The Garden Within

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Within the labyrinth
there’s a secret garden within  me
hidden from all
untouched by seasons
my soft place to fall
it has no lines or edges
enclosed in this space, unwalled
I wake each day to take a breath
the purest breath
of joy, that restores me whole.

a dawn bird

In response to Cee’s On the Hunt for Joy Challenge – Week 17 – Start a Garden (Indoor or Outdoor)

Seeking joy from within

I’ve decided to take this time to experience self-imposed isolation for two weeks as not only there are health reasons to do this, but also psychological ones. The sheer enormity of what the world is experiencing makes me seek small things and smaller spaces.

I have some work related phone contact with people and video contact with someone else on most days.  This I cannot avoid.  Son works therapeutically with recently discharged stroke patients and wants to stay away to keep me safe as he has frequent hospital contact.  Daughter works as a teacher and schools are still officially open, although a lot of parents are opting to keep their children at home.  She lives about an hour south of my home and I don’t get to see her as often under normal circumstances.  I live in a small cul de sac and neighbours have exchanged phone numbers and check on each other.  I am connected yet alone.

The world  has become a small place.  I thought it was timely for me to seek … and share the joy I find within my home.  thumb_IMG_1663_1024I always envisaged working in an office in the city, with my work extending to include the port city of Fremantle, but some of my narrative was written by others.  Soon I was working state wide in this magnificent and enormous state of Western Australia, which covers a third of the continent.  It took me to places I would never have gone.  Each beach, each bay, each coast curve has been different.  I started a collection of pebbles, coral and shells a few years ago.  I treasure these, never more than now.thumb_IMG_1665_1024Then there are the collections of rocks, and other sea artefacts.  I started a small jar of tiny shells that I often find on the beaches of Jurien Bay and Exmouth mostly.  In the vintage cast iron piece of kitchenalia is the red rock I found in the gold mining areas in the Midwest outback that has gold flecks in it.  I remember the moment when I picked this up and felt a deep connection to the land I was standing on.  It seemed to speak to me of all the drama and chaos and excitement that gold rush brings and how different it is today with the orderly FIFO (fly in fly out) mine workers catching flights like they are catching a bus.thumb_IMG_1664_1024I love the tactile nature of emu eggs.  They are smooth and heavy.  These were the last of the eggs that were being sold when an Emu Farm closed.  I would stop here, to buy a bottle or two of the locally made chilli tomato sauce, just before getting to Bunbury in the South West.  I have such fond memories of chatting to the elderly women who worked at the counter.thumb_IMG_1659_1024I’m also looking after myself, as self-care is vital in these times.  I had placed a big order of food from a home delivery service just before the crisis.  Timely.  They always have the best tasting fresh fruit.  I never buy strawberries in the supermarket but I enjoy these when delivered.thumb_IMG_1660_1024I wake some mornings feeling despondent about everything and everyone.  Some days crawling out of that space is harder than others when the grip of helplessness gets tighter.  On those days I slow down and indulge in a bit of personal self-care.  This is a facial mask I used as a teen in India.  Made from chickpea flour, pure honey, a pinch of tumeric, a splash of lemon juice and enough water to make a consistency of pancake mix.  I also add a few drops of Vitamin B oil.  Smear over face, let it dry and rinse off.  (Remind yourself not to open the front door!).  The turmeric stains clothing but doesn’t seem to stain crockery or bathrooms sinks.  The mask leaves the skin very soft.  This paste, or versions of it, is also used in many Indian bridal ceremonies, a preparatory, or cleansing ritual before the wedding night.  I feel the need to do this more often than I ever have in the past.  It leaves me with a feeling of positive anticipation.thumb_IMG_1656_1024Last but not least!  I’ve always disliked garden gnomes.  It was a running joke between Dr T and myself and he would ‘threaten’ to buy some for our garden and I would recoil in horror.

A few weeks before the world changed I walked into a new shop in my neighbourhood.  The owner sells beautiful hand embroidered white cotton lingerie.  I love those!  These two caught my eye.  I walked out of the shop thinking about them and couldn’t help smiling for so many reasons.  The next time I walked in they were nowhere to be seen.  I found myself being surprised when I asked the owner if she had sold them.  No, they were seated in a different section of the shop.  They came home with me.

As I write alone at home they bring me such joy and companionship.  Oh! the irony of this!  Dr T when you read this post, I don’t want to hear about it!

Like millions I’m home and as vulnerable physically, emotionally, psychologically, and financially, just as the next person.  Although I already do this, I find myself reaching into my survival tool box to create my own world, create my own joy and do this mindfully.  There is something in this concept that I hope will stay with folks long after the crisis has passed.  There is a certain joy in seeking this from within, be it home or self.  When you do, you’ll find it is endless and you can always tap into it.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Cee’s On the Hunt for Joy Challenge – Week # 12 – Create Abundance Out of Ordinary Things

On facing crisis – a reflection

It is ironic, my last trip (most likely) for the year was to Geraldton where on the outskirts, in the hamlet of Greenough, is the graceful and iconic Leaning Tree.  I never fail to stop and take a picture of the tree each time I drive past.  It is also ironic that I found a picture that was taken on a gloomy day.  It should have dampened my spirit, when the world has changed so drastically.  Behind each statistic is a person, a family, a community and the reach of this health and economic crisis, is sobering.11043286_951275048218091_1381120800650411949_o
The Leaning Tree, Greenough, Western Australia
Like those who work with people face to face, be it in hospitality or hospital etc, our work lives have changed, at least for the foreseeable future.  The news from one agency, midway through my trip, was to cease operations as we know it.  On the last day of my work in a new agency, we were advised there would be no work until further notice.

After the initial shock of severe financial restrictions, I did what is promoted as a step to maintaining good well being.  In times of crisis return to normalcy as soon as one can.  I sat in the quiet of my hotel room and made a list of priorities.  I usually make a list at night of tasks that I need to tackle the following day but this list was different.  I found I needed to take charge.

The first thing I did was to email the bank and accountant to advise them I would not have my usual income this year.  The bank representative did her homework before returning my call.  She reassured me all was well on that front and they made some allowances that will be helpful should I need it.  It was the biggest relief and allowed me to think more clearly about other matters.

I returned to Perth to empty shops.  The mad panic seems to have subsided or perhaps people are staying home, which is a good thing.  It felt like I was over-shopping and I had to remind myself I usually shop for a day but now I was shopping for a fortnight.

Like the Leaning Tree growth continues when one is bent, but not broken.  I’ve found some positives in going back to basics. It’s all about perspective.  thumb_IMG_1572_1024
Hotel room art, Geraldton, Western Australia
Being grounded in reality is one thing, but we can paint and re-paint the picture in broader and brighter strokes.  Adults can come up with something more abstract and even when broken and distorted, the picture emerges and one finds meaning in it.thumb_IMG_1352_1024The Rainbow Tree, children’s artwork, school in the Midwest, Western Australia
Children, on the other hand, take from what is familiar and make it their own.  I experienced a deep sense of joy when I stood in front of this artwork.  All those discarded buttons from old clothing, the vision of a rainbow instead of a bent, old tree.  The earth coming up to greet it.  To me this is a portrait of a celebration.  Oh! the eyes and heart of a child!

So I share three pictures with you today of gloomy reality, abstract thinking and of creativity.  I know which one I love best!  So I’m channeling my inner child.

I’m going back to where comfort is.  I read in posts, most of us are doing this too.

I’m enjoying cooking.  I’m stewing fruit.  I’m making sauces and pastes.  My home smells like a home.

My home is being spring cleaned.  All those chores that never find a higher priority are being attended to.  I am culling and discarding what I don’t use or need.

There is incense burning and with it, brings a presence.  Together, we are one. 

My faith has never been stronger as I face an unpredictable financial future.

Take care of yourself and each other.  Think of others.  Offer a kind word to the elderly who seem so worried and alone.  Your smile or gesture may make a world of difference to them.  Be the difference.

