My teacher, the surfer …

West Beach, Esperance, Western Australia

It is in the moment of falling,
losing grip of that fluid ground
his peripheral vision sharp
as he gazes briefly on those around
still waiting for that wave he caught
lying around,
waiting, while he falls
while he falls, he know he caught the wave boldly
the one they waited for
so he rises again, firm, steady,
boldly determined
on fluid ground once more.

by dawnbird

I love watching and photographing surfers. When I see them in the ocean, they teach me about hope, anticipation, courage, patience and most of all, determination.

So I start my first post of the year wishing that you have the courage to ride that wave because it is only in the falling, that you will know you have done so.

As always

a dawnbird

PS The poem came to me today from a place where I was two months ago which I will write about in the next post.

In response to Daily Word Prompt – Affect

Standing still

Cable Beach, Broome, Western Australia

The moon and the sea conspired
and the tide came in with a rush
with nowhere to hide
I stood still
along with Mother Earth
to take it all in

The force of the water was intense
relentless in its pursuit
stopped me in my tracks
and like the ebb and flow of tides
the force lead me back, to where I had been

In the ivory tower, I let the silence infiltrate
in that space of disquiet
as I watched the scaffolding break away
and crash around me when,
the sledge hammer blows stopped

The clarity of reality is never easy
it takes a brave heart to know this
so I dared to go where angels fear to tread
and I now know
I am braver for having done this

the timing has been impeccable,
breathtaking even
there is no escaping my truth
still standing is not my catchcry
it was never my destiny
but standing still, is

This moment in time may be fleeting
or it may be longer
so experiencing it, as is, a necessity
it gives me clarity to a new reality

My path may be forged in silver
and tactile as silk
but the delicacy of the filigree
lies in the Force
that made me stand still.

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Monday – Impeccable

Changing in a changing world …

Paraburdoo, Pilbara mining region, Western Australia

It’s just gone 6 am and I’ve been up for a couple of hours.  Outside, the kookaburras’ distinctive laughter is somewhat subdued but just loud enough to keep me company while I enjoyed my coffee.  From my study window I can see, to my left, the sky is the colour of a day old bruise, sepia brown and purple.  The softest morning light is infusing my home slowly.  As I write I can hear different bird calls.  The lorikeets, the Willy Wagtail, the brown honey eater, waking and finding their space in the back garden.

Nature being the only stable thing for me right now, I gravitate towards it, seeking and experiencing every moment.  With no distant hum of freeway traffic, it feels like I’m in my own world.  A sense of isolation, when the world is in this crisis together, is a strange place to be.  Solitude is something I seek each day but isolation, imposed, is a new experience.  An experience that made others stronger and more resilient, is a reminder to self each day.

I’m trying to stay as close to normal as I can, which is odd for me to say this because life is not, and will not be normal for me.  I am grounded indefinitely.  So I’ve taken the view of finding joy in my own space, discovering each room, each space in the garden, with new eyes and seeing potential that I never had time for before.  It’s time to nest.  To regroup.  To cull.  To hold those I love, a little closer.  There is emotional luxury in this.

One of the normal things for me to do will be to write each day, discover new blogs and new words.  Connect with others on a wider scale.  I was thrilled to find a new word prompt I can contribute to.  Thanks Tracy!

So on to the prompt …

I’m not sure whether this is a crow or raven but I’m leaning towards a raven.  From childhood I have associated this bird with bad luck or death.  Maybe because of a rhyme we sang as children:

One for sorrow
two for joy
three for a letter
four for a boy
five for silver
six for gold
seven for a secret,
never to be told

But I now know for some, the symbolism of ravens is associated with good luck representing ‘magic’ or transformation even.  For me the concept of ‘magic’ as something that emerges from ‘out of the box’ of impossibility.  Something that surprises, makes one gasp.  I like this!  I like the idea of emerging.  Of emerging full of hope, full of energy.  Of breaking out from the now, the present as we know it, soft as new, yet strong enough to survive, with a rebel yell of a newborn.  This need not be the outcome of surviving a crisis (any crisis).  It can be the beginning of each day as we journey through it.

This is what I wish for you.

Stay safe and healthy.  We are in it together.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to Corvid-2020 Weekly Challenge #1

On an otherwise beige day …


Like many people Christmas time can also be a time of sadness and I try hard not to dwell on what brings pain.  But it is days like today that I have to actively try not to feel overwhelmed because there are decisions I have to make on my own.

Being mostly home for the next few weeks I am working through a schedule of house maintenance that needs my urgent attention.  Today was the day I phoned around for quotes to fix the reticulation system as my gardener does not know how to navigate the technical side of it.  I was already up by 4:30 am and working through reports.  The morning was beautiful and cool, the waterbirds were loud as they headed to the lake.  The first man came over at 6 am.  He would have experienced my pocket of the world at its best.  He fussed around and gave me a quote to fix two solenoid valves ($3.5K).  Yes, three and a half thousand dollars!  (It is possible he charged for the view).  He then tells me if I paid cash, he would charge me a grand less.  I’m someone who is fastidious about my taxes.  To be complicit in someone else’s scam to dodge tax was a red flag.  I thanked him and found someone who just happens to live around the corner from me.  He dropped by on the way home.  He spent around three hours in the garden.  He could not access one of the valves that is buried under the hedge.  I suggested I would get the gardener to remove part of the hedge (after all it will grow back once it gets water) and he could come back next week.  We came to an agreement with that plan.  As he was leaving I came out with my credit card.  He flatly refused to charge me for his time ($70 call out fee plus hourly rate) because he could not access the valve.  I nearly cried!  I insisted he give me a bill after all he worked for hours in heat and digging is strenuous work.  He then agreed to include the hours in his invoice once he returned to finish the job on condition I accept he would not charge me an additional call out fee.  Such kindness!

It is my firm belief we get to experience the good and the bad in people.  We don’t need to search for these experiences, they present themselves.  We just have to be open to them.  I could be upset with the man who gave me an inflated quote.  But why bother?  It is his loss he missed out on a job.  Being upset would be my loss of peace of mind.

It has taken me years to process a simple fact.  It is not the event but how we live through the aftermath that determines how it impacts us.  That’s the space, the toehold, where life is either lived as intended, or not.  I’m not quite there yet, but I intend to live mine, with intent.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to RDP – Friday – Aftermath

Against all odds …

Wildflower, Shark Bay, Western Australia

Those who visit my blog regularly will be familiar with my interest in photographing nature.  I’m always on the lookout to photograph something beautiful and/or unexpected.  Finding a flower growing beachside among shell rubble in harsh conditions in Shark Bay was a special moment for me.  It brought home what I know to be true … there’s strength in fragility and against all odds the beautiful will push through.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1563.jpgPainted blue tree Morawa, Western Australia

The Blue Tree Project originated in Western Australia.  Dead trees are painted blue in rural communities to raise awareness of the incidence of depression in these areas.  It is a mental health awareness project.  When I see a solitary one in the middle of a paddock or roadside it is a reflection of a community in action.  Just like a solitary flower in rubble, I’m reminded, against all odds, the human spirit does push through.

Against all odds has been a motif in my life.  I know the beautiful does push through.  I experience this every day and hope I’ve now shared it with you.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

In response to V.J.s Weekly Challenge #64 : Resilience

Change, as good as a holiday

Summer solstice in Perth is officially a few minutes away.  In nature, a day of transition.  I’m no expert on weather, just an observer, and can attest this year has been the worst for fierce storms. DSCN7076.jpgDecember was to be a month of transitions for me too.  I was anticipating a whirlwind of final visits to all regions.  My trips were booked back to back and with three suitcases (Midwest, South West and Wheatbelt) all packed, it would have been easy to accomplish.  I started my month in Merredin.  I usually spend the night there after the clinic as it is a 3.5-4 hour drive home in open farming country.  Driving at dusk is hazardous with fox and kangaroo being a real threat to safety.  It was a beautiful start to summer with clear skies and early warmth.  I worked steadily all day, but about twenty minutes before my day ended I looked outside the window and noticed a sepia glow.  I walked outside and found massive clouds were rolling in.  I’ve experienced a storm cell in this region before.  I hurried, wanting to escape the onslaught.  I got as far as Kellerberrin, some 30 minutes away when it hit with force for the next hour and a half.  Spectacular lightening, thunder that made my teeth chattered and hail and rain violently smashing my car.  I calmed my nerves saying the insurance would cover any damage (my car is brand new, bought five months ago!).  I was second last in a convoy of several 4WDs, no doubt all contractors like me, headed home in a hurry.  I stayed with them for safety.  Along the way we were stopped, the police and ambulance helping at a roll over.  I averted my gaze.  This is not how a work day should end.  I was perfectly fine all day but by the time I got to Perth I could barely function.  My car was unscathed but not me.  I came down with a flu like virus and spent five days in bed.  I had to cancel two clinics.

I then went to Kalgoorlie, my days there are always busy.  Folks usually show up reliably for their appointments.  I was exhausted by the end of the first day and went straight to bed when I noticed the sky took on an unusual glow.  Then the summer storm hit.  Now, I’ve heard people talk about thunderstorms in the Goldfields but have never really experienced it myself despite working there monthly for years.  Similar to the experience in the Wheatbelt, once again the clouds collided, followed by a drawn out drum roll that sounded like an introduction.  The lightening intense and nuclear bright.  There was nothing gentle about the rain, either.  Already safe in bed I enjoyed the drama so much I decided to record the sounds.  I’ve heard it many times since, each time the memory is accompanied by smile.

Storms are much like life’s obstacles. A nuisance at the time, but enjoyed best on reflection.  This month I had five nights in my own bed.  I can’t remember the last time I did this!

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird