Beyond the secret door …

It starts insidiously
the insomnia
the uncertainty, the denial
surely, it can’t be

Soon you cringe in a cafe,
this can’t be true
You’re at a wet tee-shirt contest
and the only contestant … is you

Like an infomercial … but wait there’s more …
It comes with a bonus, for some, not all

Increased libido, younger men
Oh! that power surge again!
Yes, life goes on
As does the urge to strip
when he least expects it.

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Thursday – The Secret Door

The Inevitable


For years,
I walked along the shore each day
at one with the sea
the tides came and went
there was no one else there but me
with my heart in a million pieces
shattered beyond reach
the load somehow seemed lighter
no heaviness within
I thought I was floating free
accountable to none
built walls
knocked them down
then built them up higher
I’m not sure why
to protect the void
safety seemed key
in the push and pull of will,
the tug-o-war within
the inevitable happened,
one night he pointed to the sky,
see those stars,
the million stars, he said softly,
they were once shattered pieces,
mended by me.

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Monday – Mend

Nancy Merrill’s A Photo A Week Challenge: Open Topic

I visit the Central Wheatbelt area in Western Australia, on a regular basis.  Although it is only around 260km, it is around 3-3.5 hour drive East of home for me.  The highway is dangerous.  It runs east and west, so some drivers are always driving into the sun early morning or at sunset.  It is a narrow road, and used by roadtrains and with open farmland on either side, there is always danger of fox and kangaroo as well, at dusk.

But the landscape is stunning at sunset.  For years I’ve been trying to get to this region at the right hour to capture it.  I often see the sun setting in my rear view mirror and it takes my breath away.  This month I timed it almost right.DSCN8895.jpg
In a paddock between the small township of Kellerberrin and Merredin a lone tree stands.  I have photographed this tree many times and each time, it speaks the same message loud.  Against all odds, still standing tall.  The message  has become my daily mantra.DSCN8900.jpg
Between Doodlakine and salt lakes at Baandee Lake I had to stop in near darkness and take this photograph.  In the silence, the sky roared in colour, and soon it was dark.

There was a time I did not have the temerity to get out of my car to take photographs on this trip.  It is a lonely drive when the trucks have zoomed on.  I’m anxious to just get to my accommodation.  These pictures are special to me because the landscape, nature, spoke louder than my inner voice of anxiety.  I’m glad I listened to it.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


In response to:  A Photo a Week Challenge – Open Topic

This, too, is karma …

I’ve just returned from Esperance.  It is probably the first trip in dozens that I did not visit magnificent West Beach.  There was something in the air at Woody Lake that kept me there, something  more than the fact I was on my own at dusk and early morning.  I got there early and waited.  I’m not sure for what.  I just surrendered to the serenity of the moment that lasted two hours this morning.

The kangaroos were too quick to photograph and disappeared into the scrub before I could focus.  Soon there was birdsong.  Nothing I have heard before.  It was a nursery choir with unfamiliar sounds, all tuning up to perfect one day.  But not today.  Today, the off key cacophony made me smile.

The scrub was filled with little chicks.DSCN9080.jpg
Not yet afraid, the Silvereye held on …DSCN9120.jpg
To catch this tiny bird at breakfast with an even tinier spider made my day.DSCN9121.jpg
It was as curious about me as I was of it.  I wandered around for a couple of hours and as I was leaving I spotted something white in the scrub.DSCN9083.jpg
A tiny, fluffy grey fantail chick.DSCN9092.jpg
With sun beaming at, or was it from, her chest.  I was dazzled.DSCN9125.jpg
Another juvenile played hide and seek, with several attempts at spreading the tail.DSCN9095.jpg
There was another chickDSCN9183.jpg
And another, resting after play.DSCN9102.jpg
And my first ever glimpse of a juvenile cuckoo.

Where does this delight in birds come from?  Perhaps it is this …

As a child I yearned to be free.  Free as a bird I would say to my mother who tightened apron strings.  Even birds have to conform to the flock she would caution, or they die. I thought I was invincible, as I threw a “Not me!” over my shoulder and out the door.

I believe I knew what I wanted from about the age of six and every step of my life’s journey has been activated, framed, motivated by that one desire.  To be free.  I’m not sure what I wanted to be free of, but I knew I wanted freedom.

I believe I’ve achieved my childhood dreams.  Is it karma?

I have lived a life of freedom and on my terms.  Every step I have taken, every decision made, has led  me to this point.  I have not lived life passively or as an observer.  I have lived my life, as intended.  And, I’m not done yet.

Karma is not a b*tch.  It is not life’s punishment for something bad you may have done, or rewarding you for something you have done right.

Karma is not a backward glance.  Karma is filled with hope and is forward thinking.  It is an acceptance, at any point of one’s life, one has the ability to change the course of how one lives, if one chooses to do this.  It’s taken a long time to come to this realisation.  So I start new each day.  Yes, life can be that simple for me.

May your steps today lead to good karma.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

Word of the Day Challenge – Karma

Message in a bottle

Even though the year has not yet ended, I still believe one of the highlights in 2019 for me was the experience of ‘Boorna Waanginy:  The Trees Speak’.  A Festival of Perth light and oral history of land of the Noongar people played against the backdrop of tall gum trees was a memorable experience.  I’ve written about it in another post.  You, too, can experience it by watching the clips on You Tube.

The walk was Ikea-like.  One way until you reach the end.  As the crowd of thousands flowed through Kings Park we pooled into a magical garden where glowing glass bottles hung from tree limbs and branches.  The garden was tucked away and the soft glow emanated a feeling of intimacy, a oneness.  On closer inspection, each lantern was labelled.  This was a place of awareness.  A place where knowledge was shared.  The labels identified species that are threatened.  The flora.  The fauna.  Voices of those impacted and witness to environmental change  conveyed their testimony of what was and is not any more.  For me, the intimacy was real.  One was lulled by the beauty of the place.  It would have been easy to become complacent and just enjoy the moment.  Until the message in the bottles spoke louder.  One had to respond.

Today I’ll reflect on this.  How can I make a difference?

May you, too, choose your path mindfully today.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Word of the Day Challenge: Glass

Australian icons …

I know they are not the farmer’s friend and they can cause chaos on country roads at dusk but to me, an unexpected encounter with a wild kangaroo is a delight.

I’m always careful early morning in Foxes Lair, Narrogin, in the south eastern Wheatbelt region of Western Australia.  At dusk too, when I drive through.  I usually see a kangaroo or even a small mob.  This morning I was later than usual and got there around 7 am.  The early morning walkers had already gone through the reserve except for one.  I often see him with his dog and he’ll say a few polite words.

I inched my car through the narrow pathway heading to the car park when I heard a gentle rustle.  A joey!DSCN8958
It hopped in front of the car and then went behind a small shrub, yet so close and within reach.  Oh! that look!  I melted just like that.  DSCN8965
The joey hopped away, stopped and looked around as if searching DSCN8967
… this is a quintessential Australian bush scene.DSCN8969
Then I saw mother.  I’ve only noticed the third kangaroo (to the left of centre) when I uploaded the pic.  They blend in so well with the bush and being shy creatures they can slink away into the scrub very quickly.DSCN8977
All three crossed to the other side of the reserve.  As the mother and joey hopped away, the male stood upright, his stance unmistakably, don’t mess with my family.  I respected his guard and waited until they were out of sight.DSCN8992
When I could no longer see them, my gaze scanned the ground.  Since being in the Murchison, I’m now interested in animal tracks, too.  I don’t believe I have ever seen tracks made by a kangaroo tail, before.  A first for me!