Anxiety negatively impacts the immune system.  Keep calm.  Calmness can be contagious too.

Look and read the ‘news headlines’ within.  That’s where you’ll find a stronger and resilient you.

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RPD – Saturday – Looking Within

Kindness, matters …

I’ve written about my unease of being alone in the home, especially at night, in another post.  I’m conquering that fear, but every now and then, it raises it’s ugly head.  More so when I’m feeling a bit tired or vulnerable.

Constantly ‘shifting gears’, professionally,  makes my spirit hungry for other things.  Sometimes satiating this hunger happens just by chance when I least expect it, like my last trip.

Usually my trips to the Wheatbelt region are so predictable but this time, there was no room at the inn, so to speak.  All the small motels in town were full, so also the B&Bs and there were no spare rooms available for overnight Hospital staff.  The secretary heaved a sigh of relief when she found a rental home and I could almost hear the plea in her voice when she asked if it would be okay for a night.  I agreed readily.  The alternative, of driving there and back in a day after work, was more daunting.  I attended a meeting before leaving Perth and it robbed three hours of my time, adding to my day’s angst.  I drove when it was nearly dusk, something I avoid doing in rural areas.thumb_IMG_1297_1024The house was in a part of town I’m unfamiliar with and my GPS took me in circles.  I found the home eventually.  It was an old home with beautiful wooden floors, fireplaces, etc.  Inside, it had travelled through a couple of centuries in decor, but it was clean.  Unfortunately, several rooms were not on the same level, some with just a few inches drop which, after jarring my  back, made me more cautious where I was stepping.  I checked all the doors and windows as I always do and once I felt safe, checked out the fridge.  There was no milk!  It was getting dark and cooler.  I knew I would be wanting a coffee in the morning, so I got in my car and headed back to town.thumb_IMG_1293_1024
The streets were deserted.  Even the sun had left the sky.  I have never seen Narrogin in this light before.  It was a moment that ended my frenetic day.DSCN7569I was uneasy in an unfamiliar home.  I reassured myself the floor boards creaked loudly.  Being a light sleeper, it was my only security alarm.  I fell asleep eventually.  I woke early, as I usually do, and was delighted to see a back garden was unlike the front garden.  It was very reminiscent of  Perth gardens of yesteryear.  Contemporary gardens in the city require less work but oh so sterile and boring! This garden was lush with grapevine, shrubs, flowers and trees.  It had a presence. DSCN7616
A pink geranium, the colour of hope, bloomed.DSCN7618There was serenity and peace in the face of garden sculpture.

As I enjoyed my coffee in the quiet a shower of tiny birds descended, like autumn leaves on the lawn.DSCN7593
Inland thornbillDSCN7590
SilvereyeDSCN7625Young Australian Ringneck parrot

I was so enjoying the morning, I left my ironing to the last.  Soon it was time for work but the iron and ironing board were nowhere to be found despite the owner telling me it was in the house.  Fortunately, I had taken my iron with me.  (Having been caught out before in a Wheatbelt motel without an iron, I carry one in the car!).  I improvised using a towel on the kitchen bench top and got my clothes ironed.  When I stepped into the shower, there was no soap.  That would have been a problem for someone else, but not me.  As I’ve started to be mindful about reducing waste, I tend to carry my own soap knowing full well, if soap is left in the shower, it gets discarded.  I got to work 45 minutes late.

There have been some wonderful things happening career-wise but also some directions that I may choose to opt out of.  Prior to coming to a decision, the vortex within has been unsettling.  While enjoying the garden, I dearly wished I had someone in my life to bounce off when the shower of birds descended and brought this message:

You’ve had one of those days
haven’t we all?
see me stand before you
small and stretched tall

In those moments of quiet
you know this is true
there are those with ‘loved ones’
who are more alone, than you.

I opened my laptop and found an email from someone who had written the kindest words to me.  Although I told her, she will still never know how much that meant to me, in that particular moment in time.

The message I have today to share is this.  Never be afraid to be kind to someone.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

In response to RDP – Friday – Afraid

Wildflowers in the Midwest

I flew into Geraldton (some 400+ km north of Perth) late evening the other week.  I got into the hire car and took the highway into town.  I drove mindlessly, like I was home and realised, it has become another home for me.

I love Geraldton for lots of reasons.  When I have time between work and flights, I spend my time in a small restaurant that overlooks the marina because the airport only opens when there is a flight.  The restaurant staff know me well now and take me to my favourite table without me requesting it.  They chat to me with familiarity that I enjoy.  I am no longer a stranger there.  I also love a couple of shops where I invariably end up buying clothes or accessories.  And, I love my walk through town and back again.  This is what Geraldton means to me.

This trip I had to drive about two hours east of Geraldton, through wildflower country.  It was magical.  Long solitary drives on back roads flanked by flowers.  It uplifted my spirit and I was in my zone!DSCN9683.jpg
The purple flannel flowers with their soft grey foliage were scattered about in the thousands.DSCN9636.jpg
There were carpets of tiny yellow paper everlastings.DSCN9720.jpg
There were a few of these bushes, a type of hakea, I think.DSCN9715
Oh! those glorious skies and towering flowering trees filled with birdsong.DSCN9725.jpg
These were low growing bushes, blooming, km after km.DSCN9750.jpg
And these beautiful flowers that looked ordinary from afar but each flower within the flower, was so perfect.DSCN9753.jpg
There were literally millions of everlastings as far as the eye could see.  I didn’t have my hiking boots and didn’t want to risk walking in the grass in an isolated place.  We are coming up to snake season!

It’s difficult to describe to others what is means to be ‘in the zone’.  I’m so lucky I get to experience it where ever I am in this large State.  I’ve got trips coming up to the north and then south west next month and looking forward to seeing more flowers on my travels.  I know the wild orchids are blooming in the south west Wheatbelt and no doubt in the Bunbury area too.  I can’t wait to find them!

I’ve been home all week mostly running around for medical appointments.  I’m headed out again over the weekend and although I’ve enjoyed my time at home with loved ones and family, it will be nice to be back doing what I love to do.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Word of the Day Challenge – Zone

Living with intent

“Be happy for this moment.  This moment is your life.” Omar Khayyam

This is one of my favourite quotes.  I wake to this philosophy, never more than I am doing right now.

Along the shore where my world glows, in morning lightDSCN9831.jpg
Sunrise, Jurien Bay, Western Australia

In the forest and scrub, where wild orchids grow, to my delightDSCN9990.jpg
Wild orchid, Esperance, Western Australia

In a deserted street with coffee and canopy, where birds sing notes, high and lowthumb_IMG_5794_1024
Main street, Dongara, Western Australia

At the inlet, tidal dry, where the white heron pauses elegantlyDSCN9101.jpgPort Denison, Western Australia

In those moments, I know this life is just a moment, and that moment, was my life.
May you find your moments today, to live your best life.

Until next time, as always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Tuesday: Intent

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Not yet jaded …

In a world of information overload, it would be a challenge not to feel everything is ho hum.  But I realised some years ago, to find balance I need to be outdoors, away from books, away from work and just be.  Nothing else.  Just be.  The experience is like no other.  For me every minute outdoors feels like I’m an hour glass with sand trickling down in a steady stream.  When it pools, my head is clear.  My spirit is full.  I’m recharged and ready to go.

Even though I often visit the same towns several times in a year, and may photograph the same landscape, flora and fauna, there is always something new for me to see.  DSCN7297.jpg
Swamp hen, Bunbury wetlands, Western Australia
I have dozens of photographs of swamp hens.  I love their peacock colouring (but they do emit an awful strangled screech).  In some wetlands they can be shy and move out of sight quickly.  They have enormous feet and I was surprised to see this one eat with such delicacy.  Pretty clever!DSCN7408.jpg
Lake Lefroy, Kambalda West, Western Australia
Lake Lefroy is an ephemeral salt lake in Kambalda (Goldfields region of Western Australia).  I’ve been here a couple of times and the hues are different each time.  On the day I took this pic, the lake was like a painting.DSCN9579.jpg
New Holland Honeyeater, Bunbury wetlands, Western Australia
I love photographing New Holland honeyeaters.  They are striking looking birds.  I particularly love getting a picture of their tiny tongue that protrudes when feeding.DSCN9608.jpg
Silvereye, Bunbury wetlands, Western Australia
Needless to say, the tiny, tiny silvereye is a special joy.  They move in flocks but I’ve rarely found one seated side by side.  They are quick and drive me insane trying to get a good picture.  This one took me by surprise!DSCN9628.jpg
Bunbury, Western Australia
Along any coast in Western Australia you’ll see people dedicated to their hobby.  From afar, so am I.  Nothing new to see but if you photograph people fishing, you’ll find, each picture tells a different story.DSCN9730.jpg
Walk along any track in the bush or suburban garden, the Willy Wagtail is the first to greet.  I love this picture.  He looks all shiny and newly minted.  DSCN9783.jpg
Walking along the beach has its moments of calm.  Waves are soothing but every now and then, I catch a wave that is different.  It makes me stop, look and listen.  It makes everything old, new again.  That’s what life is all about.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Word of the Day Challenge – Original

This jolly life …

One morning while walking on the beach in Exmouth I found the things that make me happy and I knew I will spend the rest of my life seeking them.

I realised …

Curiosity makes me happy.  As does a feeling of hope.  Finding a happy place within, unexpectedly, is a special feeling of joy.  Stillness makes me happy.  Silence makes me happy, so does solitude.  And, the oneness that comes from real connection, even if transient.  All these things are free and found within.  I spent too many years, window shopping.  Now I wander in and take whatever I please.DSCN7686.jpg
The variation in shades of blue makes my heart beat faster.  I had never stopped to observe this before.  I do now.DSCN7711.jpg
The crumbs of seashells underfoot that coat my bare feet make me smile.  This was just a sandy beach once.  Not any more.  I had no idea sand looks like this up close.DSCN7772.jpg
The humble feather that glitters in dawn light catches my eye.  It never did before.DSCN7808.jpg
My child like curiosity is piqued peering into these wonderfully perfect ‘windows’.DSCN7829.jpg
The scoop of sand left by tide.  A reminder always, life is finite.DSCN7852.jpg
I find life, in unexpected places.  From it, I learn poise.DSCN7940
I find love, too, in unexpected places.

Why wouldn’t I spend the rest of my life doing just what I am doing now?

Hope you are doing exactly what you were meant to do in life.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

In response to Word of the Day Challenge – Jolly

Courage, in an uneven footing …

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Silvereye, Foxes Lair, Narrogin, Western Australia

It’s just after 6 am as I write.  It is freezing cold in my clean but old motel room.  The ceiling is high, the air con heater sluggish, it will be hours before the room warms.  I’ll be gone by then.

Yesterday I finished work on time, drove into town, just a minute away, grabbed a cup of coffee and headed out to Foxes Lair.  I barely had 20 minutes among the trees before it got too dark to be there on my own.  It was all I needed.  I was renewed.  I am myself again.

I’ll drive home this morning listening to my favourite playlist.  If the roadworks are more accessible by day, I may stop off at The Woolshed in the tiny farming town of Williams and see if they have a jumper or two that I may like.  The quality of their merino wool garments is beautiful, light and warm.  I have an afternoon at home to tidy up some work before I drive to the north east Wheatbelt tomorrow, around 300 km away, where I’ll spend the next few days.  And then … a much needed break, in a warmer place.  The thought, quickens my heart beat.

I’ve been able to survive the rigors of the last few weeks convinced in the knowledge, all days are not equal.  Some days the load is lighter, and others, crushing.  Yes, my shoulders sag at times but thankfully I’ve discovered ways and means to rejuvenate.  A grove of trees, a strip of beach, even an empty paddock roadside, is all I need, to feel energised again.  I reflected on this early morning and found, I don’t resent the load, but I do feel lost when I don’t have the opportunity during a work trip, to be in nature.  I have professional supervision once a month but I feel my spirit needs ‘guidance’, ‘supervision’, every single day.  Without it, I careen under the weight of lifestyle.

