminished.
Kadur opened a door. I walked in. Join me.
Until next time
a dawn bird