I lay in bed listening to the ocean roar the winds screeched above me the trees bent over, leaves stripped I was gripped in winter’s full fury I asked no one beside me, why is the world an unfriendly place? when one is alone this is the message shared with me
The world may be an unfriendly place but the Universe is a friend she watches, listens and waits nothing is given too early nothing held back, too late
So I rugged up against the winds and stepped into that enchanted place of communion I told the Universe where I was and where I never thought I’d be again I felt her warm presence walk beside me mother-like, she said
Each morning, head out to the unknown with just one certainty seek what you are looking for and you will find, what you seek
Remember, there is poetry in Nature nothing seems what it seems to be a piece of rock, is history the forest, a healing sanctuary the setting sun, is not an ending it is a new day, elsewhere and in the first light of dawn, when you feel blue remember, a flower may open to the sun but it smiles at you.
I woke early this morning. The wind was picking up outside, a forewarning of the major weather event along the West coast of Australia. My home felt stifling and waiting to implode. It reflected how I’ve been feeling for the past week. Isolating myself when I feel like I’m living through a perfect storm was obviously not a good idea. It is easier to write this than speak to someone about it. How ironic is that when I know it helps people to talk things through!
Mr FIFO sent me a text at dawn. I was already awake before then. I needed his humour and memes. It made me realise, I want to be the person I was when he met me a year ago. Instead of laying in bed, I started my day. In the dark I sat in silence with just the whoosh of water birds flying over my home to the lake beyond. For a brief moment the kookaburras chortled then silence enveloped all. I love those moments when all falls away.
In that brief moment I found myself. The self who seeks the embrace of nature. The self who wants to wake to beauty each day. The self that starts the day with a prayer … no matter what the day brings, help me up should I fall. My prayer was answered before I got out of bed where I fall each night and find it difficult to get up each day.
I woke to beautiful things. In my messy backyard, there are pavers strewn about. The patio is missing, the gap, a toothless smile of a home. The kitchen garden is half way done. The landscaping is going to be expensive. I am working so hard to see the completion. That thought alone was daunting when I am physically compromised. Then I remembered my routine when I travel. Camera and nature for company I have renewed energy morning and evening, despite the challenges of any given day.
There were no birds in my garden, perhaps too early for them or perhaps the impending tail end of cyclone we are expecting kept them sheltering. Then I noticed a beautiful shape. Tiny but big enough to catch my eye. I zoomed in.
The tactile beauty of a tiny pebble and glistening, jewel like grains of soil, brightened my day. I felt a surge of energy that felt new to me. I then remembered this is the buzz I seek each day like the time when …
Each morning when I visit Esperance I head out to my usual haunts. Woody Lake and Lake Windabout usually have a multitude of water birds. I see a flotilla of pelicans or black swans. The ducks, egrets, waders, cormorants congregate here too with a solitary photo bombing seagull among them. I’m often alone there in the mornings. It is a time I cherish.
I love these moments of observation when neither human nor nature intrudes. I’m allowed to be present with them. A moment of quiet acceptance.
I’m drawn to the beauty of these birds particularly for their movement which is one of fluid grace. Focused on task, they are effortless in flight or feed. This is my guidance for the day.
VJ at One Woman’s Quest has invited us to respond to a quote by the Dalai Lama.
“The planet does not need more “successful people”. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.”
I believe healers, peacemakers, restorers, storytellers and lovers cross our path each day. To be unaware of their presence is a gift we can deny ourselves, and at our peril.
Every time I photograph something, it speaks to me on a deeper level. I am more open, as I go deeper within. The art and science of this, is never linger within, for a moment longer than necessary. That’s when you deny yourself the gift, the mystery of serendipity.
I love photographing gulls. They have a certain presence, a dignity, despite their reputation of being a nuisance. I love their attitude! They are fierce in the face of it all and captured in a brief moment between lens and me, which I now share with you.
Oh! she is brave
as she faces the sun
skin freckled with age
eye brows undone
bright eyed, without sleep
her day never done
Oh! she is brave
as she faces the sun
and offers her painted lips
to no one.
I’m not sure whether it is the case what the heart feels, the eye sees or vice versa. Both are applicable to my experience of photography. With camera in hand my world took on new meaning. Solitary in my pursuits, it drew others in. Nothing grounds me as much as the focus on photographing something that catches my eye. When I see something I get a visceral response and photographing it just intensifies the experience of the moment. West Beach, Esperance, Western Australia The young fearless surfers at West Beach are a delight to photograph and one of my favourite places to visit in Esperance. I love reflecting how analogous surfing is to life’s journey – the waiting, the patience, the moment of poise when you stand firm on fluid ground and let the wave bring you to shore. And then … you go out to experience the same again. Grevillea One of my favourite native shrubs is grevillea. The birds love it too. To my eye they are perfection, each loop, part of the whole.Pelicans capture my heart as much as sea gulls. Large and ungainly, I love how pelicans descend on water, with the grace of a perfect flight landing. Town Beach, Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia
When I retire I want just enough money to enable me to travel to this beach on a regular basis. Watching hues tint the sky, at sunrise or sunset, is like watching an artist at work. Paraburdoo, Pilbara mining region, Western Australia I love the mining regions of Western Australia. The earth is a rich red, contrasting pale spinifex, ranges and the awesome landscape that demands one is still in it’s presence.
My front garden is laden with roses at certain times of the year and at other times, there are roses. After a rain shower, oh, the perfume!
I use this cape gooseberry encased in the filigree paper like lantern as part of my meditation. When I want to extinguish an undesired behaviour, I envisage new pathways emerging in the delicacy of my brain.
Who can resist the attraction of unconditional love? Not me! This is the day Kovu became part of my son’s family and like a doting grandpawrent, I was there to document family history 🙂
Being home has given me the opportunity to get my house and garden close enough to what I envisaged when I bought the property. I’ve had time to build up my ‘little black book’ and struck gold. I now have a small group of good tradesmen who are able to help me realise my dream.
With most of the internal building renovations done and just painting and window treatments left indoors, I’m enjoying moments in the garden trying to dream up a space that will keep me grounded. I was toying with the idea of getting rid of the big mulberry tree. I get barely a cup of fruit from lower branches and a laden, tall tree is tantalizing to others too, it would seem. Sadly cockroaches love the fruit and when the fruiting season is done, they try and come indoors. I abhor cockroaches enough to contemplate, for a brief moment, to cut down the tree.
Last evening at dusk I heard the rainbow lorikeets outside my study window. They love the mulberry tree. Then I remembered what a serendipitous moment feels like, and it made my heart beat to a new rhythm again.
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. 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.
The simplicity of walking in seagull footsteps is something I will follow again in three words, sea, sky, solitary.
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’).
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.
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. 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.
The colour of yellow is sometimes used to welcome loved ones home. The colour has given me a new way of looking at current circumstances.
As a frequent traveller in this large State that covers a third of the continent, the whole of Western Australia has been my home for some years now. Although my work continues with technology, I’m feeling the sudden cessation of being isolated from nature as I knew it. Pacific gull, Esperance, Western Australia
In Esperance, south east of Perth, I would spend my three mornings a month at the Bay with birds, dolphins and seals. Miner, Kununurra, Western Australia In the far north, East Kimberley region, I was alone in Hidden Valley (Mirima National Park), just outside Kununurra one afternoon, enjoying a quiet moment in the car when this miner bird buzzed my car so aggressively I had to move. It taught me to respect territory and space.
In the eastern Wheatbelt town of Merredin, my mornings were among the tall gum trees at a reserve where red tailed cockatoos were raucous enough to silence the usually vocal wattle bird. The lesson here, perhaps, there are times for some to speak and others to listen.
From my Midwest hotel window I enjoyed my coffee with a white plumed honey eater with a delightful yolk yellow head. I think this one was still a young one as it waited patiently for a feed to be brought to it. Patience is key!
What I miss the most is the soft butter yellow spinifex of the Pilbara outback, where in the harshest environment, my heart is receptive and vulnerable. That hasn’t changed. I found I can also experience this in a city, encased in bricks and glass.
Waking to the scent of frangipani outdoors on always warm mornings in the mining towns of the Pilbara, will be a memory. The scent may fade, not the memory.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is being with children. This was outside a child care centre in the South West. A Dummy Fairy Tree. Children can always make us smile. It is their gift.
Although I’m not a cat person, I found this street art striking. Not far from my neighbourhood, in the days leading to self-isolation a reminder, for a wanderer like me, the yellow brick does lead to home. Meal with loved ones, March 2020
Little did I know at my last meal with loved ones, what brought us together would lead to a new tyranny of distance, be it less than six feet or thousands of kms.
I am home. And my wish for those who read this post, is the same. May you feel you are home where ever you may be. The world will still be there. When we emerge we will see and experience it again. We will gain new perspectives. That’s a place to hope for, and anticipate.
It’s the last day of February, being a leap year, summer has lasted a day longer. Today the sun is already out and it is warm. My washing is done and on the line. I needed this. Yesterday at this hour the sky was filled with resounding thunder and lightening flashed vertical in blinding stripes. The Australian summer used to be days at the beach, Sunday afternoons at the pub, watching 60 Minutes at night. But now we seem to be keeping an eye on the weather reports more often these days. The days have been wildly different and with some feeling like the wrath of winter.
February also meant I returned to work in all the regions I visit frequently. This may be my last year I travel to some sites and I feel a sense of sadness about it. But new openings are on offer, so I’m excited for 2021 and open to all that brings into my life.
Frequent travel comes at a cost, mostly relationships suffer and inevitably come to an end. It is a lingering sadness. It has been difficult for me to give up this lifestyle for anybody. I love what I do and I love doing it. I was born to do outreach work and it is a good fit for me. The joy of knowing one has made a difference is addictive and not easy to explain to others. This is my pathway in life and I embrace it, alone or perhaps one day, with someone with a similar understanding of it. Between Williams and Narrogin, Wheatbelt region, Western Australia I’ve been to Narrogin twice this year but bypassed my favourite reserve Foxes Lair either due to heat or high winds. With tall gum trees and one way road, I didn’t want to be trapped there, so I spent my time looking at the paddocks that will filled with sheep and wide horizons. Geographe Bay, Busselton, Western Australia I started my year in the South West. This is one of my favourite places for an early walk or sunset spot. I’m visiting again next month and looking forward to my time there. River gums, Carnarvon, Western Australia This year I discovered an enchanted forest of river gums along the Gascoyne River in Carnarvon and standing alongside it, felt like an embrace. Gascoyne River at Rocky Pool, Western Australia Then there was my trip to a cattle station outside Carnarvon. Such a fabulous trip on previously untravelled roads. These colours of the Midwest outback quicken my pulse. If one painted it, the art would look garish, but Nature does it so well. Sand dunes, Pelican Point, Carnarvon, Western Australia I always love photographing the sand dunes at Pelican Point where the wind writes lines like every author aspires to. A wake up call! Sand dunes, Carnarvon, Western Australia I usually stay in the car at Pelican Point. It is usually very windy and the sand is blinding. This time I walked around and thought I saw driftwood. I was wrong! Australian avocet, Woody Lake, Esperance, Western Australia In Esperance I saw my first Australian avocet, it was the only avocet among dozens of other birds and different species. I was fascinated by the curved, delicate beak that it swept from side to side in shallow water to feed.
My diary for March is full. No doubt, there will be a lot of opportunities for more time outdoors as well. That’s how I’ve come to accept the gruelling schedule, work equates photography. And, I’m happy with that!