It has taken a long time to realise, it is okay for demands of the day to be uneven.  It takes courage, to find core strength.  One just needs to ride it out.  I’d much rather have this, than a predictable lifestyle.  When I think back to the years when Monday to Friday, 9-5, was my compass, was the way to the bank, I’m surprised that I survived.  I guess, one never knows what one is missing out on, unless one has the courage to try it.

I woke up grateful this morning, I had the courage to be curious about what was around the corner, much like the tiny silvereye.  It would have been a life un-lived, if I hadn’t.

May you find and enjoy your moment of gratitude, curiosity and courage, today.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Word of the Day Challenge :  Equal

The solitary surfer

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“In still moments by the sea life seems large-drawn and simple.  It is there we can see into ourselves.” Rolf Edberg (author).

Even though I’m a non-swimmer, I’m drawn to the sea whenever I’m working in a coastal town.

In Esperance I leave town over the bridge and in less than two minutes, I’m facing the spectacular panorama of West Beach.  The journey transports me to where I want to be.

The surfers here are mostly young teens.  I love how they wait patiently for the right set while seated on their boards, chatting in a group.  Then one will see potential and take off to catch up with it.  Others may continue talking or watch him ride in, perhaps disappointed they did not see the same potential.

On reflection this morning, it is possible I have lived my life with an eye of a surfer.  I have seen potential in waves, and when riding a tube, kept my balance.  I knew the right wave would ferry me to shore and I found it.

Today, my wish is that you find yourself where you want to be.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Word of the Day Challenge:  Ferry

Autumn in the Wheatbelt

I decided to leave a bit earlier for Merredin, hoping to get there before dark but, roadworks and a big convoy of road trains for part of the journey slowed me down considerably.  I am so done with roadworks!

It struck me yesterday how nervous I used to be overtaking one of those big trucks even when there was an overtaking lane.  I would never overtake on a country road at any other time.  I’ve learnt to trust these drivers.  They know they hold up traffic and help out other motorists.  Seated high in their rigs they have a good view what’s in the distance.  I’ve learnt their helpful signals, two clicks of an indicator means pass or clicks on the opposite side, means get back in lane.  If there’s no traffic a thank you wave gets a quick high beam.  Communication between strangers who will never meet.DSCN9007.jpgFor the stretch between Cunderdin and Kellerberrin there was just one truck ahead of me. The sun was seated at the horizon.  It was going to be dark soon.  I just had to stop and take a picture.  I love those skies in the Wheatbelt!DSCN9011
I spent a few moments resting.  It was peaceful with sheep in the paddock.  With occasional traffic, it was the silence of solitude that I love so much.

My visit went well.  I’ve been asked to do another talk in six months, so I guess that went well too.

I decided to come home after work instead of spending another night there.  It’s a 3.5 hour journey and I knew it would be dark for some of the way but I would be closer to the city and street lights.  As luck would have it I got delayed at work, and I had already checked out.  I had no option but drive home.  By the time I got to Kellerberrin, there was haze from burn off and dust from winds.  Visibility was poor but the sunset was spectacular.  A massive blood red sun that seemed to get bigger as it slipped from view.  I just could not find a safe enough spot to take a picture so I just experienced the moment instead.

Although the weather has been warmer for autumn, the landscape is welcoming a cooler change around the Wheatbelt.DSCN8987.jpg
There are chocolate shards peeling off gum trees in Narrogin.
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This trunk was so tactile.  You could feel the life of this big tree in every ripple and indentation.  It made me think, one can never say they are alone when they are with trees.  They are a silent presence in my moments of solitude.  They are a perfect partner for me!DSCN8983.jpg
The fallen gum nuts created moments of still life photography of what once was, and still is, beautiful.  They made me watch my footsteps and walk mindfully.  A teaching moment here, too.DSCN9017.jpg
Outside my chalet window, the textures and colours of a young tree, distracted me.  Who could blame me?

I’m home where I’m also happy.  The major renovations are done.  I need to get the painting sorted.  The colours will come from nature’s palette.  I’m starting to embrace this house as my home.  I can envisage what I want with clarity.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

When a day transforms …

Returning home later than I would have liked due to a delayed flight, I was tired when I got to bed.  Unusually tired.  I dared myself to reflect knowing when I am most vulnerable, I am brutally honest with myself.  It’s times like this I question the choices I’ve made in my personal life.  If left unchecked my thoughts take me to places I should not visit.  Having completed one too many trips this year, I had to face the truth.  I’m no spring chicken.  That was harsher reality I would liked to have faced and nothing to do with vanity.  It meant something had to change when I love all aspects of my working life, which, although strenuous, I have adopted the mind set, this is my calling.

I go to places where others don’t or can’t go but in a system of universal health care, I believe that equality is demonstrated in practice.  If people cannot come to me for whatever reason, and I’m able to go to them, I do.  Does it leave me at times, especially at night, exhausted?  For sure.  But when I wake, my spirit is rested, my body uncoils and I spring into action because I believe what I do is honoring the commitment I made years ago.

I’ve just returned from the Midwest.  We were busy with a full schedule.  I like my work there as I team up with someone I enjoy working with.  We often say how lucky we are to be doing the work we do and importantly, enjoy what we do.  Working with someone like this makes the load easier.

Catching the last plane out, I had more time on my hands so I planned to complete the endless pending reports but before I sat down to do this, I decided to go out and take some pictures.  I’m glad I did.DSCN8861
I see symbolism in the trees in Geraldton.  The trees in this region continue to grow despite experiencing a stiff breeze all the time.  And, when growth stops, the trees lean but never break, they are poised in silent dance with a challenging partner.  Aren’t we all?
DSCN8846I watched seagulls for a while and their beautiful glass eyes and their sleek profile and wondered if I am the only person who sees the beauty in them?
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The sea shimmered in the afternoon sun at St Georges Beach.  A young woman stepped out of the water, and as her car was parked next to mine, she started to talk to me.  She was from the other side of Australia and mentioned having grown up near a beach, she always seeks the water at least once a day.  She thought I was a tourist and I told her I was working that day but took time off to breathe.  “What’s there to see if you’re not in the water?” she asked me with youthful curiosity.  A water nymph!  A mermaid on land!  She towelled her hair vigorously, her question almost a dare that was softened with laughter.  I see seagulls, shimmering sea and leaning trees, I told her.  My face must have changed expression when I said this.  She looked around her and said, “oh yeah!” slowly like she had just noticed the landscape.  She told me she could see what I could see and that she could see photography was my ‘water’.  She also laughed and said, she would never look at a seagull the same way again after I had highlighted the beauty I see in them!  The encounter was just what I needed.  My prayer each time I set foot outdoors is to show me something beautiful that I can share with others.  Yesterday afternoon, my prayers were answered again.

This morning the home was silent and cool.  I made a list of things to do.  I’m not sure how it’s possible, but the list seemed longer than yesterday.  I went to the kitchen to get  coffee to rev up my day when I saw a gift given to me about two years ago had transformed.thumb_IMG_4640_1024.jpgThe hoya plant is beautiful.  I had one years ago that was a prolific bloomer and given to me as a cutting by an elderly lady who later passed on.  I treasured it but my elderly gardener did not know the sentiment and inadvertently destroyed it.  For some reason I never bought one again to replace it even though I love the blooms.  Then two years ago another lady gave me a cutting quite spontaneously from her garden.  Protected from my gardener, it has been sitting at the kitchen window, a bare stem with two leaves.  The hoya flowers bloom all year and are not seasonal.

This morning, on a cool autumn day, the gift bloomed and brought spring indoors.  I feel youthful, once more.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird