Finding meaning

via Daily Prompt: Complication

“You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way.” – Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull


Some see seagulls.  I look for them.  And, when I find them, and that’s not hard to do wherever I am, I flick through the pages of the book ‘Jonathan Livingstone Seagull’.  The quote above has never been more meaningful as it is today.

Decades ago, soon after my separation and while at university, I struck up the most unlikely friendship with a fellow classmate.  I was a mother from the suburbs, struggling to project an air of stability for my very young children, when my world had fallen apart.  He would have been a good 15 years younger than me, long blond hair (because he could not afford to cut it) and straight from the pages of the 1960s hippie era when he talked about love and freedom of choice.  He had an air about him.  He cared deeply for things that matter.  When around him, I took deep breaths.

One afternoon we met in the cafeteria.  We bought a meagre lunch and shared it between the two of us.  Still hurting I disclosed to him how overwhelming life was and how I wished I found someone who could fill the void.  I had learned to trust him when I bounced off him.  So I waited while he chewed silently and nodded his head thoughtfully while looking into the distance.  He then held my gaze while responding, “And, when you do, run like hell in the opposite direction!”  I was so confused!  He then went on to explain.  The universe had given me an opportunity to enrich my life.  The void was filled with opportunities.  I had never been whole before but it was attainable and when I achieved it, if anyone entered my life their presence would enhance it.  If and when they left, there would be no void.  I would still be whole.  Once I grasped what he meant, I found what I had, was infinitely more than what I did not.

It is dark as I write.  The kookaburras are suppressing a chortle in their throats somewhere nearby.  I love this moment when I’m home.  I am whole.

I leave in a few hours to pick up a new work commitment in the north.  I’m so looking forward to the opportunity.  Some may regard this as another complication to work-life balance.  Not me.

I’ve learnt to embrace the unknown. It epitomizes where I have always wanted to be.  I am who I want to be.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird




Daily Prompt: Congregate

via Daily Prompt: Congregate

I recall the word congregate from early childhood and it is forever associated with the church.

DSCN9130.jpgOver the years, my faith has grown stronger but my church no longer has walls.

The word, congregate, means to come together.  A show of unity.  Seagulls do this well.  I often see a white carpet in the car park near the beach in Esperance.

DSCN4076.jpgBut, I seek the one that stands apart.  The one that sets the stage for me.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird




The sorry seagull

I watched a Pacific Gull fly over the ocean to the shore.

DSCN9120Breakfast, freshly caught, in beak.

DSCN9122He rinsed the creature in the ocean, while those thug-like seagulls surrounded him.

DSCN9124In a flash, it was gone, and I watched a free for all.

DSCN9129The big gull looked on, bemused.

DSCN9126But, managed to get his meal back.  This time the seagulls, looked on, silently.

DSCN9132The tide was cruel, and took the creature back to sea.  The Pacific Gull looked on forlornly.

DSCN9158it stalked the shore

DSCN9136waited patiently

DSCN9159then turned his back

DSCN9160and flew back to the sea.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird


Lessons from a seagull

One of my all time favourite books is Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach.  Bach achieved the impossible.  He gave humans wings.

The book changed my perspective and, importantly, helped me understand the trajectory of my life.  I return to the book repeatedly, every time finding deeper meaning than before.  Oh! the power of words!

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you.  All they show is limitation.  Look with your understanding.  Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”

Yes, Bach gave me wings.

I know where there is water, there are seagulls.  So I seek them.  Some may regard seagulls as pests.  Vermin, even.  Not me!

I started photographing seagulls some years ago and realised they were a perfect subject for mindfulness.  I saw them for what they were in the moment.







Seagulls have taught me to sit with the thought.  Sit with the emotion.  Try and understand.  The operative word is, understand.

Understanding has many layers and one does not have to dig deep to strike the mother lode of facts.  When you do, beyond what the eye sees are incidental gains, important ones, of compassion, humility, wisdom.  But one has to first learn how to dig, trawl, and then sift.  (Any postgraduate student will attest to this).

I’ve learned when travelling along ‘information highways’, and when seated in coffee shops too, ‘clicking’, ‘chatting’, snippets of benign conversation may give information.  It is easy for people to ‘analyze’ it, consider it out of context and then spout their unsolicited ‘expertise’ as fact, worse still, knowledge.  It is like someone calling themselves an artist, after completing a connect-the-dots exercise.

There is nothing more frustrating than talking to someone who knows it all.  If you have raised teens, this will resonate with you!  But despite the angst (of parent and child), it is a critical time of social development.  It can be navigated carefully.  My father did this successfully.

I recall my father saying, “Be careful of people who know it all.  They have a closed mind.”  To some this may seem a paradox.  It did to me.  It also made me stop and think.

My father knew me well.  Always a learner, a closed mind to me was death.

So I continue learning, a willing student, available and accessible, receptive to all  teachers.  Seagulls, too.

This.  Is.  Living.

Now I must fly.

Until next time,

As always,

a dawn bird