Switched on

via Daily Prompt: Abrupt

Last night I watched a documentary on Elsa the Lioness.  I was given the first edition of the book Born Free as a young girl.  I was captivated by the story and fell madly in love with George Adamson! Then I discovered Jacques Cousteau.  When kids were talking about favourite people they would have around for dinner, and were dreaming about rock stars, my interests were conservationists.  I admired their spirit of adventure.  Of living life differently.  Their fierce commitment to Nature.  They were conservationists, but I didn’t know the meaning of the word.  Until now.

I’m now switched on.  The change in thinking was abrupt.  I’ve come to realise we don’t have to hear the message in ad breaks.  We live the message.  Like Adamson and Cousteau did.

On a recent trip to Jurien Bay I woke to watch dawn break at the beach and took it all in.  The message of plastic pollution of the oceans foremost in memory.  I wondered how I could make a difference.  Could I live more mindfully?  I realised, shopping is all about planning.  When I went home I packed a few shopping bags in the boot and was ready for another grocery trip.  I took only two cooler bags to the store and placed my shopping straight into them.  To my surprise, I was shopping mindfully.  I bought only what I could fit in.  The impulse buying was placed back on the shelf.  I checked out and found I had spent way less money than I normally would for a weekly trip.  Importantly, I had not used any single use plastic bags.  The change was so easy to put into practice.

I wondered if I could try the same strategy with money.  I use my credit card all the same and rarely use cash.  It has been a helpful strategy for business accounts.  But when reflecting on it, I realised, I have to keep receipts whether I use cash or credit card.  So why not use cash?  Now when I travel, I take just what I need in cash with my card as back up.  What a difference I’ve made in a month!  Money is the tangible proof of hard work.  When one has cash in hand, one builds a relationship with it and makes it hard to part from it.  The credit card is impersonal.

My only regret today is that I wish my learning took place earlier.  DSCN9838.jpgI often despair watching children with hand held devices.  Immersed in technology, they miss the world around them.  So when I saw a young boy wetting a line on the beach, Pacific Seagull by his side, it made me smile.  He could have been sitting in the hotel room playing video games.  But he was out here at dawn, because he enjoyed the experience of what he was doing.  He didn’t catch any fish.  It was just the enjoyment of anticipation and being near the sea.  He had a relationship with the environment.  There is hope ….DSCN9844.jpgI look at the ocean differently.  The responsibility for keeping it pristine lies with each of us.  The answer to a complex question ‘What can I do?” lies within the question.  It starts with “I …”.DSCN9861.jpgI look at the debris left behind by the tides each day.  It’s the kind that makes me happy. Like watching a child fishing at the beach, it also makes me hopeful.

The debris left by the human tide will one day, change.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


Lessons from nature

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning.  It is typical of autumn in Perth.  I went to bed looking forward to the next day and have been up for hours.  I have a list of things to complete before heading off again.  As the end of financial year looms (June), work ramps up with invoices to submit, and extra work to be picked up before the new budget.  Being sick for three out of the four weeks in April has been a drag and I’m behind on most things.  Today is the first day I feel well and myself again.  I hope to make a small dent in what I have to complete.

My home is undergoing the second part of the renovation.  I am project managing this.  I have no idea how I fit it all in.  It is chaos in the home with nothing where it should be.  I’ve had to rely on superhuman resilience.  I take one day at a time and within the day, I have moments where I come up for air.  Like now.  I learnt this strategy from nature.  From the red cap sand plover.

The red cap sand plover is a tiny bird.  I absolutely love them!  They are very difficult to see along the shore because they blend in so well.  I found one in Lake Thetis once and always on the look out for them when I visit.  They are quick on land and scurry at great speed.  I’ve only seen one fly maybe twice in all the times I’ve photographed them.  They race across the sand, stop for a moment, feed and then repeat.  It can cover great distances this way.  If the strategy works for the red cap sand plover, surely it must work for me!

DSCN7023.jpgDuring one trip to Lake Thetis I searched for the tiny bird for over an hour and then reluctantly decided, it was not my day.  I took one last photograph of the Lake before turning around to walk away.DSCN7028.jpgThen an imperceptible movement caught my eye.  By the shore.DSCN7029.jpgIt turned around and looked straight at me!  Joy!DSCN7040.jpgThen turned away, the beautiful red cap clearly visible.DSCN7047.jpgThe stride is quick and effortless.DSCN7048The stop and stare, well, fierce comes to mind!DSCN7061.jpgThis bird is a tiny creature.  Yet, somehow, has the capacity to fill vastness by mere presence.

Some people do this, too.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


The faux pas

via Daily Prompt: Toxic

I always carry a plastic bag with me when I travel, thinking I’ll need it in an emergency.  They are not yet banned in Perth but they are banned elsewhere in the State.

When in Exmouth, I decided I’d take it to the beach with me to bring back my loot of shells and rocks.  My faux pas was highly visible to other beach goers.  I could almost hear their tut tuts over the waves.  Their accusatory looks were understandable.  I was in a heritage marine park.  Using a plastic bag here is obscene.

On my return to Perth I happened to catch a documentary on plastic pollution.  I squirmed in my seat.  Like millions of others, I have contributed to the toxic waste in our seas.

I reflected on my use of plastic.  It is almost unavoidable.  How did we get this way?  When did carrying a plastic bottle of water become an accessory?

The law of supply and demand is simple.  The power of one, irrefutable.  It starts from within, in that place called social conscience, where clever marketing cannot find a foothold.  Something to think about.

So it’s cloth carry bags for me from now on.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird