The task for the week was a simple one but proved really difficult for me.  There were no rules.  Writers were given license to tell lies, break rules, make up words.  They were asked to create in the moment.  Instant writer’s block!  So the facilitator gave us the opening line … “I leave this by your ear for when you wake …”.  Using my senses, immediately centred me.

I sat with my fellow companions in silence while we took the words in, then stepped away for a few moments, at one with all around me.  Far away in the outback, I wrote a poem for my children, the opening lines ….

DSCN8619“I leave this by your ear for when you wake,

DSCN8654The footfall of blue dragonflies, on a lily carpet”

DSCN8609I am home now.  The rainbow lorikeets are in the tree, screeching.  The beautiful sounds of the currawong, echoing.  The flapping sounds of big winged birds as they head for the lake, above me.  The musical fluted call of the Willie Wagtail, outside my window.

DSCN8563I hear them with my eyes closed.

A mindful moment.

And, in that moment, I see the billabong again.  The lily pads.

DSCN8590The big winged raptors in the trees.

DSCN8695The jacana.  Oh! what big feet for a delicate, elegant bird!

DSCN8701The white faced heron, silent and poised.

Yes, I’m home.

‘Billabonging’ to the sights and sounds of the Kimberley.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird





Today, an angel visited me

via Daily Prompt: Courage





It was a tough two days.  The lead up to it, even tougher.

For the first time in many years, I had an Alfie ‘what’s it all about’ moment.  I could hardly wait to get to the sanctuary of home to indulge in this thought.

At the airport someone called my name.  It was someone I knew many years ago.  She was on her way to see her daughter who was at boarding school.  “Boarding school?”,  I asked incredulously.

“Yes”, she smiled.  Her eyes welled up.  She thanked me softly.  “What you gave me is hope.  She can live a normal life.  You gave me courage to see this.  Our paths were meant to cross”, she tells me.

Little did she know, when we said goodbye, it was a fair exchange.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird




Silvereye …

On a recent regional trip, I had two days of solid work.  I retreated to my hotel room in the 30 minute lunch breaks, closed the curtains and shut out the world.

There was no ‘me’ time at the end of the day either.  I had reports to complete and wanted to stay on target.  I limped over the line with the promise of two hours in the bush in the morning before my flight home.

I went to bed restless.  I could hard wait for morning.  I woke at 4 am and thought it was too early for my neighbour to be having a shower, then realised, it was raining.  How is this even possible!  Two glorious days of sunshine and now steady rain.  For a split second I felt cheated.  I then remembered, small birds, like children, love puddles.  By 5 am I showered and packed.  I wanted to spend as long as I could in the bush, then headed out to it.

Although there is a variety of scrub, silvereye seem to prefer a small stretch of bush land in this area.  And, of course, it has to be in the most awkward place, on a blind bend.  On a miserable day I thought I was alone at the lake but was soon joined by two fisherman who were patient with me while I took a picture, this, of course, being country courtesy.  (Can you see the small black and white bird in the scrub?)

DSCN8575Silvereye are tiny birds.  They weigh around 10 grams.  To find one feeding, oh! the joy!

DSCN8574I parked my car and walked to them.  Soon the flock relaxed in my company.  Some sitting on bare branches.  This little one, still holding an insect.

DSCN8705One allowed me to inch closer.  The puddle, just across from it, proving irresistible.

DSCN8677On the ground, they bunny hop.  I caught this one mid-hop.

DSCN8691I’m pretty sure the look of surprise on my face, was just as comical.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

Valentine’s day


It’s Valentine’s Day and I wanted to share this beautiful quote for you to reflect on.

“Come live in my heart and pay no rent.” Samuel Lover

It captures everything that love means to me.

Love is generosity of spirit.

Love is kind.

Love is sharing.

Love is the offer of sanctuary.

Love is accommodating.

Love is nurturing.

Love is compassionate.

Love is inviting.

Love is welcoming.

Love is healing.

Love is also the unconditional offer of one’s spirit to another.

Finally, contrary to what the ‘love’ industry promotes.  You don’t need a significant other.

You can be single and still experience love.

That’s the best and most amazing part of it.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


Coming of age

via Daily Prompt: Lecture


My fondest memory of my mother is standing by her side while she dressed for special occasions.  The space between her and myself, is where I came of age.

My mother’s dresser had three large mirrors so she could view her profile.  She never walked away from it until she was satisfied.  A light touch of make up, jewellery, (always real jewellery), her hair a low chignon.  Her back was straight, her shoulders relaxed.  A light spray of perfume.  She was ready for the world.  With one final look, she would say with conviction, “make-up should enhance, not detract”.  I would watch her walk out the door in awe.

The message of my mother’s lecture still makes sense.

Would a plain cockatoo look as spectacular?

Until next time,

As always,

a dawn bird










A Memory, the gift left behind


I dislike shopping.  I find wandering around shops to buy a gift, is a chore.  It brings out the judgemental critic in me!  Why are people buying all that mass produced cr*p!

There are some gifts I love to give, and receive.  I remember one of those gifts today, because he gave me, the sea.

Then there are others, the ones I find when I rummage through memory.  Precious fragments.  Time has not destroyed the tangibility.

I recall several years ago he was offered a job that took him across to the other side of the world.  I drove 400 km one weekend to meet him for breakfast by the sea.  After breakfast, with the surf drowning our voices, I gave him a huge box in the car park.  He held it in his hands watching the wind toss the big, red satin bow from one side to the other.  He was overcome with emotion and said, “No one’s done this for me before”.  I urged him to open it, eager for him to see what I had seen three weeks earlier.

Sitting atop a high shelf in a gift shop was a teddy bear with intense, brown eyes.  I carefully set aside every other bear to reach him.  When I turned around I found the shopkeeper watching me with some annoyance.  I laughed apologetically and said, “I’m sorry, but I think the bear chose me”.

I took the bear home and hand made wool trousers in herringbone, bought a ‘premmie’ sized shirt and knitted a tiny, thin black tie with bamboo skewers (oh! the pain!).  I bought a tiny diamond stud for his ear.  The bear became a replica of my friend, as he was when he was interviewed for the job.

My friend opened the box.  He was speechless.  He placed the box down.  He hugged me for the longest time. Eighteen months later he was killed in an accident.  He was 43.

A week later I phoned his sister.  We talked for hours despite it being our first conversation.  I shared with her my friendship with her brother, and our passion for writing.  The 4 am coffees.  The arguments over the choice of words.  Toblerone left on the table silently, in a gesture of peace.  Red carnations on the doorstep when I wasn’t home.

Then I told her about the gift I gave him and the process that led up to it.

His sister started to cry.  She told me I had not bought the gift for him, but for her.  It was her source of comfort during a period of immeasurable grief.

We were both living in different Hemispheres.  She was holding the bear when I phoned.

I’m more convinced today than yesterday … give from your heart and not your wallet.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird