On a cold morning I feel the history of my journey. Every healed broken bone, a vivid memory of an accident years ago. It is the only time of the year I really slow down. It would be easy to take a pill and become functional quickly. Not me! I give my body what it needs the old fashioned way. Pain is the body’s dialect to remind one, something is not right. I take my time getting out of bed (the biggest challenge), sit for a few moments to let my body adjust to a manageable level of pain, then start my day. It is tempting in those few moments to allow panic to flood me. There is so much still that I want to do in life. I’d hate pain to get in the way.
Some people confuse a simple life with an easy life. This is not true. There is complexity in simplicity. It requires a level of discernment as opposed to automation. Take for example technology … how many children rely on programs to correct their grammar and spelling? How many refer to a dictionary as a first option? How many children know how to read a map and do maths, without the use of a calculator? I was stunned when I asked a teen how they would find a phone number for the local pizza shop and the response I got was, “I can just ask Siri”.
I cannot help but wonder at the potential cognitive changes that may be a result of technology. Are we becoming less reactive? Are we changing our own ‘wiring’ and relying more on software? Are we becoming cognitively ‘lazy’? I wonder this because I’m buying a new car. It’s hard to find a model in my budget range without all the bells and whistles that forewarn, and react for me, under the guise of ‘safety package’. When I drive I want to stay alert. I want to use my own judgement to keep a safe distance between cars. I want my brain to think for me. I want to remember the speed zone. I want to look over my shoulder and be aware of the blind spot. I want to enhance my spatial perception, my cognitive reasoning. I feel there is danger of mind-body disconnection, when we are reliant on external factors to do this for us.
In an increasingly automated world, I find my time with camera is where I make my mind-body connection. Like watching the Pacific Gull on West Beach in Esperance ….
The gull stood still and watched the tide come in. From the road above, I did the same.Then the gull then strode out purposefully to meet it.It seemed to know where to stop. It stood still and waited.The tide came in with bounty. The Pacific Gull knew this. This was time honoured instinct. Honed and practiced. No technology to guide it. It was a beautiful thing to observe. A moment of mind-body connection, for gull, and me.
Call my views antediluvian. I’m okay with that. I’m one of those who enjoys the challenge of looking up the meaning of new words. I do it the old fashioned way. It’s like opening up a wrapped gift. The excitement of the unknown.
Thank you Ragtag Daily Prompt! I learned a new word today! Perhaps, even earned a new label!
Until next time
a dawn bird
Inherent in the concept of tradition is continuity. Nothing remains old. If we follow tradition, old becomes new again. It is revival.
Around the world there are many traditions that are followed. One of them I was familiar with from my childhood and surprised to experience it in Australia. The Smoking Ceremony.
In Asian countries the use of smoke to ward of evil is commonly practiced. I can recall aromatic spices being placed on smoking wood chips and waved around a newborn to ward off evil and keep the child safe. Similarly smoke is used in weddings to bless a new beginning.
Smoke is an integral component of the ceremony at any Mass in a church and in Catholic homes. A candle often burned in celebration or memory of a loved one, in a special corner of the home. My mother had the Parish Priest visit the home once a year. He’d walk around the home with a brass container with smoking incense that he swung gently before him and bless the home. We’d follow him through the house, like sheep. She would have a grand lunch for him after. As he left, she would give him a wad of cash, placed discreetly in an envelope. My father’s silent disapproving stare would be met with a fierce defensive whisper, “It’s once a year!”
As a child I was raised to seek the blessings of the elders in the family, even if we were going to school. “Grandpa, bless me!” was a familiar goodbye. He would place his wrinkled, soft hand on our head and say a short prayer of protection. The wedding album was not complete if there were no photographs of the bride and groom being blessed by their individual parents and then by their new in-laws.
One of the things I look forward to when attending major conferences or events in government settings in Australia is the Welcome Ceremony. An indigenous elder welcomes the attendees by acknowledging ancestors and asks for blessings. A more recent addition is the acknowledgement of the elders, past and future. I recall sitting next to an American man once who wiped away tears saying, he had never experienced this in any other country. It moves me too. Every time. It makes me feel secure. It is an anchoring moment. The past, the present and the future.
The indigenous Smoking Ceremony is more interactive. One walks past the smoke from various native plants. Some fan the smoke towards them. It is a cleansing and healing ceremony.
On this occasion I watched several hundred people walk through the smoke. We were there because we wanted to make a difference in delivering health care. Individually our desire was to contribute to a bigger and more inclusive ‘oneness’.
So can we.
Until next time
a dawn bird
I’m time poor this week with quick overnight turn abouts and project managing the house renovations so I thought I’d repost something from a while back. I’m unsure about the etiquette of reblogging, so apologies for any unintended transgressions.
I’m gritting my teeth trying to meet deadlines before I fly out tomorrow. I need some inspiration to keep going tonight, so I thought I’d share this moment of serendipity with you. The lesson learnt that moment in Bunbury, was to try and try again.
The Kite Surfer
It was late dusk when I saw him. He was young, tall, lean, and strong. He epitomised seaside youth. I had no option but turn my car around. This I wanted to see. His determination.
The sun was fading fast. The wind strong. My eyesight weak. But like him, I set up, waiting for success.He leaned right back, now almost lying down. He had done this before. The gouges in the sand, his history.The wind lifted him. Airborne!But only for a nanosecond. He came down with a thump. His legs flailing before impact.The wind was not in his favour. But, he did it all over again, and again, and again.
I had stopped to see his determination. I left with more. I experienced it.
The serendipity between strangers is something I cherish. Lessons taught by strangers. Unintentionally. In quiet spaces between sun, sand and sea.
And, I hope, in this shared space.
Until next time
a dawn bird
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