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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pace

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

Faceless

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