The last month has been a roller coaster ride personally and professionally. Perhaps it is the end of a busy year so I’m feeling more vulnerable and tetchy.
Bullying behaviour happens in all walks of life. The time has come to call this behaviour for what it is. My instinct is always to walk away from a bully. They don’t deserve my time nor need to be in my space. But this time, when pushed by a colleague, I pushed back. Uncharacteristic of me and I found, a bully does what bullies do best, they retreat when called out.
Then it was the neighbour who had been trying to contact me regarding the damaged common fence. I was expecting a showdown.
I walked around Foxes Lair one morning and said, ‘Lord, there’s too much on my plate” and after a couple of hours bush walking, although nothing had changed, I returned home feeling spiritually rested.
I caught up with my neighbours. It was the first time I had met them since moving into my home about four years ago. They were perfectly reasonably people! Then I had a phone call from my line manager. I was expecting, at best, a reprimand for being outspoken to someone in a higher position than me. But no, he had called to ask me if I could help someone who was in dire need. During our conversation I brought up, what I perceived to be bullying behaviour, with him and much to my surprise, he agreed with me and invited me to discuss these matters with him sooner rather than later.
Over the years I’ve learnt pilots use the phrase “we are expecting some weather” for turbulence. My instinct is natural, I tighten my seatbelt. So leaving Perth in perfect weather and expecting 30 degrees when I landed in Kalgoorlie, the pilot’s forewarning surprised me. We landed after an uneventful flight. The girl at the hire car counter grinned and said, “how was the flight” and was amazed when I told her it was smooth. She told me a terrific storm had just passed Kalgoorlie and she was sure the flight would have experienced it.
A few minutes later I headed to the hotel, the massive open cut gold mine for my horizon, the backdrop a waterfall of lightening cascading. Rain fell like pebbles. It was still warm at dusk. I had heard about the lightening storms in the Goldfields but have never experienced one before. It was spectacular. We had landed between storms.
My two days in Kalgoorlie are always busy. I did not have time to visit my favourite park. As I left the clinic I realised I hadn’t taken any photographs. I looked up instinctively. Gum blossoms.
The flight home was buffeted. I closed my eyes and rewound the previous few days in my mind. I recalled the moment I woke startled around 3 am when a clap of thunder ricocheted around the town, snuggled deeper in bed and realised, there’s something wondrous about watching a storm from the safety of one’s bed. I held on to that imagery until we landed safely in Perth.
I was raised to believe in a higher power that is loving and benevolent. It is not everyone’s way of thinking and I respect that. Equally, I’ve come to respect, what prayer means to me.
When busy I’ve found I have a tendency to slide away from the familiar and when I do, I feel rudderless. I am mindful of this.
This month I recalled something I had read some years ago that was a useful spiritual compass for me. I’ve paraphrased here.
When you don’t feel the presence of God in your life, ask yourself, who moved away?
This reflection always returns me to where I started from.
Until next time
a dawn bird