Moon madness

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I woke at dawn the other morning
the kitchen was flooded with light
I stood at the window and watched
a sequin, embellish the velvet night

There was no coffee in hand to remind me
of the distant past
when we stood conversing silently,
no questions asked

In those moments,
we owned eternity
life was larger than life itself
oh! the unbridled audacity

how young we were!

we said so much more in silence,
than words could ever say
I know now, always is but a moment
that moment, is today

When

I stood still at the window and waited
and so what if it took years and a day?
for the the wan moon to brighten
and for the supermoon to take her place.

a dawn bird

Moving on

It’s eighteen years and a day
My grief has come of age
So the boxes are packed
I’m giving your clothes away

The shirt I wore at dawn
Those grey socks kept my feet warm
your jacket is empty
the sleeves, too, of hugs.

Your touch, your taste is elusive
your absence takes up less space
I no longer lie in bed and wait
you nudging at my ribs
whispering, Hey! You awake?

It’s eighteen years and a day
yes, my grief has come of age
In that darkest space there is a celebration
as angel wings sprout
and thoughts of you lift me up

How proud you would have been
Against all odds,
I have lived to say
your memory brings joy as always
but you should also know, there are nights
Oh! how I wish you were with me again.

a dawn bird

Listening to small sounds

DSCN5375This is Solo, a duckling I found on the banks of the lake near my home.  She was part of a big family, but she caught my eye.  I’ve written about her in a post some years ago.  She was so brave and always vulnerable as she stepped away from the safety of the brood.  She had a broken foot that healed in a way that made her limp.  It didn’t stop her adventures.  I take my cues on life, from her.

It is only recently that I started to value my single life.  The thing I value the most, is early morning when I can be alone with my thoughts, but there are some disadvantages too, like a few nights ago.

I got to Moora just before dusk to find teens on mountain bikes playing chicken with the light traffic of occasional trucks and cars.  I have worked with teens who have no regard for law and order, more so than the rite of passage of adolescence.  When in a group, things can go wrong very quickly.  So I assessed what I could see.  The police lights were flashing in the distance so I knew they were keeping an eye on things.  I got to my chalet in the caravan park and started working.  By night time I curled up on the sofa to watch TV, the raucous laughter of teens carried by silence, to me.  A true life sleuthing of a cold case had me transfixed so I stayed on the sofa until late.  I finally turned the lights off and peered outside only to find, I was the only person staying in the caravan park!  I didn’t need to know this!

I lay in bed unable to sleep.  The caravan park backs on to a local oval and is right in the middle of the tiny town.  The sense of isolation crept up my spine.  My vulnerability made my heart pound in my ears, drowning out all other sounds.  Then I went through the drill of safety.  It goes like this.  As soon as I enter a hotel room, I check the doors and windows are locked.  I do this for a reason.  I’ve had three incidents where this kept me safe.

The first is when this safety drill took a life of its own.  It is another story so I’ll hold that for now.

The second incident happened in Broome.  It was hot and humid, as Broome usually is.  It was in the middle of the day when I got to my room.  I checked and the big glass door was locked.  I stepped in for a cool shower then wrapped a towel around me and walked into the bedroom only to find a man in the courtyard trying to open the sliding door.  I thought he was a guest and entered the wrong courtyard.  I called out to him but he scurried away without looking backwards.  When I reported this to the hotel, they mentioned other people had complained too and they were on the lookout for him.  That’s when it struck me that he wasn’t a guest and how lucky I was.

The second time was in Bunbury.  Fatigued from driving I lay down on the bed at dusk after checking the windows and doors.  I fell asleep and woke around 11 pm.  The curtains were wide open and the room was adjacent to the main road into town.  I closed the curtains, got ready for bed and switched off the lights.  As I lay there, I heard cautious footsteps, then the gate to my courtyard open with a slight squeak.  I listened as the security sliding door opened oh so slowly.  I was on my feet in a flash and flicked on the outside light.  I heard footsteps scurry away.  The management were kind enough never to give me an outer room again.

In Moora I knew everything was locked in the chalet.  This knowledge calmed me eventually.  I switched my focus on the here and now and lay in bed listening to small sounds.  Anxiety had distorted them to thunder, so I focused steadily.  I heard gumnuts rain on the roof in a stiff breeze while the hum of the air con filled the night air intermittently.  All was well.  It was summer in the Wheatbelt.  A time and place for everything.  So I allowed sleep to overtake me.

The next morning I woke to light.  I must have turned off the air con sometime during the night.  The chalet was cool.  The pink galahs were screeching raucously in the gum trees.  All else was still.  Despite the noise from the birds, it felt like solitude.  Coffee seemed to jar a gentle moment of awakening, so I made a mild cuppa tea, English Breakfast, instead.  And, like Solo, I contemplated.

Sometimes we create squiggles from a straight line.  Sometimes, a straight line can be a squiggle.  I’ve found resilience comes down to perception and how we see things.DSCN9964.jpgSolo has remained a duckling in memory.  I suspect a careless driver ended her adventures one day.  I never saw her again after the initial few days she roamed the neighbourhood.  I’m sure Solo would agree, single or attached is irrelevant.  It is how we live life is important.  Tiny as she was, she was powerful in her presence.  She taught me, if one looks, one finds, life is all about the unexpected.  I’ve seen new generations of ducklings since then, but she remains warm in memory.  Today my smile comes easier.

I’m off again.  Having given away the humdrum of 9 to 5, I’m humming Billy Joel’s, ‘This is my Life’ instead.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

Teeter totter

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Finding balance in a busy world, is an art.  And like art, highly subjective.  What works for one, does not work for the other.  It all comes down to knowing the what, when and where for oneself.

I get to visit some beautiful places for work and sometimes, holiday.  The coastal towns of Broome, Exmouth and Esperance come to mind immediately.  But even in these tourist towns, I seek solitude in the crowd.  I find a quiet spot away from the people and that’s not hard to do on Cable Beach with 22 km of beach.  Esperance is my second home.  I know exactly where I’m happiest in this small town.  I also know in Exmouth, I’m happiest near the ocean at sunrise and sunset or delighting in smooth pebbles or shells.

But away from the big name places, I look for the ordinary things.  Looking at them differently generates a mind shift for me.  I’m never sure what I am photographing.  I just instinctively feel the need to take a picture and then months, or years later, see something special in that moment.

I’ll share some of those moments with you.DSCN6755.jpgOn the banks of the Fitzroy River in Willare (Kimberley region) I found these leaves along the banks.  The wind had created this perfect formation.  They were tightly wedged in.DSCN6864.jpgAt home the bees in the front garden love the roses.  I love the tiger stripes and colours.DSCN7940.jpgI have become addicted to the crunch of my boots in the silence of the bush.  Sometimes I stop and check what’s at my feet.  Often I find perfection.DSCN7930.jpgI always seem to find heart shaped rocks on the beach.  I now find heart shaped leaves in the bush.  The universe is speaking and so I stop and listen, ear to the ground.DSCN6899.jpgI love photographing surfers.  They are passionate and fearless.  I learn from them, it’s okay to be the same.DSCN7309.jpgSurfers find balance, in balance.  A hard act to follow.  I’m fine tuning that.

Photography has been my lifeline.  I need a few minutes every day with my camera.  And, in a crazy world, that’s how I steady myself.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

 

A Note to Self

The note said, “I’m leaving”
destination, unknown
bags packed and neatly stored
by the front door
I remember the moment well
unafraid, you stepped into the night
and the world trembled as you walked.

I was silenced by your instinct
turned my back on your gamble
after all, what dialect does one use
to reason with this foolish wager
I had too much to lose to watch you win
I stepped aside, always an adult, never a player.
in this game of chance called life.

But truth be told,
I was in awe of your audacity
I followed the footprints you left in my heart
biding my time
until now

I have the courage of a gambler
the curiosity of an explorer
I am a linguist,
I can speak the unspoken now
I can stare you down
or so I thought.

Last night I took my place
as you threw the dice
our eyes met, fortune flipped
your gaze softened
as I scooped the winnings
unaware you let me win

to become the woman I am now

a dawn bird

 

First flight

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It’s been a crazy week.  Very hot temperatures last weekend followed by a winter storm.  The rain was not as heavy as predicted but the winds were strong.  I walked around the garden looking for Brave Willie but he was nowhere to be found.  I fretted he may have been blown further away in strong winds.  Although he was silent, too silent for a Willy Wagtail, his tiny presence was larger than life in the space we shared.

Then yesterday a bush fire flared up not far from home.  The area where I live has a lot of gum trees.  A fire in the distance makes everyone scan the horizon nervously.  So naturally, I didn’t sleep too well last night.  This morning I was woken by helicopters flying overheard, so low you could hear the whoop of the rotor blades.  No doubt they were scooping water from the lake.  I went to the back and could see nothing, nor was there smoke visible in the front of the home.  It was early and with no drama in sight, I thought I may as well start working.  I wrote reports for over an hour, deep in thought when I heard something.  My fingers froze.  My senses alert.  There it was, the unmistakably fluting sweet call of a Willy Wagtail.  I knew it was him!  How did I know?  Well, it was slightly off key!  But he tried again and again and between attempts, he got it right.  Seated on a high branch (yes, now confident in his flying skills), he was chirping away.

I went outdoors with my camera, I got him in the frame, focused and memory card was full!  Arrgh!  I left him and went indoors for my phone.  He was still tweeting his little heart out when I returned.  As the sun came up he lifted off into perfect flight .  My heart soared with him.

I can remember the first time I flew in an a plane.  In my mid teens I flew alone to Canada.  I didn’t want to sleep on the long flight in case I missed something!  In New York I went by helicopter from Kennedy Airport to La Guardia Airport.  I’ll never forget my wide eyed wonder when I saw Empire State Building all lit up at night.

The little girl who sat on the doorstep and dreamed of flying across the world one day, was living her dream.  Overwhelmed she just didn’t know it at the time.

With a flight scheduled next week, she does now.

Until next time, like a child, dream big.

As always

a dawn bird