The Garden Within


Within the labyrinth
there’s a secret garden within  me
hidden from all
untouched by seasons
my soft place to fall
it has no lines or edges
enclosed in this space, unwalled
I wake each day to take a breath
the purest breath
of joy, that restores me whole.

a dawn bird

In response to Cee’s On the Hunt for Joy Challenge – Week 17 – Start a Garden (Indoor or Outdoor)

Seagull serendipity

VJ at One Woman’s Quest has invited us to respond to a quote by the Dalai Lama.

“The planet does not need more “successful people”.  The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.”

I believe healers, peacemakers, restorers, storytellers and lovers cross our path each day.  To be unaware of their presence is a gift we can deny ourselves, and at our peril.

Every time I photograph something, it speaks to me on a deeper level.  I am more open, as I go deeper within.  The art and science of this, is never linger within, for a moment longer than necessary.  That’s when you deny yourself the gift, the mystery of serendipity.

I love photographing gulls.  They have a certain presence, a dignity, despite their reputation of being a nuisance.  I love their attitude!  They are fierce in the face of it all and captured in a brief moment between lens and me, which I now share with you.


Oh! she is brave
as she faces the sun
skin freckled with age
eye brows undone
bright eyed, without sleep
her day never done
Oh! she is brave
as she faces the sun
and offers her painted lips
to no one.

a dawn bird

In response to VJs Weekly Challenge – #94 – Wild Card

An Open Heart


Arum lily

In that space of grey
I floated free
no one else there, but me
thoughts of you came and went
there were days, I wept myself spent
until there were days of joy,
you were right there with me

In your presence I was born again
allowing love and laughter to be my friend
Oh! how time has flown
I have grown younger by the day
where did age go, I cannot say

As I navigate through stumbles and falls
eager to experience all
the time has come to smile and say
an open heart can chart new ways
this I understand, today.

a dawn bird

In response to Word of the Day Challenge – Understand

When fuses are lit …

Full moon, Diggers Rest, Wyndham, Western Australia

Sexual attraction, that indefinable energy, that surfaces silently and generates a force of its own, and much like the moon, has the power to move oceans.

Does one normalize this clinically as a biological instinct?

Or does romanticize this as an unmissable magic carpet ride?

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Friday – Normal

Out there


It’s been a long day today but made easier when a friend sent me texts and pictures of an area I visited for the first time, about two years ago.  I felt a pang of nostalgia for that harsh and stunning landscape.  Fortunately, I have a colleague who loves this kind of travel as much as I do and when offered work, we are always prepared to go the distance.  We both love the nothingness and fullness of the outback experience.  She and I were there for just a week but my friend’s swing is longer.  Long hours, heat and isolation takes a toll on folks.  I know from experience, unless one has experienced this, work and travel of this kind is difficult to explain to others.  It is emotionally, physically and psychologically taxing.  It brings out a curious dichotomy of vulnerability and strength in people.

I’m behind my work schedule tonight but wanted to reblog my post of that visit.  I have fond memories of that trip.  We were like excited school girls and it was a long hot drive.  I recall we drank litres of water but did not need a comfort break.  The heat was intense in November in country that is usually hot at any time of the year.

Oh! how I yearn to be out there again.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to YDWord Prompt – Distance– 23 April 2020

See, with me

I’m not sure whether it is the case what the heart feels, the eye sees or vice versa.  Both are applicable to my experience of photography.  With camera in hand my world took on new meaning.  Solitary in my pursuits, it drew others in.  Nothing grounds me as much as the focus on photographing something that catches my eye.  When I see something I get a visceral response and photographing it just intensifies the experience of the moment.DSCN5254
West Beach, Esperance, Western Australia
The young fearless surfers at West Beach are a delight to photograph and one of my favourite places to visit in Esperance.  I love reflecting how analogous surfing is to life’s journey – the waiting, the patience, the moment of poise when you stand firm on fluid ground and let the wave bring you to shore.  And then … you go out to experience the same again.DSCN8464
One of my favourite native shrubs is grevillea.  The birds love it too.  To my eye they are perfection, each loop, part of the whole.DSCN9085Pelicans capture my heart as much as sea gulls.  Large and ungainly, I love how pelicans descend on water, with the grace of a perfect flight landing.DSCN8526
Town Beach, Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia
When I retire I want just enough money to enable me to travel to this beach on a regular basis.  Watching hues tint the sky, at sunrise or sunset, is like watching an artist at work.DSCN8709
Paraburdoo, Pilbara mining region, Western Australia
I love the mining regions of Western Australia.  The earth is a rich red, contrasting pale spinifex, ranges and the awesome landscape that demands one is still in it’s presence.thumb_IMG_5421_1024
My front garden is laden with roses at certain times of the year and at other times, there are roses.  After a rain shower, oh, the perfume!thumb_IMG_3600_1024
I use this cape gooseberry encased in the filigree paper like lantern as part of my meditation.  When I want to extinguish an undesired behaviour, I envisage new pathways emerging in the delicacy of my brain.thumb_IMG_3593_1024
Who can resist the attraction of unconditional love?  Not me!  This is the day Kovu became part of my son’s family and like a doting grandpawrent, I was there to document family history 🙂

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Wednesday – Visual

With my game face on …

Ivanhoe Crossing, Kununurra, Kimberley region, Western Australia

The Ord River, lifeline of the fruit growing region in Kununurra where there are km after km of mango groves, is magnificent in full flow.  As I drove up here, some 8-10 kms out of Kununurra, I could hear the water but was unprepared to see the force of it.  There is a curved sealed low bridge road that one can drive across the river when it is not flooded and some do attempt to drive across when it is.  I’ve also seen folks fishing, standing in these waters where there are saltwater crocodiles.  On one trip there was a couple knee deep standing on the road and fishing off it.  He left his partner in the middle and walked toward us.  I asked him if he was local, he said no so we warned him about the crocs.  He glanced around and said, “haven’t seen any today”.  Such stupidity is breathtaking.  A few minutes later a couple of rangers came up to the site and directed the couple to another safer fishing spot.  The rangers just shook their heads while these folks packed up.  I’m not sure whether their casual attitude was stupidity or bravado.  I’ve photographed crocodiles in a croc park and they are lightening quick.  I managed to get some beautiful shots only because I was startled!

I’ve walked along here a few times and have been here on my own.  I just love it.  The birdlife here is pretty amazing.  Big water birds sail these waters with ease.  To be an observer of this force is a humbling experience.  Nature does this.  The added bonus is a mango farm on the way here that sells the most delicious mango ice cream and milkshakes.

Oh! I’m missing travel and being outdoors so very much!  My days are a roller coaster of emotions.  I feel vulnerable some days and others, stronger and resolved.  I question myself whether I could have appreciated my experiences more than I did.  Is it really possible?  Ever hopeful, I guess I’ll only know once I travel again.

I love the anonymity travel gives me.  I am often in small towns where no one knows my name and yet I have never felt lonely.  Here in the city, I am consumed by a sense of being alone, so I put my game face on and plod through another day.  I have always believed feeling lonely when in company, is a crushing feeling.  I find walking through supermarkets or shops an unnerving experience.  The automatic response of putting distance between folks is unsettling.  I have a massage several times a month.  I am an affectionate person with those I love so I have skin hunger like nothing I have experienced before!  When I’m home alone working I’m oblivious to it.  But if I go out and return home, it takes a while for me to settle into my skin so I plan each day, each week carefully.

During the day the sounds in my neighbourhood are a comfort.  Children practicing their piano or wind instrument.  The low hum of neighbours’ voices.  The hammering, the lawn mowing, dogs barking.  But the odd feeling of presence amid absence is disconcerting.  I feel a pang of guilt writing this post when there is such pain around the world but on second thoughts I felt it was important to look at the human experience of this at a subjective level.  If I cannot access this in myself, I know I will not be able to understand it in others.

I’ve decided to stagger whatever work that remains to be done to the home.  It feels good to have someone around.  I’ve found a good gardener who is enthusiastic about rejuvenating my garden.  Once it is established, I know it will be a healing space.  And, don’t we all need this?

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Tuesday – Bravado


Rainbow lorikeet, in my garden

Being home has given me the opportunity to get my house and garden close enough to what I envisaged when I bought the property.  I’ve had time to build up my ‘little black book’ and struck gold.  I now have a small group of good tradesmen who are able to help me realise my dream.

With most of the internal building renovations done and just painting and window treatments left indoors, I’m enjoying moments in the garden trying to dream up a space that will keep me grounded.  I was toying with the idea of getting rid of the big mulberry tree.  I get barely a cup of fruit from lower branches and a laden, tall tree is tantalizing to others too, it would seem.  Sadly cockroaches love the fruit and when the fruiting season is done, they try and come indoors.  I abhor cockroaches enough to contemplate, for a brief moment, to cut down the tree.

Last evening at dusk I heard the rainbow lorikeets outside my study window.  They love the mulberry tree.  Then I remembered what a serendipitous moment feels like, and it made my heart beat to a new rhythm again.

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Monday – Flutter