A time for reflection

 

I worked a long day yesterday.  By night I needed reflection.DSCN8717.jpgI went where I had lunch one afternoon.  There’s a cafe to the right of this with beautiful views over water.  But no, I wanted to be in the scrub!  To my delight the place was teeming with birds.  I know them well enough by the call.DSCN8571.jpgI found a tiny male zebra finch with wisdom in his eyes.DSCN8567.jpgThen there was the female finch.  She flew up, caught the blade of grass in her beak and slid down, showering grass seeds on the ground.  She then fed in privacy in the tall grass.  Clever!DSCN8519.jpgEver watchful, high in thick scrub, were a pair of rainbow bee eaters.  Aloof, silent, predatory.DSCN8584.jpgThe yellow honey eaters, feasted on flowers, their maniacal laughter-like call, harsh, for such a pretty bird.DSCN8618.jpgWith ‘lipsticked lips’ pursed tightly shut, the Pacific Gull was dignified in defeat as silver sea gulls stole lunch and flew away screeching. DSCN8635.jpgThe Brahminy kite (I think), from the highest vantage point, watched all, then flew away silently.

Reflections on my experiences last night gave me a new understanding, life is not the journey we are given, but how we choose to travel.  I recalled this in a poem which says it better, so I’d like to share it with you today …

A Strong Woman vs a Woman of Strength
A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape …
but a woman of strength builds relationships to keep her soul in shape.

A strong woman isn’t afraid of anything …
but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of fear.

A strong woman won’t let anyone get the better of her …
but the woman of strength gives the best of herself to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future …
A woman of strength realises life’s mistakes can also be unexpected blessings, and capitalises on them.

A strong woman wears a look of confidence on her face …
but a woman of strength wears grace.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey …
but the woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.
(Author Unknown) cited in a book ‘The Voice of Silence’ by Oonagh Shanley Toffolo.

May all the steps you take today, make you stronger.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

Here comes the rain …

There is something quite distinctive about the monsoon season.  Those who have experienced it, will confirm this.  There is the ‘build up’, the oppressive humidity, that can be quite stifling and being indoors in air conditioned comfort brings on ‘cabin fever’.  One looks forward to rain with anticipation and when it comes, one rejoices with a sigh, saying “Here comes the rain”.  I’ve written about the monsoon season memories of my childhood elsewhere in my blog.  The time to revisit those memories now, seems appropriate.  I experienced rain during the monsoon season in my childhood, now I experience it as winter storms.  What a difference!

Perth has been in the throes of some nasty weather.  I was up north when a large portion of this very expansive State was under a severe weather warning.  It was still warm north but as soon as I saw clouds appear, I knew the skies would be magnificent.  So, of course, I headed out with camera.DSCN8681.jpgThe sun broke through, as it always does, just beyond the Small Boat Harbour, (Carnarvon).DSCN8700.jpgI delighted in the superb drama happening over this little town, quelling my fears of flying home through this and then to weather that was worse in Perth.  The flight back was surprisingly calm in the small plane.  But there was silence among the 34 passengers when the pilot announced we were going to land in poor weather in 60 km/hour high winds.  I know what 28 km/hour winds during landing feels like in this plane.  But 60!  I closed my eyes and visualized all good things in my life.  I found it was not a difficult thing to do.  Half an hour from landing I clutched the seat tighter and tighter, while we bounced and rattled.  We landed with an almighty thud and a deafening whoomf.  Then came the short dash from aircraft to terminal.  As soon as we stepped off the plane, it hailed.  (Yes, it hurts when it hits one’s face!).

The experience of monsoon rain is different.  There’s relief and seems like generosity of Nature, when it rains.  A winter storm is all anger and unpredictability, like Nature is having a tantrum.  I’ve come to love both experiences for all the sensory components they bring.

I do question myself from time to time.  Did I miss out on something special because I lived my life from month to month, skidding into the next season with a regularity that now seems mundane.  If I did, the time to experience life, is now.  And, that’s the beauty of living.  The now, is the starting point.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

Awakened

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes” is a quote by Carl Jung that resonates with me.

As I wrote in the previous post, as a child I merely looked through a window at a world that was and may have been.  I did not really experience it.  I do now.

While bush walking there is much to see, hear, smell, taste and touch.  It makes one alert to the sensory experience of being in the natural world.

Although this is big country with magnificent landscape, I’ve learnt to look for small things too.  So I’ll share some with you.DSCN8230.jpgI found a cluster of bell-like gum nuts at my feet.  Although they will not bloom like other similar blossoms, their beauty is more accessible, close up.  This is how it is meant to be, for some.DSCN8169.jpgI look for solitary things in nature.  Things that should belong together, but somehow fall away.  Their beauty is undiminished, in isolation.  For some, it takes effort to believe in this but when they do, the rewards are endless.DSCN8252.jpgI prefer not to touch an object before I photograph it.  I feel I need to respect the space where the object has come to rest.  It was there for a reason.  Things happen for a reason.  It is something I’ve come to respect about life, too.DSCN8243During this walk, I followed a trail of clover.  It was a delicate wreath that wound itself around a massive rock.  The dichotomy of strength and fragility, written in simple lines.  And, yes, they can co-exist, each not detracting beauty from the other.DSCN8233.jpgI know now, even green leaves fall away and come to rest until they disintegrate in the wind.  This is their journey, not mine.  The moment shared was finite.  So is life.DSCN8232.jpgSome are plain, beige, but sparkle best, when it rains.  I’ve come to learn some people rise to their adversity, and can land softly, among rocks.DSCN8076.jpgSome fade with a kaleidoscope explosion of colour.  The message is clear.  I was here once.DSCN8253.jpgWhile others, are golden, among green.  They signal season.  A time for everything, and everything, in time.

This is my time.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

My winter garden

I switched off the lights, computer and TV last evening.  A belated Earth Day, if you like.  I closed my eyes and experienced the storm that was passing overhead.  The rain lashed down as only a Perth winter can deliver.  There was some intermittent hail, too.  I listened to every sound.  It was intense.  As a child I feared storms as my nanny had told me lighting can strike an exposed mirror, so I hid under covers as she threw a sheet over anything reflective.  I no longer cower.  I’ve come to realise storms are a sensory experience like no other.

In the darkness I envisioned my spring garden.  I’m preparing the garden for my son’s wedding next year.  He insists on his groomsmen coming to the home and having some pre-wedding photographs in “the family home”.  His sentiment, warms my heart.

This morning I walked through the back gardens and found winter’s touch everywhere.

DSCN8100.jpgThe mulberry tree is stripped bare of leaves.DSCN8098.jpgThere’s a soft and squelching carpet underfoot.DSCN8099.jpgI sneaked in a quick picture of a nest when there were no birds around.  DSCN8108.jpgI came around the home to the side garden where the geraniums always bloom.  Their vivid colour in winter is an obvious delight.DSCN8110.jpgIn the front garden, the roses defy winter, having found intermittent warmth during autumn.  They are putting up a showy display before pruning.DSCN8109.jpgThis bloom is as big as an infant’s face.  The perfume is exquisite.DSCN8113.jpgI love this rose that starts to bloom with the faintest tinge of pink.DSCN8114.jpgThere is just one pink rose on the front arbor.DSCN8119.jpgWith a promise of another, yet to bloom.

A walk around my winter garden took me from the stark, barren trees to beautiful blooms, and a promise of more to come.  It mirrored life’s journey.

I’m in a good place.  I now know, this is how it was meant to be.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

This life

DSCN7960.jpg

Outside is Perth winter.  Wet with splashes of sunlight.

A coffee cup warming my palm, I looked outdoors at the rain and reflected on a poem a friend shared online.  I thought it was beautiful and wanted to pass it on.

My Soul Has a Hat

I counted my years and realized that I have less time to live by, than I have lived so far.

I feel like a child who won a pack of candies: at first, he ate them with pleasure but when he realized that there was little left, he began to taste them intensely.

I have no time for endless meetings where the statutes, rules, procedures and internal regulations are discussed, knowing that nothing will be done.

I no longer have the patience to stand absurd people who, despite their chronological age, have not grown up.

My time is too short: I want the essence; my spirit is in a hurry. I do not have much candy in the package anymore.

I want to live next to humans, very realistic people who know how to laugh at their mistakes and who are not inflated by their own triumphs and who take responsibility for their actions. In this way, human dignity is defended and we live in truth and honesty.

It is the essentials that make life useful.

I want to surround myself with people who know how to touch the hearts of those whom hard strokes of life have learned to grow with sweet touches of the soul.

Yes, I’m in a hurry. I’m in a hurry to live with the intensity that only maturity can give.

I do not intend to waste any of the remaining desserts. I am sure they will be exquisite, much more than those eaten so far.

My goal is to reach the end satisfied and at peace with my loved ones and my conscience.

We have two lives and the second begins when you realize you only have one.

by Mario de Andrade (Sao Paolo 1893-1945)

Through my camera lens, I’ve discovered my second life.  It is one that I embrace.  I did not seek it.  It came to me.  Critical in the exchange was a receptiveness on my part.  Now, it is me who seeks it.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

Full circle

via Daily Prompt: Forest

Encouraged in childhood to achieve academically, my parents would tell me to focus on the bigger picture and not get caught up with minutae.  I followed their advice into adulthood.  I saw the forest and lived among invisible trees.

Not any more.

I take time each day to see the smaller things.  They don’t obstruct my goals or views.  If anything, they enhance my thinking and bring joy to my day.  I’ll share some pictures that I’ve shared before to illustrate what I mean.

On a cold and rainy morning in Esperance I headed out to Lake Warden where the sunrise over it is beautiful.  I had about a minute before the sun rose when a ute approached me on a narrow country road.  His speed generated a flurry between the cars and forced me to slow down.  I was annoyed at having lost a few precious seconds when I glanced out the car window.  The delight at what I saw made me switch off the engine and forget about the sunrise.

DSCN8342On the road beside me were several inland thornbill, given their size, they are also affectionately known as ‘button bums’.  Had I not been forced to slow down, I would have missed this beautiful moment of shared joy.DSCN8344.jpgThe rain had left a puddle in the middle of the road.  The birds were thoroughly enjoying a communal bath, undeterred by my presence.DSCN8353.jpgSome immersed themselves fully and then shook themselves fluffy.  DSCN8357.jpgOthers walked away from the puddle with confidence and returned.  Dip, fluff, repeat.DSCN8366.jpgThere was one that tried not to get wet and stretched tiny legs to stay upright.DSCN8367.jpgThe result was inevitable!DSCN8349.jpgWhile another took a break and found me the curiosity.  And, that was just fine with me!

There are times I feel I am raising the child in me to be more aware.  It is in those moments I feel like that is the intention of the reach.  If it is and makes a difference, then I have come full circle.  It is a happier place to be.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feast or famine

via Daily Prompt: Partake

Life is a feast.  Yes, a cliche we have heard many a time.  What does it really mean?  For me, it is how one looks and experiences life.  It is how you partake in it that one can regard it as feast, or famine.

When necessary, some professionals will delve into people’s early childhood to search for ‘thinking’ seeds that were sown early.  The search guides their understanding and practice.  This makes sense.  Yes, it is how people perceive things that is always more interesting because it shapes who they become.  My early thinking was shaped by a strong work ethic by parents, nothing in life is handed on a silver platter.  I know I resented my strict upbringing.  It seemed so unfair when my parents had the means to indulge us.

As my book takes shape, my reflections of early childhood are changing.  The skeletons are not rattling, they are dancing to the beat of the keyboard.  I’ve come to realize my family history is populated with interesting people who saw the world, their way.  I know my life history is enriched by them being in it.

I’m not quite sure when my perceptions started to change.  Perhaps they were dormant for a while, perhaps, not, but I do recall myself as a child who viewed the world with wonder.  And, when the world I lived in had jagged edges, I created my own world of fairies, goblins and magical things in the garden, thanks to Enid Blyton.  It is not what I did that made the difference.  It was knowing when to make a difference.

Not much has changed from early childhood.  I continue to see life as a feast filled with opportunities and wonder.  Perhaps the next two photographs will illustrate this point.

Way up north in Kooljaman, Cape Leveque, about 200 kms north of Broome I woke to a  warm morning.  It is a beautiful place of untouched rugged beauty.  I walked around the grounds where I was staying, taking in all the sights, sounds and perfume of frangipani.  The bird life was prolific.

DSCN6306.jpgI stood under the canopy.  I knew I could choose to be either frustrated or excited at what I could hear but not see.

DSCN6360.jpgYou can imagine my excitement to catch this fleeting moment, high up in the tree!

What I experienced in that moment, was a sense of satiety.  I had feasted on a moment.  I was hungry for nothing else.  It made my day complete.

Yes, I choose to live life …. feasting.  The choice is simple when put into practice.

Where ever you are may you, too, be guided by choice.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird