Sea child

I’ve just returned from the South-West.  I based myself in Busselton and travelled around within a 100 km radius.  At dusk I walked the 1.7 km jetty and tried not to get blown off in the stiff breeze.  Like others, I stood as sunset and watched it, like I had never seen one before when a little girl caught my eye.  This post is for her and to those who bring joy to others unexpectedly.  The sequence of photographs is how I saw it.DSCN0118.jpgDSCN0119.jpgDSCN0120.jpgDSCN0117.jpg

Sea Child

Along a strip where sand meets the sea

a little girl plays tag

dipping her toes in

she races away

as the sea chases her unexpectedly

She returns once more

to do it again

a game of chicken, with the sea

this time the sea claims victory

she concedes

arms billowing, she spins in the breeze

throwing her head back with laughter

I watch this child of joy

listening, seeing, touching,

breathing in, senses alive

alone in a crowd, by the sea

yet connected to all

she dances in the space where,

with you, I yearn to be.

A dawnbird

 

Much like birds …

I find it fascinating that most birds pair for life.  How do they choose a life partner?  Do they ever make mistakes?  How do they work out differences? Do they ever fall out of love?  Do they ever yearn for the way it used to be?  How do they cope when their partner is no more?  So many questions.  I have no answers.

With the birds I observe, the males like the fairy blue wren are gorgeous whereas the female is less vivid.  Male birds work hard to get the female”s interest.  I once watched a bower bird diligently collect green objects (including an unattended key ring) for his potential love.  In the bird world, it’s Girl Power! all the way, it would seem.10960430_931215490224047_2663591319257657208_o.jpgThe pink galahs make me laugh!  It would appear, when it comes to love, no different than you and me.

I went through a phase after my divorce thinking it would be nice to be in a relationship.  I hadn’t factored in, life had changed me.  My standards and priorities were different.  I was stronger.  (Yes, Girl Power!).  Financially secure with adult children, was an attraction for some men, but they did not meet my criteria:  a man of integrity and social conscience.  I asked for nothing more.  You’d think I was asking for the world, but I know a man of that calibre would mean the world to me.

This evening the word prompt jogged my memory of a beautiful poem that encapsulated everything I felt in those days of search, so I’ll share it with you.

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer (@ http://www.oriahmountaindreamer.com)

I love this poem.  It speaks of a journey and many other journeys, some taken, some yet to be taken, some to be taken individually, others jointly.  It speaks of togetherness, of oneness of self, and with another.  I love the inherent spiritual nature of relationship in this poem.

So where am I today?  I no longer look.  I found oneness and togetherness in Nature.  I am in a happy place.  The danger, I’m told, is “this is when it happens”!

How contrary is life?

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

I wake to this each day

DSCN9117.jpgBorn at dawn, I wake at dawn each day.  When I’m not home the last thing I do before I go to bed is check the time for first light and sunrise.  I then set my clock to five minutes before.  I can’t think of one reason why I should stay in bed, when this is outside my hotel room in Esperance.DSCN9988.jpgAt home one of my pet peeves is turning on the light when it is still dark in the home.  I love the quiet moment of ambivalence of darkness before light.  I sit and enjoy my coffee while the shadows take shape.  As I sipped my coffee I inhaled the unmistakable breathtaking perfume of jasmine.  To my left, just beyond the patio, I caught a glimpse of white.  The light scatter of petals will be a dense carpet soon.DSCN9989.jpgAs I walked around a garden, cooled by the sprinklers overnight, my eyes were drawn to new growth.  My heart space has taught me, the freshest growth is where the plant is pruned the harshest.  A take away message today for me.DSCN7075.jpgNature has taught me to seek an ebullient moment, at least once each day.  If you’ve ever watched birds early morning, you’ll know where the teaching came from.DSCN9916.jpgI often photograph surfers early morning in Esperance.  Surfers walk into the water to be one with it, whereas I, a non-swimmer, stand away from the roiling waves in awe.  The draw to the sea, the fear and fascination, that pull from one to the other is inexplicable.  Much like a surfer, I surrender to joy of seduction, when I’m in that moment of play.

May you too wake seeking a moment like this, each day.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

This rhythm, life

January was to be a quiet month of settling into my home.  But eight days down I have already made my first trip, this time to Geraldton, in the Midwest and have more visits to come.  I had also planned to complete all reports pending from last year and ploughing my way through the mountain.  I’ve been less productive than I hoped I would be.  Perhaps, this is just the aftermath of holidays or the heat that’s slowing me down.  As I lumber on, I thought I’d stop and reflect on the rewards that await me should I stay on task.DSCN7513.jpgThe feel of walking bare feet on sea debris.DSCN7426.jpgSeeing my touchstone again on Cable Beach, before it is permanently part of the sea.  (I’ve written about this rock platform in a previous post, titled Narratives).DSCN7535.jpgExperiencing a moment when a tiny Lesser Sand Plover, stands like a mountain before me.DSCN7913.jpgStanding below a red collared lorikeet in Kununurra wondering how did it get that shaggy look!DSCN8202.jpgLooking into the glassy eyes of the Inland Thornbill.DSCN8314.jpgExperiencing the delight at finding a button quail on the front lawn of a hotel, so tiny, I thought it was a mouse.  The mother quail stayed a fraction longer, so I could take a picture of her beautiful feathered herringbone cloak.DSCN8221.jpgSpending time with kingfishers, silent in trees above me.DSCN8355.jpgAnd in the Midwest, where the only clouds are between wheat fields and sky.DSCN8307.jpgWaking to find the colours of sunset at my doorstep, at dawn.DSCN7790.jpgSpending time at the beach where I am 20 feet tallerDSCN7813.jpgand knowing my heart is whole again.DSCN7783.jpgThese joys await in the not too distant future, I know for sure.  But for now, like the tiny Lesser Sand Plover I’ll ignore the waves of work and focus on just what’s before me.  Work.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

 

 

The return

No matter where I am, almost always, the first bird I see is the Willy Wagtail.  It is a constant, a reassurance of the familiar.  It is always good company.  They are fearless on approach, intent on the insects that are dispersed when one walks.  I’ve nearly stepped on one during a bush walk.

Being away from home frequently, I make every effort to create the feeling of ‘home’ everywhere I go.  One year it seemed ironic, when I was home, I was not.

I went to the back yard, and with the Willy Wagtail for company, I wandered around as I always do, checking on this and that.  DSCN9862.jpgThis time the bird stayed on the twig, aloof.DSCN7033.jpgThe gaze, intent.DSCN9856.jpgEver watchful.DSCN9847.jpgWithin a week the behaviour changed.  The bird became territorial.DSCN9886.jpgEvery time I went to the laundry line or patio.  It would watch me from a distance.DSCN9916.jpgIt would display the tail, the distinctive fantail and chirp excitedly.DSCN9911.jpgIt found a high spot, a natural arbour made by the branches of the mulberry tree.DSCN9917.jpgOne day it pulled itself up to look bigger and then swooped me.

Once the bird swooped me, my backyard was no longer mine.  I had crossed an invisible line.  I was a target, moving or not.  If I dared to stand by the sliding door or even window, it would fly up against the glass.  The message was clear.  Stay away!DSCN7034.jpgOne morning, unable to go outdoors, I aimed the camera at the mulberry tree.  That’s when I saw the nest the Willy Wagtail had been defending.  I respected the need for protection and never got to photograph the chick/s.  I did find an empty eggshell one day under the mulberry tree and was happy with that.

Homecoming is about rejoicing the return.  Yesterday I watched a pair of Willy Wagtails in the backyard, playful and cheeky.  Courtship, perhaps.  I watched them with growing amusement, and knew sometime in the future, my home will no longer be mine.  I’m okay with that.

I reflected on the word home what it means and represents and realised the most comfortable home, is the one I’ve created in self.

I’ve practiced mindfulness for some years now.  It used to take a great deal of effort when life separated me from self.  Now it is effortless.  It takes but a few minutes each day, like it did to compose this post, and when I do, like the birds, the homecoming is a celebration.  So why not celebrate every day?

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird