The serendipity of discovery

In response to Word of the Day Challenge – Discovery

I love that moment of suspension, where one waits for bloom, the revelation, the epiphany, call it what you may, that comes from peering closer into the unknown, hoping for discovery. It is these moments that I find most enlightening and helps my life journey and sometimes they surface during reflection and at other times, during a busy day.

Last year I spent a fair bit of time on ‘organisational porn’. Watched videos on decluttering and minimalism, learned the difference and set my daily tasks. But as my work slows down, the focus now is on budgeting, something I haven’t done in years. Living alone, one can be indulgent and wasteful and this is a habit I’m focusing on this year.

My frequent travel has made me a creature of habit. Some habits don’t cost me anything, for example, requesting the same hotel room each visit. But I pay a steep price in other areas. For example, I hate changing hair dressers and prefer to go to my usual salon. I can relax for a couple of hours but it is a costly exercise every three weeks. Since my mobility and strength has also been compromised, depending on my health on any given day, I’m unable to trim my nails. The fact I hate long nails because they prevent me being functional means this is another added expense every three weeks. So all up … hairdresser, manicure and pedicure … costs me $XXX per month. I never stopped to think about this until late last year when I started my financial ‘tune up’ for the coming year. It gave me reason to pause and reconsider am I paying too high a price for the comfort of the familiar?

Still reluctant to change my expensive habits, yesterday I was forced to look elsewhere to get my nails done as the regular person I see was on holidays and my long nails were slowing my typing. None of the beauty salons could fit me in, so I started phoning folks who run their business from home. I went to a home based beauty salon in the neighbouring suburb where the lady was so warm and welcoming we talked for nearly two hours like old friends. I left with a beautiful pedicure and manicure and paid just $65 (instead of $XXX at a salon). She told me to return every three weeks and she would trim my fingernails and paint them with clear varnish for $10! She has a few other clients with rheumatoid arthritis and they have the same problem as me.

Another area of waste for me in food. I often buy salad items and then throw them out. My salad garden has reduced that expense and interestingly, the two small garden planters produce so many cucumbers and tomatoes, there’s enough to give away to neighbours.

In the last two years I’ve discovered more about myself in a relationship than I ever did before. Each disagreement has led to me saying, “thank you, I didn’t know that about myself!”. My appreciation is genuine. Living alone, one can be too independent (at least that’s how I see myself!) but now realise I come across as “demanding”. Am I set in my ways? I hear a resounding yes each time I ask the question! How has this relationship lasted nearly two years! He works so remote and phone coverage is always an issue and yet our affection for each other has grown stronger. I’m reluctant to unpack this. Maybe there are some things best left undiscovered.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

The State I live in …

In response to Word of the Day Challenge – State

Red Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos manglesii)

The Red and Green Kangaroo Paw is the floral emblem for the State of Western Australia. They are gorgeous when found growing in abundance in the wild. I remember some years ago finding a paddock of them in a national park a few kms outside Esperance. I stopped the car and took it all in, a feast for the eyes.

The flower symbolises uniqueness and individuality. Never more true than in these times. In the last two years our Premier has enforced hard border policies, and when things were more relaxed, strict entry conditions. He has borne the brunt of many from all walks of life. And yes, there are memes out there of Western Australia, our State, on one side, and The Entire World on the other! But Mark McGowan, Premier has a great sense of humour. The video of him removing his face mask to the theme song of 2001 A Space Odyssey (when wearing masks was no longer mandatory), went viral. He has had the support of some West Australians and he has endured the wrath of others.

There is talk the borders will open early February. Will this generate a state of collective relief or anxiety? There are some sectors in society that are keen for this and then there are others, who are apprehensive. What is evident is that people have started panic buying, yes the old scenario, of a dash for toilet paper, food essentials and when someone mentioned “stock up on analgesics”, the shelves were soon bare. Restricted buying in supermarkets has extended to fresh meat as well (a new restriction). The reality that a lot of our goods come from the Eastern coast has never hit home harder.

What I have loved over the last two years is that … People make eye contact more readily, and from behind the mask, their smile reaches their eyes. There is a genuine connection when this happens.

Be safe and keep smiling.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

The Block

In response to RDP – Tuesday – Delay

I take a moment
to delay the witching hour
when anticipation flows in streams
I wade, wait and wait
but thoughts fall on barren ground
sterile, neglected and sour
undeterred
in furrowed brows I dig deeper
until the earth within me yields
I lay down my shovel
on soil soften by rain
scoop a handful
inhale the petrichor
feel the trickle
and let the words fall where they may.

a dawn bird

A spring in my step

In response to Breezes at Dawn – Walktober 2021

I’m hoping the difference in time zones means I’ve beat the deadline to this year’s Walktober.

Like many others, finding myself at the end of October has come as a surprise. My initial response was, the only walk I have done is on tarmac, when I realised, not so. I have been committed to going out with camera even on days when it seemed impossible.

Let me start from the Midwest where there are fields of wildflowers in spring. To find tangled old tree limbs entwined with delicate fringed lily made my day.

Then on to the southern Wheatbelt region to my favourite walk in Foxes Lair where wildflowers grow in impossibly hard clay.

And on to the South West region where I’ve walked many times but this year was the first time I found wild orchids growing in this little patch of bush.

And on to the Southern region where no visit is complete until I walk the boardwalk high above West Beach.

And then stop for a few minutes at the Arboretum on the way to the airport to look for wild orchids in the shade of tall gum trees and gum blossoms above.

But nothing has delighted me more when I returned home from one of my trips and walked around my small backyard to find a family of kookaburra have made the space their home.

This is Buddy, a juvenile, and my constant companion when I am home, who observes me as much as I observe him.

And in my neighbourhood, it is never spring until there is a new family of ducklings at the lake.

If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, may spring bring you new life, and for those in the Northern Hemisphere, may what falls away, make space for new.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

Why?

As a child I gazed at the sky and asked why
why is the moon so generous to sea and sky,
and yet, like a dream, out of reach for me?

The Universe replied

That symbol of love is there
out of reach, for the child to see
like the moon,
she has the power of one, to blind the sun
she can dance on the sea
at Earth’s seam, beyond the shore
she can fade and disappear
and yet omnipresent,
like hope, she will appear
to the woman
who was once a child that asked why
but bravely followed a dimly lit path shown
under the mother-gaze of the moon
and found, when she dreamed,
she was never alone.

a dawn bird

Memories that we keep …

In response to Word of the Day Challenge – Keeping

I’ve just returned after a quick trip to the South West of our State. My yearning to have my forever home there, is intensified. Each morning I set out looking for what I knew I would find.

Manea Park was quiet, except for the bird song. On the carpet of leaves, I knew, by next month, there will be wild orchids galore.

At the Bunbury Wetlands, the swallow chicks were fearless. All puffed out in fluffy coats, they watched my approach with curiosity and innocence.

I watched this little one for ages. She was not anxious for her next meal, she knew it would come. I brought home some of her wisdom.

My whole spirit delighted in what I saw in the bush. I was in a bird nursery. There were chicks everywhere.

When this tiny blue wren chick caught the sun in her chest, I knew this was a moment, for me to keep.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

Why?

In response to RDP – Wednesday – Question

I lay in bed listening to the ocean roar
the winds screeched above me
the trees bent over, leaves stripped
I was gripped in winter’s full fury
I asked no one beside me,
why is the world an unfriendly place?
when one is alone
this is the message shared with me

The world may be an unfriendly place
but the Universe is a friend
she watches, listens and waits
nothing is given too early
nothing held back, too late

So I rugged up against the winds
and stepped into that enchanted place of communion
I told the Universe where I was
and where I never thought I’d be again
I felt her warm presence walk beside me
mother-like, she said

Each morning, head out to the unknown
with just one certainty
seek what you are looking for
and you will find, what you seek

Remember, there is poetry in Nature
nothing seems what it seems to be
a piece of rock, is history
the forest, a healing sanctuary
the setting sun, is not an ending
it is a new day, elsewhere
and in the first light of dawn, when you feel blue
remember,
a flower may open to the sun
but it smiles at you.

a dawn bird

Love, unfiltered

In response to RDP – Monday – Filter

I was once the moon, that filled the night sky with my luminous eye. I was once the moon that brought sea to shore, faithfully, once more. I was once the moon that eclipsed the fierce sun, when the long day was done. I was once the moon, silent companion, that faded into obscurity during the day. I was once the moon, the promise, in darkness, we find light.

I was once your moon.

I am here.

Find me again.

a dawnbird

In silence, we find words

In response to RDP – Wednesday – Adventure

Dedicated to my father with whom I spent many hours in silent companionship.

There was a little girl
who once sat on her father’s knee
And told him all about
What she wanted to see and be
She left his knee
To fly the sky
Her path brightly lit
By the stars in her eyes
The little girl became a young woman
who found love that didn’t stay
She wiped her tears away and
picked up the pieces
and from the fragments,
she chose the best tesserae
she joined them together
with salt, blood and tears
and through her fears, the pathway emerged
the young woman grew wise
by her father’s words
find life, and life will find you, in silence she heard
she looked over her shoulder
periodically with a smile and the knowledge
the adventure of the life,
is not in the eye of the beholder
ringside, at the gallery
but in the hands of the artist
that holds the glittering tesserae
So she shared her views, through the lens of her eye
The colours, the minutiae,
the wide open spaces, the early morning reverie
to honour his memory,
because the gift left behind was not in what he said or did
But instilling the belief in her
that she could fly, and she did.

a dawn bird

Reign of thoughts …

In response to Ragtag Daily Prompt – Monday – Deluge

Back Beach, Bunbury, Western Australia

This morning I woke in a bed that was empty
There was no one else there but me
In that space of aloneness
I filled it with memory
Of all the things we shared,
Of what was and the dreams that could never be
While outside it rained, bibilically
That purest water from the sky
Overflowed the gutters, and flooded the ground
In that gush of energy, baptised
I lay quietly and listened to the sounds
Of my heart beat faster than when you were around
I realised society had conned people like me
The message always loud and clear
One is not a number, it is an anomaly
two is what counts
I felt my face break open, wider than my heart had done
I rose from my bed slowly
Slowly like from the dead
And when I was standing firm
Stronger on two feet
I knew I had conquered my fear,
found my voice,
I started to write, for perpetuity
You see society promotes unity
We are mismatched jigsaw pieces
Never whole, a match has to be found,
for that pretty picture that reflects cultural norms to emerge
that promotion, is an industry
in that enlightened moment, I felt the surge
I had always stood on sacred ground
Of the journey, the belief
that cliche missing piece that completes me
Was never lost, it lay within me
A treasure, dormant, waiting to be found
I felt blessed for the courage, that companion
that walked with me into the darkness
and in the coldest recesses of my being
left me with a lantern , the knowledge,
the treasure is not me,
but the savouring of aloneness,
is where serenity is found.

a dawn bird



All lined up

I love it when I learn a new word. With so much information out there, it is a treat to scurry to the dictionary scratching my head thinking, what does that word mean! Thank you Brian, at bushboy.

Much like the lines in nature, my life is falling into line again. I feel well and happy to be productive, relatively pain free and looking forward to travelling and working full pace once more after spending most of the month of July at home. I’m nesting. Being kind to myself. Finding companionship in birds that have taken over my back garden and generally just glad to be going back to who I know I am. It’s a feeling of home like no other.

Silk worms

I loved the dark fronds and delicate lace wings.

I watched tiny honeyeaters sip rain drops from these leaf cups one morning.

I’m not a gardener so I’m not sure whether these should be in my garden ….

but I loved how beautiful the mushrooms looked when they ‘bloomed’.

Then there are those lines that take me to places so far away.

May you, too, seek and find adventure in each day.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Saturday – Venation

Simplicity

In observing birds for the past few years I’ve learned a thing or two from their behaviour. They wake, eat, play, rest while grooming. The joy of a simple routine is in their birdsong.

I’m trying to simplify my lifestyle but before I do, it seems I need one final push to the other side. This brings on a certain momentum each day. I’m either turbo charged and ready to face the day or I am reflective and quietened by pain. The reality of slowing down, on some days, is exciting. With camera in hand, I don’t have to rush an hour. I can have all day. A delicious thought to savour on quiet days.

While life is taking me on a journey of self discovery I’ve realised. I live mindfully with camera in hand. Time stops for me. I am in the moment. Not much, at other times.

What my illness has brought home to me is this, I am losing strength in my hands for simple tasks. This is a reality that is daunting. Each day I now mindfully celebrate the following:

Filling my car with petrol, although I need both hands to lift the nozzle.

Dressing and undressing myself. Some days I can do this deftly and other days, like in cold Esperance, I needed nearly three hours.

Lifting my suitcase. I no longer pack one more thing … just in case. I take only what I need.

Opening a bottle or a door. Oh! the sense of accomplishment when I do without help!

Opening a snack packet. Some days I can. Other days, the packet goes in the bin.

I stop and plan my motor movements when taking my laptop out of my bag to minimise pain. When did this tiny device get so heavy?

I no longer take my body for granted.

I no longer live like I am forever 25.

What illness cannot do is break my spirit. My heart is free as a bird. It still has the curiosity that makes me feel young and new each day. It is the simplicity of this philosophy that I embrace and start my day. May you do too.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Word of the Day Challenge – Simple

Rise!

It’s been so long since my last post, I’ve nearly forgotten how to blog!

Life has been life in the past few months. I wake each day and know wonder awaits me. I’m never disappointed.

Work has been a lifeline to wonder. Let me share because despite pain, in the words of Maya Angelou … and still I rise.

I worked in Busselton, Western Australia, where Geographe Bay is stunning at sunset. I stood and watched the sun go down, just happy to be in a happy space.

My lunch hour in the car park the arboretum in Kalgoorlie, in the Goldfields is always a mindful moment, where the mallee bookleaf bloomed for butterfly, bee and me.

I wake to these gorgeous tiny brown honeyeaters in Geraldton in the Midwest where they rest outside my hotel room. They are tiny and noisy. I know people like this!

The fabulous sunrise at Mt Magnet, an outback town in the Midwest where I drink my morning coffee alone in silence. The Granites is a magnificent place.

In Esperance, somehow a young kangaroo is always a delightful encounter.

The elegant white face heron at Woody Lake, Esperance, another favourite haunt.

The silver eye were everywhere, their colours as vibrant as the moment we shared.

And about 18 kms out of Margaret River, I went looking for the exquisite splendid blue wren.

I love how they stand at height and then look down into the leaves.

Morsel found.

A perfect picture for me.

Like I said, life is life at the moment. Each day I wake positive and with full knowledge, life is a gift. I accept it with both hands and a grateful heart. How can I not when nature shares so generously?

So, despite it all, each day, I rise.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Monday – Elevate