Yesterday, today and tomorrow

She comes to the door of the B&B, her smile is 100 watt dazzle.  Slumped over the walking frame, she looks a couple of generations older, but I’m sure she’s not.  Her home is period.  She tells me it was cut and transported piece by piece from Kalgoorlie where it was a boarding house.  It is endlessly large with high ceilings.  She has beautiful taste.  She bought the home for a pittance and renovated it faithful to the period.  Everything in the home was bought for next to nothing.  Huge jarrah posts discarded by a farmer for $8 a piece, she tells me, laughter making her eyes shine.  We both know the posts would cost hundreds of dollars in the city.  Stained glass windows discarded by someone else exchanged or bartered, one is always lucky to find them, we know this too.  She has polished, painted and brushed it all back to life from another century.  She has grand plans for so much more and not allowed pain or limited mobility to dampen her enthusiasm.

My bedroom is blue and white.  The bed, one of the most comfortable I’ve had in a long time.  I was too exhausted to eat, so I lay down in the white warmth and slept fitfully only to wake early evening to water running.  I follow the sound outdoors.DSCN8486.jpgHer garden is a delight.  I stop to take a picture here and there.DSCN8539.jpgThe ornamental almond tree was frosted white.DSCN8543.jpgThe ornamental peach tree bloomed elsewhere.DSCN8528.jpgThere were bulbs bejewelled with bees.DSCN8545.jpgI found this in one corner, my camera sees what she hasn’t in a long time.  “How on earth did that bloom there?”, she asks me, and we both laugh at her surprise. DSCN8496.jpgI loved the white flowers in another corner and asked her what they were.  She tells me, they are English May, a cutting from her grandmother’s garden.  It’s something she cherishes.  Not hard to see why.DSCN8510.jpgShe is seated on a plastic chair, crutches to the side, water hose in hand dousing dirt in front of her with about 15 silver eye keeping her company.  They dig into the damp soil for tasty morsels.  She giggles like a little girl at their antics.

I step away into the background, camera in hand and reflect.

If this is old age ….

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

Colour, my world

I’m no gardener, but I’m forever thinking about my garden.  I now live in a house where I have planned different types of gardens in small isolated pockets.  My vision is yet to come to fruition, but thinking about this, is a happy place to be.

When I was married my husband and I were constantly at odds with how the garden should look.  Forward thinking for the time, he was insistent on a garden with native trees and shrubs as they are plants that require little maintenance and water.  I, on the other hand, wanted an English garden with lavender, roses, geraniums, hydrangeas, and cottage plants.  He indulged my love for this to a point.  When my marriage ended I had a hedge of 14 white iceberg roses that bloomed incessantly with thousands of flowers.  Far from being a reminder of him, they served to remind me he had worked hard outdoors so I could enjoy the view.  It was a memory worth keeping so I continued to keep it alive with more flowers.  The only time I can remember gardening, is when I decided to turn the upper level into a white garden and that space had only white flowers of all kinds.  I wish I had taken pictures.  It was beautiful.  I looked forward to my alone times in the white garden.  I shed all my other roles when I was here except one, student.  On reflection, it was a space where I gave my body breath each day and where I created a new life.

I moved from that space, in more ways than one and found a world of colour.  I was fortunate to find this in a lifestyle that meets all my needs.  Each day I work towards that life, one that strengthens the core of me.  I make sure I stop each day for a few minutes.  I now see colour and detail.  DSCN8425.jpgYellow everlasting flowers growing roadside in the Wheatbelt.DSCN8431.jpgor growing side by side with blue leschenaultia in dry, gravel soil.DSCN8432.jpgThe beautiful velvety native purple flowers on grey foliage that look extremely ordinary from a distance.  But close up?  You be the judge.DSCN8438.jpgThese interesting flowers are tiny and waxy.  I’ve seen creamy lemon ones in the Goldfields.  They glisten in the sun like dew.  Up close, they are delicate and finely veined, like aged hands.  I’ve seen hundreds and thousands of these, but this time, I saw one in bloom.  Exquisite.DSCN8455.jpgThen there are the tiny everlastings that glow like embers, along the ground.DSCN8464.jpgThe beautiful spears of grevillea that grow wild everywhere.DSCN8469.jpgOr these mops of orange.DSCN8476.jpgand blue.DSCN8478.jpgThe delicate intricacy of the cone flower.DSCN8483.jpgAnd tiny, tiny, butter yellow blooms.DSCN8454.jpgI still find white flowers joyful.

 

They remind me how far I’ve come.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

‘The other voice’

I love the word inspire.  Each year, it brings new meaning.  No longer passive, I seek each day.  I can write when I see, feel, hear or sense something.  It’s a daily awakening.  A daily reminder.  I am alive.

To share the images below with you brings a level of discomfort.  They were always there.  I just never saw them.  Importantly, and sadly, I did not seek them.  I did not seek to use my senses mindfully.

Every day I look beyond what I see.  A tree, is no longer a tree.  A flower is no longer, just beautiful.  A fallen leaf, is more than debris.  A bird is more than feathers and song.  My strides are shorter and slower.  I inhale and exhale more deeply.  I hear small sounds amid din.  A moment lasts longer.

This year, inspire has been synonymous with stillness.  It has been moments when I waited to hear ‘the other voice’.

So I’ll share with you what I’ve found in those moments of dialogue.DSCN7235.jpgA clump of cowslip orchids, found unexpectedly, in debris.DSCN7253.jpgManna acacia blooming below a canopy of gum trees.DSCN7270.jpgA spider orchid, dancer like, posturing mid-furl.DSCN7377.jpgAn emu in the wild, caught mid-stride, long neck perfectly curled.DSCN7348.jpgThe tiny inland thorn bill with yolk egg feathers, singing for mate, in spring.DSCN7556.jpgA Willy Wagtail, with bling in her wing.DSCN7466.jpgSunset in an autumn leaf.DSCN7529.jpgPink ballerina tutus in shrubs, just below the trees.DSCN7445.jpgBallgowns draped on shrubs, more beautiful than found on any red carpet.DSCN7461.jpgA trio of pristine white cornettes.DSCN7588.jpgA gift from and for the sea, left on shore by someone unknown.  But it spoke to, and, for me.

May you seek and find a moment today.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

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