Just one more step …

In response to RDP Sunday – Temptation

I’m back! Maybe intermittently, but back and hoping it will be a better year for everyone, than last year.

The end of year was busier than usual but I was thrilled to be offered work in the South West of the state, my last trip being to tall timber country. It is not an area one would want to visit during summer, being heavily wooded areas and the risk of bushfires. The upside it was easier to find accommodation even though it was peak school holiday season. Maybe the drive out, some four hours (from my home) and perhaps similar to other city folks, deterred families with children travelling that far in heat. Unlike other small towns in the South West, this area was quiet. Not just quiet. It was perfect.

Pemberton, Western Australia
Each morning I woke early and headed to the nearby forest, home of the majestic karri trees. Once I knew what I could find there, it became a trip I made three times a day.

It is unfortunate my faith promotes a negative connotation for the word temptation, but I’ve walked away from that (no pun intended!). For me, it is a feeling I’ve come to respond to in a very positive way. It gets me out of my comfort zone. I’ll explain.

Three months ago I could barely walk two doors down to my neighbour’s home without extreme fatigue. So I avoided most walks, I ordered groceries online, and the unavoidable walk had to be the one I take for work a few times a month. It was the longest walk – being from taxi to terminal and terminal to tarmac. I would find my seat on the aircraft and watched others give me concerned looks as my mask billowed on my face.

Each day I sunk to lower thinking, this is life now, as I know it. At the airport I started to read my old posts with a mixture of sadness and joy recalling some of my experiences. So when I got to Pemberton at the end of the year, despite the heat, I headed to the trees for some ‘forest bathing’ to lift my spirit.

I sat in the car park for the longest time the first day I got to the national park. I yearned to be walking. I zoomed in and saw the magnificence of the trees at ground level.

Soon I was out of the car and taking a few steps towards it.

The symbiotic relationship may be parasitic between the strong tree and delicate creeper, but for me, it represented something else. There is a certain tenacity in the most delicate of organisms, the will to survive.

I took a few steps further. Once a tall tree, having served the forest, remains home and a vibrant living environment for all kinds of insects and birds. More on the delightful birds in another post!

Despite the heat, there were remnants of spring if I looked for this.

Beautiful native ferns.

Flowering creepers.

Infused by nature, my spirit drew me deeper into the forest. An enchanted forest, all for me. Above me the tall gum trees rustled in the light breeze. If you close your eyes, you hear the sound of the sea in the movement of the leaves.

The return to the car took several attempts.

This is red winged fairy wren country. Those who are familiar with my blog, would know me by now. This was a temptation I was not going to resist!

The trip to the forest country was just what I needed.

On my return to the city, I set up my pedometer and found I barely walked 500 steps a day when I’m home based. That had to change! Within a week I was walking 3 km (nearly two miles) a day. My goal is to double that distance each day.

I accept pain is a constant companion but one that does not intrude, deter or distract, if I manage it with healthy living – eight hours sleep, keeping well hydrated and reducing stress. Such simple strategies have made a world of difference. But, fatigue was my nemesis. A vicious cycle I had inflicted on myself – “I’m fatigued, I can’t walk” which lead me to become more fatigued.

Maybe it took a forest, or maybe just one tree, but I have returned to where I want to be. May you, too, find the space you want to be in.

As always

a dawn bird

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