I’m home overnight and leave again tomorrow.  As the year is winding down, I feel a bit fatigued.  I know I’m not comfortable in my skin when I feel this way.  Besides, today has not been a good day.  What a difference 12 hours make.  I drove home with roadworks and big farming machinery on the highway slowing my trip only to find a hotel has messed up my booking.  I accept people make genuine mistakes.  But when one tries to cover up with a lame excuse, that’s something I find hard to accept.  I feel I let myself down by losing my cool.  I wish I had taken a deep breath.  What’s done can’t be undone.  I’m expecting to get the worst room in the hotel when I get there!

But for now, I think I’ll just go and indulge in some comfort food … Vegemite on barely warm toast, a slather of butter and a cup of tea.  I feel better already!

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Tuesday – Butter



Finding self, among shadows

More often than not, I wake just before dawn.  I make a cup of coffee, open the curtains and wait for shapes to emerge from familiar shadows.  I do this wherever I am.  No two mornings are alike.  That’s the gift of the day.  Start anew.

We were travelling in the outback Midwest and spent the night at Mt Magnet, Western Australia.  We were tired when we got there after a long hard drive and taking in the acres of wildflowers.  It really was overwhelmingly beautiful.

My companion had been to a place called The Granites and wanted to take me there.  We rested briefly and went at sunset.  It was another world.

The Granites is ancient country of great cultural significance to the Badimia people and among the massive granites, one can find ancient rock art.  We didn’t have time to  explore as it is mostly unsealed roads without any signage and after a while every turn looks familiar.  So with one navigating and one driving we left as it got dark.

I held that moment of arrival in the palm of my hand when we got back to the accommodation.  It was still there when I woke early morning.  It was dark and raining.  Such relief!  It was getting warm during the day, even with air con.  I stepped outside as quietly as I could on creaking floors and wriggled with delight at the cool air and rain.  I knew I needed to be at The Granites.  I knew what would emerge from the shadows.  I knew I needed to touch base with ‘self’.DSCN7814.jpg
As sun broke free of the clouds just past the ridge, what struck me was the absolute silence of this grand place.

I was an audience of oneDSCN7810.jpg
As Mother Nature unveiled her artDSCN7809.jpg
The still lifeDSCN7777.jpg
The paintings

It was a gallery wherever one looked.DSCN7797.jpg
In the early light, the granite ridges softenedDSCN7781.jpg
And tree limbs twisted into intricate lace.

Like I said there was absolute silence.  Not a bird call or tweet, not a rustle of goanna, or bounce of kangaroo.

I’m there as I write.

It is possible I brought that moment of arrival back home with me.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Saturday – Shadows


On one of my previous trips to Geraldton I drove past the foreshore when I saw the new sculpture, Horizon, being put into place.  I caught a glimpse of it through the pulleys, cranes and high vis clothing of workers and knew it promised to be something special.  Of all the dozens of trips I’ve made to Geraldton, how fortuitous the timing.

My first trip post surgery was to Geraldton and I found myself drawn to the art.  Being school holidays, there were holiday makers in town and people taking selfies, most drawn closer to the sphere.  I stood away from it to experience it differently.DSCN8820.jpg
‘Horizon’ is a 1.5 metre globe by artist Lucy Humphrey.  The water within turns the world upside down because of the way the light reflects off it.

There is, of course, the technicality of the idea inherent in this.  But for me, I thought of the water within the sphere as the life within one.  The idea that despite all, if one accesses it as intended, despite distortion, we can find a horizon.  It is there, we just need to pause to let it define itself as a steadying point of reference.DSCN8866.jpg
In the weeks before and after the surgery it did feel like my world had been turned upside down.  Living with palpable fear of the unknown is an unsettling experience.  As I’ve mentioned before I am not church going but I did believe, my faith was my horizon.  It kept me steady.  It gave me perspective.  It gave me pause.  It gave me time to reflect how grateful I am of each moment that make up my day.

May you experience the joy of gratitude today.  The joy in the ordinary that makes life, extraordinary.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


In response to RDP – Friday – Thankful