Finding nirvana

This morning I was up by four am.  With autumn chill in the air, I rugged up and enjoyed the silence.  I could not have been more at peace nor happier.  It took the birds another three hours before their birdsong filled the garden.  In the dark I reflected on my numerous trips and found myself smiling at the memories.  Although I’ve loved every moment of my work travel, I know the joy will be intensified when I return to these places.DSCN6508
Newman, Pilbara mining country, Western Australia
I took this picture a few years ago.  Although spring, it was hot.  It always is, up north.  I recall the sheer joy of acres of flowers.  The purple mulla mulla was blooming by the thousands.  And, those red Sturt Pea flowers, take my breath away every time I find a clump of them roadside.  In harsh mining country, the joy of finding fields of flowers, is a moment I know will experience again.DSC_0844
The simplicity of walking in seagull footsteps is something I will follow again in three words, sea, sky, solitary.  DSC_0828
I recall finding the most vivid coloured shells north of Broome in Lombadina, an isolated indigenous coastal community of the Bardi people (‘Salt Water People’).DSC_0823
Although I love collecting shells, somehow I could not bring myself to collect shells at this beach.  I had a deep sense they belong to the people that live here.DSC_0811
What was amazing, as my friend and I walked along the shore I thought I heard music, the kind one hears in Bali, not as sharp as the gamelan, but similar tinkling sounds.  We stopped and listened, puzzled, there was no one else within sight when we realised, as the tide swept out to sea, the music came from the water swishing through the thousands of shells.  It was a sound I have never heard before, or since.  Oh! how I wish I had taped it on my phone!  I’ve been to this beach a few times but never at a time when the tide is receding, so maybe this, too, will be on my list to do.DSC_0680
The Dinner Tree, Derby, Kimberley region, Western Australia
I have sat by the ‘Dinner Tree’ many times, an iconic historic spot in Derby, far north.  This is where the drovers would bring cattle along the flats, stop here for their dinner break before heading to the wharf beyond at Derby Jetty.  It is a beautiful boab tree.  The flats are expansive and the locals seem to use it to get to their fishing spot at the Jetty at sunset.  I’ve enjoyed quiet moments here and wondered how alive it would have been with the sounds of cattle and tired drovers, relieved to be resting after a day in Kimberley heat.

Life could not be more simple these days filled with chores and the trickle of work that comes in steadily.  The only travel I do is flicking through photographs.  There’s so much more to see and do and the impatient Aries in me has to be calmed, sometimes on an hourly basis.

Going through these photographs I found what I was searching for, my nirvana, that feeling of peace and happiness that comes from being at one with Nature.

It’s back to my reality for now.

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Your Daily Word Prompt – Attain – 19 April 2020

What is wealth?

Coastline, Broome, Western Australia

My mother advocated generosity.  She believed, generosity of spirit as a personal value was one’s wealth and not one’s bank balance or earning power.  It has been a good moral compass for me and never more when …

It was some years ago.  I met him by sheer chance.  Waiting for a taxi in stifling heat, a young couple cut in before me and nicked my cab.  I waited for the next one and that’s how I met him.  He was initially surly but warmed to conversation.  Travel never tires me, I’m a chatty passenger in a taxi!  I didn’t have a hire car and he offered to show me around town that evening and we set a fee.  Talk flowed easily.  His humour was dry (I do have a soft spot for men who make me laugh).  We were in regular contact from then on.  I take a lot of taxis every month and in the city, I know folks come from different backgrounds.  In this town, it was his manner that made me think he was not local and driving a taxi was not his regular work.  I was right.

Over the next couple of years I got to know him better.  My first impressions were correct to a point.  We enjoyed good food.  We enjoyed the beach.  He introduced me to fine red wine.  He lived in one of the most beautiful places in Western Australia, so naturally, it was easy for me to visit several times a year and we were in daily contact.  As he let his guard down he ’emerged’, the default setting we are all comfortable to be at when we know someone well enough.  Initially I ignored the alarm bells until the obvious became obvious.

A successful businessman once, he was bitter.  His divorce costing him a fortune.  He could not let that go, despite the fact he continued to live well.  He viewed life and people with a jaded eye.  Those who were not in his socio-economic bracket were scorned, and those who were successful generated a jealous response that was uncomfortable to be around.  That dry humour often flipped to sarcasm with ease.  He sliced open people, including his children, with a razor tongue.  I once said to him, he should thank his ex-wife every day ,,, because of their divorce, he was living in a beautiful place and he may not have left the city, otherwise.  He stared at me in absolute disbelief.  “Thank her?”  I knew then we would never have a common ground.  Our philosophies and values were too different.

I always believe people cross our paths for a reason.  We may not appreciate the intent at the time, but hindsight brings wonderful clarity.

I met him at a time in my life when my career had taken off.  The years of hard work and crumbling under the burden of single motherhood were paying dividends.  He was by no means living in poverty, but, because his current lifestyle was less ostentatious than what it was in the city, it made him miserable.  In the city, folks knew him.  He enjoyed  being a prominent member of a prestigious club.  He was an ‘old boy’ of an expensive school.  In his town, he did not have the same status.  He was just a discontented privileged male.

One evening we went to the beach to enjoy the sunset with his city friends; from memory, wine folks from Margaret River.  Champagne and expensive red wine flowed.  Although I was on an open beach, I felt trapped.

I had just come back from working in an indigenous community, the conditions there harsh, hot and humbling.  A place where families are community and community is family.  The elders were so welcoming.  I stood for  hours in heat with ants crawling up my legs and camp puppies with itchy bodies everywhere.  I had never felt more privileged to do the work I do.

I knew then I had met him and walked away at the right time in my life.  He taught me, yes, it is true, money cannot buy happiness especially when you think someone has more than you.  The truth is, someone always will.

As a child I learned generosity of spirit is something that flows and does not accumulate or stagnate.  You can’t stockpile it or make the balance grow.  I know this because my elderly, illiterate but oh so wise nanny used to say, “you cannot repay kindness, you pass it on”.  That is the essence of generosity of spirit.  That to me, is true wealth.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Daily Word Prompt – Affluent

Message from a dragonfly …


It’s that time of year again.  I am looking for respite in all kinds of creative ways.  Five minutes of laundry, a three minute prayer, a coffee mug that needs washing right away.  The reports are being completed, one at a time, each around 20 pages, some longer.  The pressure is intense.  End of school year is three weeks away.  Children who are eligible for special needs funding need people to zone out everything else and commit to deadlines.  I’m trying to stay afloat.

Having flown in this morning, I made a list of things I needed to do before flying out again tomorrow.  My knees did buckle momentarily.  There’s only 24 hours in a day.  On days like this, that is a revelation and surprise.

I can work late into the night, I reassure myself.  I’ll rest in the hotel tomorrow night.  It’s something I tell myself each time, but rest is elusive.  I always find something else ends up with a higher priority.

As the clothes line got busy with wet laundry, she caught my eye …

As much as I love birds and, a friend tells me whenever she sees a bee, she thinks of me, I have always been drawn to dragonflies.  The fact that they fly across oceans with filigree wings, amazes me.  I have photographed them as they fly, mate, and with wings poised, alight on surfaces, but I have never seen one at rest.

As I ticked laundry off the list, I stopped.  I heard the message through my camera.

Rest, fold your wings
balance awhile
tomorrow, we fly again

And, for a moment, as I looked through the lens, the pressure eased.

a dawn bird


In response to Daily Word Prompt – Alleviate – November 30 2019