I found Robin’s Breezes at Dawn on Eliza Waters’ post and thought I’d join in and share my side of the world for Walktober 2020.
Like many around the world, my work has been impacted by the pandemic and, although the regions I used to travel to regularly have been lost to budgetary cuts, I seem to be busier than usual trying to make up the shortfall. Having found someone special (Mr FIFO*) during this period of social restrictions (now that was a hidden bonus!), I realised I was out of sorts frequently, or at least, he drew my attention to this. It made me realise how vital it has become to my mental and physical well being to be in nature every day. So last Sunday I stopped all I was doing and spontaneously decided to visit our city park, Kings Park and Botanic Gardens in the centre of Perth, Western Australia.
Kings Park is large at just over 400 hectare overlooking the Swan River and city. It looks untended to the novice eye but there are grassed areas, botanical gardens and large areas of natural vegetation. When I got there, I realised most other people at home had the same idea of enjoying spring outdoors. I had to park my car a long distance from where I wanted to be and walked a good half an hour in warm sunshine to the trees.
I stood among the tangle of limbs and took a deep breath and let the trees exhale for me.
From above the skywalk my fingertips walked the length of the Rottnest Island tea tree below me.
And among the tall timber trees I looked up when a shadow flitted by.
A kookaburra, silent and watchful in the late afternoon.
I stood at this small pond and watched a honeyeater water bomb and catch tiny insects. I grew frustated at myself as I could not get the picture I wanted, so I put my camera away and just enjoyed the moment. Sometimes nature expects us to do this, I feel.
At the entrance to the banksia grove was a mural at my feet. I’ve learned from walking, there’s always something to see.
Hidden under large shrubs, the most delicate wax flowers.
Open vistas where en masse wildflowers were gorgeous.
And the delight no less in the tiny everlasting flower that stands alone.
Later that evening I was texting with Mr FIFO who was working very remote. After a period of texting he asks me if I’m sitting in my ‘reading room’. Why? I queried. He responded, “You seem calm and relaxed”. I told him I had been in the company of trees that afternoon. If ever I needed proof in the restorative power of nature, this was it.
May October take you to paths unknown and may you delight in the experience of returning to self.
Until next time
a dawn bird
In response to Walktober
*FIFO (fly in, fly out) usually referred to workers in mining regions who come in to work and return home on rostered shifts.