Till death do us part

via Daily Prompt: Betrayed

I’ve been reflecting on the word ‘betrayed’ overnight.  Initially, I thought it was the perfect word to vent but this morning I waited patiently for dawn before writing.  It arrived as expected, in the sky, and in me.

There’s a predictability to life around me when I’m home.  The currawongs, the kookaburras, the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of larger birds above as they fly to the lake.  The excited screeching rainbow lorikeets, flying this way and that way.  The cooing of the pair of doves that have a home in the back yard.  The sweet fluted call of the willie wagtail.  If I concentrated, the mild hum of the freeway in the far distance, before the sound of fridge took over.  I allowed each to grab my attention, intermittently.  Alone in the quiet of a big home, I did not feel betrayed, not even a hint of rancour.  I realised how blessed I am for acknowledging I had the strength to go where the journey took me.

‘Till death do us part’, is part of the wedding vows, taken literally and certainly one I was raised with but came to realise, sometimes, one ‘dies’ while still breathing and for some, that’s when the love story comes to an end.  Who ‘dies’ first is irrelevant but having the courage to move on, is.

A colleague recently mentioned, although there is sadness that my marriage ended, I have never spoken about my children’s father, with acrimony.  Perhaps, this is why they have such a good relationship with him.  I would have to agree.  I now see their father through their eyes that have been untainted by mine.  They see him as he is.  Unplugged.  They see the good in him, his humour, and still laugh and groan at his ‘dad jokes’.  I can laugh with them too, his humour, his strength and attraction.  It helps to keep the affection of early years remain warm as embers.  They are careful with their words.  They know he is sensitive, and that this is not always a strength in people.  I observe how they navigate their relationship with him.  They are more skilled at this than I but in those moments when they are less skillful, I step in and set boundaries on what can be said and when.  I do this because I have a deep sense of gratitude towards him, that runs deeper than any disappointment I may feel about what we had, and didn’t.  Together, we had children we are proud of, and it is on this common ground we have made our peace.

I’ve worked hard to practice the philosophy, what is meant to be, will be.  This commitment to healing helps others too.  The most consistent feedback I receive from people, is that I have helped them see things differently.  Baggage checked, they are free to move on.  I know I did and found …

DSCN0300The greenest growth is at the point of pruning.DSCN0998Solitary can be a powerful statement.DSCN1425I no longer look for permanence.  Transience is appealing to me.  What ebbs and flows, like the breath of life, is a gift.  We see this in tides, sometimes shells, sometimes, a forest of boab trees in the sand.  DSCN1347I also know a  boab tree is strong, and will wait like a friend, withstanding tide and time.DSCN1719At my leisure I read sea stories of ancient times, carved in stone.DSCN1705I’ve learned lessons from migratory birds in flight.  And, like them, I now travel light.DSCN1767Cauterised, I now watch the tide soothe ruffled edges, as the pindan cliffs bleed into the sea.DSCN1334My eyes scan roadside for three eyed monsters.  They help reconnect to the child in me.DSCN0647A red eye, is a ruby.DSCN1072A ball of ruffled vivid feathers is gorgeous, but …DSCN1251A single white feather, is peace.

May your Easter be one of renewal and hope.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird










via Daily Prompt: Frantic

Last year I met a friend at a conference.  I hadn’t seen her for some years.  We both do similar work.  We always make plans to meet.  Frustratingly our paths never cross when we are visiting the same town but we keep in touch frequently.  Much younger than me and someone who makes time to go to the gym, she had a massive heart attack earlier this year.  With a pacemaker, she has a new lease on life but it has thrown a curved ball on her lifestyle.  It was a wake up call, for her and me.

I’ve become used to what my children refer to as my “gypsy” lifestyle.  I’ve learned to cope by using some strategies that I find work for me.  I am never rushed for the airport.  In every town I request the same room at the hotel, so it is familiar.  When I’m given a serviced apartment, I always do the dishes.  It grounds me.  My packing is neatly organised in travel packs.  There’s less chance I’ll lose something this way.  Travel is not a stressor for me.  It comes from a certain philosophy.

Those in the fast lane, for example, jockeys, marathon runners, even sprinters, etc respond to a different rhythm.  They call it pace.  They become attuned to it.  They have to, if they want to win.  They know you can’t go too fast, too early.  Nor leave the last dash, too late.  Yes, they know the rhythm.  It comes from practice and the desire to win.

I’m home for nearly a week over the Easter break before travel starts again in earnest.  Shifting gears is now easier.  I create a different pace when I’m home.  I savour every moment.  I still wake early.  There’s no such thing as sleeping in, for me.  I wake and wait, coffee in hand, for dawn.  It always arrives in style.  I make time to wander in the garden.  DSCN9861The Willie Wagtail is always great company.DSCN6602.jpgThe cape gooseberry bush has one or two lanterns at the moment.  I’m not sure if it is the right time for it to fruit.  My mother used to make the best gooseberry jam.  The taste of fresh fruit is an indelible memory, so I eye it with anticipation.DSCN7020.jpgThe last of the autumn roses have found a space to peek through the fence.  DSCN7493.jpgAlthough autumn is soon claiming them …DSCN9308.jpgthere’s still some summer left in leaves.thumb_IMG_2995_1024.jpgI’ve come to learn, when there are no roses, leaves and raindrops will do.thumb_IMG_2869_1024.jpgAnd, who knew that plain old snail, lived under a gilded roof.

I know these things now because I make time to learn them in those still moments.  The concept of frantic is no longer part of my vocabulary or lifestyle.  Yes, like the jockeys and marathon runners, it took practice to get here.  And, I did.

My children, too, are learning this philosophy.  They make sure they spend quality time with their partners and also value their alone time, too.  They know life is not all about money.  Success is doing what you love to do.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird



A little break, as good as a holiday

There are some places I visit for work and happy to return to enjoy at leisure, even if time is brief.  Exmouth, about 1200 kms north of Perth, is one of them.  It has the most beautiful beaches and well known for deep sea fishing, swimming with whale sharks and the Ningaloo Marine Park.  For me the charm lies in what others may not see.

DSCN9695.jpgEmus rule here.  On wide empty streets, they slow you down.  They are the traffic jam.  The speed bump.  I love them!  Once at the local school, I even saw one checking out the children’s backpacks that were left outside class!DSCN9629The sun rises over water here.  And, as is true anywhere in the world, each day is always different.DSCN9761.jpgDid I love the vivid colours of one day or the beautiful serene pewter shine, the next?  I really cannot say.  Both were equally breathtaking.DSCN9782.jpgI love visiting Pebble Beach.  The rocks come from the escarpment on the other side.  The sea brings them in, and leaves them polished, and smooth.  DSCN9780.jpgFor me, these are the pearls of the sea.  They are old.  Smooth.  Tactile.  Melded.  You feel the story in one’s hand.DSCN9684.jpgThis time I visited Jurabi Point Beach.DSCN9687.jpgWas it worth it?DSCN9683.jpgYou bet!DSCN9604.jpgAmong the pebbles, knowing they are there, I always search for heart shaped stones.  Why does the sea shape them so?DSCN9584.jpgThis one is for meditation.  When adrift rudderless, at sea, it is a reminder.  Like the tide, one always returns to shore.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird



A new perspective

via Daily Prompt: Micro

Today has been a big day.  I accompanied my son to Perth Zoo.  With conflicting schedules, unfortunately his fiancee had work today and could not come with us.

My son and his fiancee have set the date for their wedding scheduled for next year.  They will be exchanging vows with the low growls of lions in the savanna exhibit nearby.  We walked around the venue where they will hold the ceremony and reception as my son gave me a running commentary of the young couple’s vision for the day.  I felt a curious mixture of elation and sadness.  I saw my son in a new light.  He will be someone’s husband, next year.  I recall walking around the same Zoo, holding his little hand, showing him this and that.  Where did time go?

After his visit with the wedding planner, I asked him if we could spend some time walking around the Zoo.  I hadn’t visited for over 20 years but this time, I had come prepared, camera and his childhood memories, in hand.

DSCN9835.jpgThe tiny Bolivian yellow squirrel monkeys were a delight.  DSCN9834.jpgThey clung to each other, surprised by early morning humans.DSCN9839.jpgOh! look at those fingers!DSCN9837.jpgAnother, poised, before jump.

I took the pictures, lost in my own world, and returned to reality when I heard my son say, “Mum! I don’t think I’ve ever seen you look so happy!”

It struck me.  My children see my photographs when I return home from trips or in my blog, but they have never seen me take a photograph.

With the circuitry of the micro chip in my brain visible to his eye, my son witnessed what makes me tick.

Like I said.  Today was a big day.  A mother and a son saw each other in a new light.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird




What’s in a name


I mentioned in my previous post I was the invisible child.  This is an addendum.  I was also nameless.

Throughout my childhood years I was referred to by my older sister’s name.  There was no cultural reason for this.  She was memorable for her smile and warmth.  I was more wary of entourage, weighing pros and cons.  Somehow my sister and I just knew who was being spoken to, even though people called us by the same name. Such is conditioning.

Fast forward decades later, I visited a very small timber town in Western Australia.  I had made arrangements with someone by email and phone, so he knew my name well.  He greeted me appropriately when I arrived, then took me to meet his boss.  To my utter amazement, a few seconds later, he introduced me referring to my sister’s name!  There is no way in the world this man would have known her name.  (Cue spooky music!).  I mentioned in an earlier post, my daughter’s dogs are inseparable.  At 12 months Em rarely responds to her name.  When M (the older dog) is called, Em bounds in.  They are siblings of a different kind.

Because of my work in small regional towns, I prefer a degree of privacy.  People often know me by name until they meet me face to face.  So I have to constantly be alert when I place a coffee order because I’m “Anne”, Kathy”, “Patricia”, or whatever name that comes to mind.

I keep a low profile on social media and for good reason.  Long before breaches of privacy were being publicised, I noticed names of neighbours, clients, their children and also financial advisers I had not seen in ten years, were people who came up as ‘Add Friend’.  It was more than troubling.  When I mentioned this to someone, she accused me of being “paranoid”.  I really don’t think so!

There is one name that is immutable and irrefutable.  The one I identify with the most.  It is the one my children call me.  “Mum”.  It is a name I have earned and intend to keep and the most visible one to others as well.  I’ll explain.  I came home yesterday and fly out again today, so I met with my son for a hurried dinner.  We had a heartfelt chat over the meal.  It must have been obvious because the waitress mentioned, she could not help watching, the way mother and son shared quality time.

My smile is not memorable like my sister’s.  Nor do I have the charm of my mother.  So I’m happy to remain faceless to the world.DSCN8626.jpgBecause you know me best, through my imagery and words.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird






The Invisible Child

via Daily Prompt: Invisible


DSCN6655.jpgIn a noisy household, I was regarded as “a good child”.  I never got in the way.  I’m not quite sure how I managed that because I was curious about everything.

Being “good” had its downside.  I recall although my family were well known in the community, someone commented they were surprised my parents had three children.  Although it was said in jest, the child in me was wounded.  And, snap! just like that, I became the invisible child.

The urge to write probably took hold in those early years.  My reasoning was simple.  If I could not be seen, I had no voice.  So I decided I would speak with my fingers.  That throwaway remark was the start of an interesting journey.  One I reflect on often.

I have changed over the years.  Found my voice, if you like.  I am no longer ‘a closet scribbler’.

Like a dragonfly, I make myself visible.

And, vulnerable.

Each time I write.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird





For my children

via Daily Prompt: Identical

DSCN0526.jpgMy children have taught me, they may have been raised with identical values, but they are individuals.  Each with their own strengths and struggles.  My role is to be aware of this and be the level playing field for them.  I cannot attribute this thinking to my professional training.  Nor can I give credit to how I was raised by my parents.  I have become this kind of parent because I take time every day to visit that inner space, the sanctuary, where I am me.DSCN2508.jpgI’ve found when dazzled by anything en masseDSCN8164.jpgIt is worth the time to stop and look closer.  DSCN7930.jpgThat scrub with white prongs in the distance, has its own delight.DSCN8239.jpgI found these ‘roses’ …DSCN8231.jpgbloom in the harshest environment.DSCN8320.jpgAlthough I avoid orange drinks, sometimes it is worth to stop and gulp.DSCN8277An enamel orchid will continue to shine, under the overhang.DSC_0904.jpgAt dawn the ‘bin chicken’ is equally beautiful with sea as backdropDSCN9797.jpgas it is stepping out of a pond at sunset.DSC_0662.jpgStone hearts may be invisible in people, until you rub them up the wrong way.  The visible ones, left by Nature, are always beautiful because of their vulnerability.  (I photographed this exactly as I found it).

My mindfulness exercises have helped me parent children into young adults who value their individuality.  My daughter has always been a creative person, with a passion for dance and the arts.  The passion was there in infancy.  She danced with her eyes before she could walk.  She has changed and evolved over the years and in her teens, refused to squeeze into the space I thought was best for her.  She has returned.  She is now happy nesting, in the space she created for herself.  We are both happier after me having learned, sometimes the art she appreciates is on her body, and not hanging in a gallery.  My son claims he has inherited all that is good in both his parents.  (Who could ask for more!).  He has grown into a young man with focus on family and the most vulnerable in the community.  So who cares if the only ponytail at the table, belongs to him.  I now accept a tattoo is considered art.  Questioning authority is healthy.  Discussion is not advice.  And, if advice is sought, my children, the young adults, have the right to choose whether they follow it, or not.  Identical core values may be what we share in common, but what is different, is what makes us family.

What I’ve learned, and continue to learn about parenting comes from Nature.  Once the foundation is laid down and core values practiced, it is easier to see the individual shine in the most unexpected ways.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird





Look away!

via Daily Prompt: Blush

I was a different person in early childhood, yet in many ways, I remain the same.

I listened.  I observed.  I must have done it well.  Friends and family know me for my silence and invisibility.  Not finding a place under their sun of accomplishments, I searched and found my own.  So I share this space with you on what life has taught me.

DSCN2051.jpgDriving through the Midwest, I realised, why settle for a bunch of flowers when I can have a paddock.  DSCN8346.jpgI’m always amazed to find pink in tough, mining towns.  On reflection, given the volatility of the industry and profession, perhaps it is Nature’s way to symbolize hope. DSCN8545.jpgEvery time I return from a trip, a neglected garden reminds me, it will continue to bloom, with or without my presence.  A helpful reminder for ego, so I take notes.thumb_DSCN8950_1024.jpgThere are no words to describe finding one’s first enamel orchid along a bush track but I’ll try.  They look shiny and plastic.  The crick in the neck from the double take was worth it!  They are breathtakingly beautiful.

thumb_DSCN9253_1024Likewise discovering that shaggy bush in Esperance, turns into a gorgeous waterfall acacia came as a surprise like no other one spring.thumb_DSCN8378_1024.jpgIf one summons enough courage to visit Lesueur National Park early mornings, when there is no one else there but Nature, the drawcard is easy to see.

thumb_DSCN9245_1024.jpgI found ‘kebabs’ of flowers there, too, so the gnawing hunger pangs make me return again and again.thumb_DSCN8971_1024.jpgPom poms along bush tracks brings out the inner cheerleader, I never knew resided in me.thumb_DSCN9490_1024.jpgThere’s infinite joy when a small bird allows you to keep it company.thumb_DSCN8906_1024.jpgIn a still moment, unadorned simplicity, is where Nature does it best.thumb_DSCN8959_1024.jpgThere’s a certain beauty to waiting before bloom.  (I wish I knew this in my youth).thumb_DSCN9004_1024.jpgRice crackers are found on the beach, if you look for them hungrily.thumb_DSCN9016_1024.jpgThe sand dunes are not an obstruction between me and the ocean.thumb_DSCN9022_1024They are made from tiny shells and quartz.  Each piece infinitesimal and exquisite.thumb_DSCN8641_1024.jpgA pesky weed is beautiful too.

These are things I didn’t know then, but do now.  The thought makes me blush with shame.

So look past my ignorance.

I’ll be back once I’ve found focus and share life, as I know it, through my lens again.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird













I want it now!

via Daily Prompt: Patience

They say patience is a virtue.  In my youth I rebelled against this concept.  I wanted it (whatever ‘it’ was), and I wanted it now!  I stood at various platforms waiting for the train that never arrived.  Yes, in my haste to find it, I missed the journey.  (Sounds cliched, and it is intentionally so, because that’s how pedestrian life can be, unless you start to view it differently).

Surviving a major accident in my twenties, I scrambled through therapy to become functional again.  Yes, I had to get back to the platform, for that train, thinking it would get me Somewhere.

I am There. That place I yearned for in my youth and find, I often flip back the pages tracking back to Somewhere.

I now know.  Somewhere was always Here.

I’m not sure how I got Here.  Here, was where I always should have been.  How did I get here.  Well, let me track the journey.

I woke one day to find …

DSCN5416.jpgA snail will climb steadily until it reaches the tree top.  It’s all about pace!DSCN5432.jpgAny cut, words or blade, can leave ragged edges.DSCN5589.jpgI’ve found youth (mine!) and wisdom (my children’s!) can co-exist on the same branch of a tree!DSCN5445.jpgSometimes, you just have to stand still and allow the storm to pass, and it will, if your roots are strong.DSCN8141.jpgI’ve learned the solitary fisherman on the rocks who wets the line at dawn, has done this many times before.  He does it for the pleasure, not because he expects a bite.DSCN8199.jpgLikewise the surfer, as he strides out board under arm, to the open sea.DSCN9771.jpgThere he’ll sit, with like minded folk, waiting for that set to arrive.DSCN9784.jpgAnd when it does, he’ll take me with him on that magic carpet ride.  DSCN8190.jpgI found some mornings when the sea is muted, wild dolphins will weave their way through the calm and leave my knees weak with sheer delight of it all.DSCN5759.jpgI’ve found in small mining towns, when there’s not a soul to be seen at midday, even a kangaroo can stop by and crack open a can, to chill with you.DSCN8235.jpgAnd, if you don’t drink.  You can still see double.DSCN9721.jpgIn winter, when all else has faded away, a fig is vivid with colour.DSCN9158.jpgA beach is a beach.  It does not need a me and a you, to tell a story of romance.DSCN5993.jpgI don’t need to travel to Mallee country.  There are times when the ringneck will visit me to check out how I live.DSCN9591.jpgNo longer a lead foot.  I slow down and enjoy the curves that life throws up at me now and then.  I’ve learned those are moments, to see past the obstruction and see the forest, as it is meant to be.DSCN6047.jpgYes, I found patience.  It was always at my feet, in the Here and Now.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird










No doubt like millions of others, I wake to news headlines every day.  They ignite feelings of outrage, empathy and dare I say, a sense of helplessness, or we rise to our feet in applause for those who demand change.  So instead of reading headlines this morning, (the news of yesterday being deflating), I decided to start my day differently.

Reaching for something warm this morning to take some chill away, I lay in bed thinking of what I would cook for breakfast for my son who will be visiting me.  The thought was warmer than any blanket within reach.

My son once commented, he likes that I find time to relax when I travel.  He’s always concerned about my workload.  When he reads this post he’ll know, when I’m out working regionally, the headliners I ‘read’, invigorate me.

DSCN8221.JPGWith thousands of photographs to catalogue, I don’t know the names of the wildflowers I photograph.  Do I really need to?  They say what they need to say.DSCN8581.jpgI’ve found a pink banksia cone in a national park in Jurien Bay.  They usually range in shades of gold and orange, so a pink one, is sheer delight.DSCN8460.jpgI’m not sure of this plant either that sprouted long prongs of flowers, but I feel I’ve looked right into the heart and found nothing but smaller things that made it bigger.DSCN9761.jpgAnd, the wild spider orchid, Mardi Gras flamboyant in bloom, always finds a place to perform, in a dense forest.DSCN8896.JPGMuch like the kangaroo paw, still, poised in mid-bloom.DSCN8566.jpgThen there are purple flowers, with trails of happy tears, after the rain.DSCN8840.JPGThere are others, who make me peer even closer to look at the tinier bloom, within bloom.DSCN9429.JPGThere are plain, pristine pure white blooms, like angels that brighten gloom.DSCN9029.JPGPom poms with individual exquisite flowers, the detail within them, beyond description.DSCN8908.JPGAnd trigger plants that swing in the breeze, like joyful children, in a playground.

So this morning, I thought I’d share my headliners with you as you start (or end your day) to remind you, there is much beauty in the world, even when some days, it does not seem that way.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird



The Dream Maker

via Daily Prompt: Incubate

I was raised in a home that was filled with books and discussion.  I’ve carried the tradition into my home with my children.

It was my father who nurtured me emotionally and intellectually by choice and circumstance.  I adored him.  He became an invalid at 39 after he suffered a major heart attack and became a stay-at-home dad, so he was more accessible while my mother went out to work.  I loved his reserve.  His wisdom still guides me each day.

DSCN6034.jpgLike a bird that sits quietly while her eggs incubate beneath her, my father would listen to my endless questions, pause thoughtfully and ask, “what do you think?”  I always had an answer or five and when I didn’t, I’d scurry to find a book with the answer and return back to him, brimming with information.

He didn’t know then, and I wish I could tell him now, he was my Dream Maker.  In those pauses, my dreams found a place to incubate.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


Mother and me

via Daily Prompt: Wrinkle

Having flown two awful flights, one where there was problems with an engine mid flight, I was somewhat apprehensive catching another flight to this region.

Being a small twin engine turbo, the pilot and co-pilot greet passengers as they board and disembark, a personal signature touch of the airline.  This time the pilot looked like she had just graduated from high school.  Her youth heightened my anxiety.

It was late afternoon when we landed after a surprisingly pleasant flight.  I shared this with the pilot and thanked her.  When she grinned, she looked even younger.

The sun was low in the sky.  The drive into town is around 23 kms.  I drove steadily and then stopped for a few minutes at a reserve before it was too dark.  I needed quiet, even if it was for a minute or two.  The birds had long been silenced by sunset.  I sat  taking it all in when an imperceptible movement caught my eye.DSCN9437.jpgI did a double take and zoomed in.  I wasn’t alone!  My heart pounded in excitement.DSCN9438.jpgI zoomed in as slowly as I could.DSCN9440.jpgAnd, closer, again.DSCN9442.jpgAnd again.

She stood silently, all doe-eyed and twitching velvet ears.

I was thrilled to see her.  The reserve was damaged by a bush fire a few years ago and although the flora and birds have returned, I hadn’t seen any kangaroos.  I made a mental note.  One more thing to watch out for.DSCN9443.jpgThe next morning, I headed out to the reserve again.  The air was alive with tweets and flapping wings of the larger birds over the lake.

I inched my car slowly, silently winching at the crunch of wheels on gravel that sounded deafening when I wanted quiet.

Either she didn’t hear me (I doubt that!) but she did not disappear from sight.  She stayed and nursed joey, before they bounded into the scrub.

I headed to work, carrying the memory, in the wrinkle at the corner of my eyes.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird






Ah ha!

via Daily Prompt: Grasp

Psychologists wait for ‘ah ha’ moments in therapy, when things start to make sense.  So I thought I’d share my therapeutic encounters with you.

DSCN5692.jpgI’ve found mother and child stay together, as long as necessary for survival.DSCN5670.jpgWait long enough, tide and time will make rocks crumble.DSCN5675.jpgWhen exploited, the earth bleeds red.DSCN5509.jpgIn the harsh Pilbara mining region, if you look hard enough, there is an oasis outside the door.DSCN5448.jpgAnd in the red dust of the Goldfields, nuggets are found in the scrub.DSCN9554.jpgA Wheatbelt sunset is more beautiful, when a solitary silhouette gives it perspective.DSCN9627.jpgWake early enough, the party has started with a festoon of pink galahs on gum trees.DSCN5389.jpgIn the Midwest, the white heron is always poised.DSCN5421.jpgBut the pelican can have an inelegant moment or three.DSCN9731.jpgIn Esperance, the solitary seek the sea, as friend.DSCN9960.jpgOnce past prime, a flower is still beautiful, when it hits the pavement.DSCN9984.jpgWhen admonishment is necessary, the Willie Wagtail is never far away.  DSCN5655.jpgIf one’s lucky, the sea eagle may look you straight in the eye.

In those mindful moments, what I didn’t know then, I know now.

It is an undeniable truth.  Nature has me in her grasp.


Until next time

a dawn bird


The Goodbye

via Daily Prompt: Suddenly

DSCN8248.jpg“She refused to say goodbye, It had a finality. A brutality. It was a point of reference. It had the power to define what was before it and all that came after. So she found a way to say goodbye, framed within a eulogy to friendship. After all, memories are meant to keep one warm, make one smile and soften the ragged edges. Or do they?

Suddenly, the uncertainty caught her off guard. She shivered. Facing the monstrous truth, her face crumbled.

She was child again.”

The above is an excerpt I wrote during an impromptu exercise.  It had special relevance to a moment in my life.  (I now realise, when put into perspective, yes, a moment of one’s life).

Since that point of reference, the sentiments in the excerpt  reflect my feelings at sunset each day. It’s an ambivalent moment for me.

Like a child with a toy, I’m always reluctant to let go, even though I know dawn will start the cycle again.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


Joe, this one is for you …

via Daily Prompt: UncompromisingDSCN8337.jpgI was in the outback, far north, staying at a cattle station just before the mustering began.DSCN8297.jpgStanding by the corral at dawn, I didn’t notice him while he worked, so entranced was I, by it all.  IMG_1066.jpgBut when he stood patiently waiting for toast to turn brown, sipping billy tea from a tin mug, “g’day” escaping from the corner of his mouth, he caught my eye. DSCN8304He had an aura.  It was how he worked the horses, that made him unique.

Later that day, my hearing acute, I heard his spurs clink as he walked the length of the verandah and out of sight.  He returned showered, unrecognizable, without the red dust that powdered him. IMG_0957.jpgHe sat down slowly, as if in pain, guitar cradled in his lap, a beer clenched in a calloused fist.  His feet were bare, untouched by the sun they glowed infant pink.  His arms were also bare, nut brown and muscled from reining in, a black bandana around his head, adding colour.  He took a thirsty swig, leaned over and placed the bottle on the grass in the space that separated us.

He tilted his head as he strummed, found the right chords and began to sing.

His voice silenced us all but not the open fire that roared like a cheer, in the big drum.

There was something about him that was different.  It made me curious, I knew I was going to learn something new.  I settled in deeper into my skin, took notes, always the student, fully engaged.  I watched every move, trying to read him like a book.  This was no therapeutic encounter, so my eyes scanned the pages.  The title captivated, it was bold and said it all.  Cowboy!  I skimmed the chapters inked on skin.  I leaned closer and read between the lines as he sang.

He sang about love.  He sang about loss. He sang about wide-open spaces and empty places.  He sang his memory.  All familiar territory of a caged bird, now free.

Through his birdsong, he believes, all roads lead him to ‘The Now’.  His path is unhindered by regrets, ifs and buts, so he follows it, as intended.  DSCN8305He travels the world, searching for the horse that no one can ride.  For him, life and love, is that simple.

A log on the fire shattered, embers cascaded to the ground.

We all went our separate ways into the night….

I waited for this day to write about him, so I am there in memory.  Because, I once met a cowboy who embraced a purpose driven life, with uncompromising integrity.  I know he sings alone but is never lonely.  The moon and stars keep him company.

If you ever meet Joe, let him know, while he was singing, I downloaded his co-ordinates and brought his direction in life, back home to the city, with me.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird