‘The other voice’

I love the word inspire.  Each year, it brings new meaning.  No longer passive, I seek each day.  I can write when I see, feel, hear or sense something.  It’s a daily awakening.  A daily reminder.  I am alive.

To share the images below with you brings a level of discomfort.  They were always there.  I just never saw them.  Importantly, and sadly, I did not seek them.  I did not seek to use my senses mindfully.

Every day I look beyond what I see.  A tree, is no longer a tree.  A flower is no longer, just beautiful.  A fallen leaf, is more than debris.  A bird is more than feathers and song.  My strides are shorter and slower.  I inhale and exhale more deeply.  I hear small sounds amid din.  A moment lasts longer.

This year, inspire has been synonymous with stillness.  It has been moments when I waited to hear ‘the other voice’.

So I’ll share with you what I’ve found in those moments of dialogue.DSCN7235.jpgA clump of cowslip orchids, found unexpectedly, in debris.DSCN7253.jpgManna acacia blooming below a canopy of gum trees.DSCN7270.jpgA spider orchid, dancer like, posturing mid-furl.DSCN7377.jpgAn emu in the wild, caught mid-stride, long neck perfectly curled.DSCN7348.jpgThe tiny inland thorn bill with yolk egg feathers, singing for mate, in spring.DSCN7556.jpgA Willy Wagtail, with bling in her wing.DSCN7466.jpgSunset in an autumn leaf.DSCN7529.jpgPink ballerina tutus in shrubs, just below the trees.DSCN7445.jpgBallgowns draped on shrubs, more beautiful than found on any red carpet.DSCN7461.jpgA trio of pristine white cornettes.DSCN7588.jpgA gift from and for the sea, left on shore by someone unknown.  But it spoke to, and, for me.

May you seek and find a moment today.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

Take Five

It was cold in the Wheatbelt town of Merredin.  I woke to find I was curled up tight in the womb of my warm bed.  I turned the heater on and leapt back into bed while I listened to the freight train roll by, rattling windows in the cabin, and let my thoughts travel too.

I recently stopped at a small cafe run by a retired couple in a small farming town.  She makes the best sandwiches!  And, her lemon curd tartlets are out of this world!  It was too early in the morning when I got there for me to justify buying baked goods, so I chatted to them while they made me breakfast.  The cafe also has a small shop attached to it.  It would appear the locals put things like jams and embroidered napkins there on consignment. So I wandered around while talking to them.

An old boot caught my eye.  It had a tag attached to it.  “$20 donation for Give Cancer the Boot”.  It turns out someone’s daughter was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  The town has rallied to raise money.  Sprayed bright pink, the old boot belongs to a farmer who brought it in, with flower, to add to the money raising effort.

thumb_IMG_3604_1024.jpgThe boot sits outside my study window.  It reminds me life is fragile, and living in community makes one stronger.  I take time to talk to strangers.  They love to talk about their community, I’ve found.  Like the old boot that no longer dances, but the story of its new life, can still make a heart sing.  So I consciously and mindfully live life closer to the source and Source.DSCN9631.jpgThe clump of snowdrops at my doorstep has grown, having arrived three weeks later than they did last year.  They seem to have survived another year of my old gardener’s enthusiasm for clearing flower beds and his failing eyesight!.  I looked through dozens of flowers and found myself wanting to see what was under the hood.  Now I know!thumb_IMG_3600_1024.jpgIn the back garden the Cape Gooseberry is fruiting.  I love this fruit and they hardly ever stay long enough on the bush without me picking off the lanterns while still green.  I found this one on the ground, encased in gossamer, the detail, exquisite.DSCN9803.jpgI know while bush walking, there are tiny flowers and foliage to search for and delight in.  I also know some folks are intent on the walk itself, and miss what my eyes search for.  I also know that’s their journey, not mine.  So I let them walk by.DSCN9780.jpgWhat I search for in bush country, are the tiny wild orchids that grow in impossible places.  They remind me of a plaque I have in my study “Bloom where God plants you”.DSCN9799.jpgThis year the orchids are prolific.  DSCN9756I love the detail of these delicate orchids that seem to bloom in harsh conditions, with attitude!  If this is not a diva presence, I’m not sure what is!DSCN9819.jpgAnd who can walk past the beautiful banksia and not stop to marvel at this wonderful plant.  I love the symmetry of the prickly leaves too.DSCN9836.jpgThere are tassle plants growing everywhere and after uploading the photograph, I can see the details, hidden to the naked eye.  I’ve come to learn through photography, beauty is often sensed and not always seen, until later.DSCN9993.jpgThese are mallee and gum trees.  The mallee is like a gangly teenager, with out of proportion limbs and leaves.  Or, so I thought.  DSCN9996.jpgWhen I stood under it, I had to ask myself, how did I miss this before?DSCN9913.jpgYes spring is here.  The turnip weed flowers are everywhere alongside roads and highways.  The soft canola, is painted across the landscape in broad strokes of vivid yellow.

This is just a view.  A fleeting view.  Pedestrian, if you like.  Just like life.  Unless one stops long enough to cherish living a full and meaningful one.

So, promise yourself today to take five.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life, precious life

I’ve just returned from a much anticipated trip.  I went to big country to look for small things.  I needed the contrast and dichotomy for my body and soul.

I was thrilled to find the tides at Cable Beach, Broome had left generous amounts of shells and sea debris on the shore.  I’ve visited the town at least a dozen times and found this phenomenon only twice so far.  It is the tail end of winter in Perth, so Broome and the Kimberley region is tourist time for backpackers, ‘grey nomads’ travelling in caravans and the well heeled to get away from the cold.  I belong to none of these groups.

I went because I want to live.

DSCN8799.jpgOn a beach that stretches for 22 kms, I peered through tiny coral windows and found life in minutae is what has added zest to my journey.DSCN8852.jpgI contemplated the fragility of life and the glue that holds it all together.DSCN8801.jpgI reflected on the foundations and layers we create within us, between us and for each other.  Do they support or divide?DSCN8884.jpgI found things that spoke to me.  Much like life, debris was once perfect and whole and …DSCN8876.jpgstill exquisitely beautiful.DSCN8873.jpgWe are given life.  But … it is a finite serve.DSCN8861.jpgI paused to reflect.  What’s my footprint, my legacy, that I leave on shore?DSCN8818.jpgThe glory of sunset at Cable Beach is seductive.  It is promoted as such and people come to catch their breath.DSCN8824But I also know the young boab tree at Town Beach, the opposite side of town at Roebuck Bay, is magnificent at sunrise.  So in Broome I catch my breath, at least twice a day.

I’ve returned home after an amazing trip.  I have more to share with you, perhaps later today, but for now, I’ll leave you with a thought.

We may think we choose our journey.  Not so.  We are given a journey but we are also given choice.  We choose how to travel it.  So, travel well.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

What is balance?

Early Sunday morning, coffee in hand, I listened to the rain in the dark.  Although winter has some special moments, I couldn’t help but smile to see it was getting lighter, earlier.  Spring is on the way.

On a recent trip to Esperance it was cold, too cold, to do much else other than stay indoors and warm.  I decided to do what I did years ago and went into the cyclical pattern of work, back to hotel to write reports, work again.  One and a half days of this and I was exhausted.  Something was missing in my life.  I went for a massage after work at the end of the second day.  The young Chinese girl worked hard at my poor “too tight muscles”.

The next morning the sun shone for a short while.  I dressed and went to Esperance Bay to catch daybreak.  Half an hour outdoors, and I was myself again.

DSCN8300.jpgI watched the sun rise beyond my favourite seat on the Bay.  DSCN8288.jpgAs day broke, I noticed the few days of storm surge had muddied the Bay, but did not steal the beauty.  DSCN8304.jpgAlthough I love this sculpture, I’m always disappointed, someone did not have the foresight to position this in a better place.  No matter which way you photograph it, there is always something that should not be in the background.  Beauty, misplaced.DSCN8320.jpgBut not at Woody Lake.  I found a wild clematis (I think) vine starting its journey across shrubs.  Yes, spring!DSCN8322.jpgAnd among the grass, scores of tiny yellow rumped thornbill, too quick, except for one.

I learned during this trip.  I’ve become accustomed to the mindfulness moments.  My body and mind needs this to function effectively.

And when I’m home, reflecting on these moments, does the same for me.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

Awakened

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes” is a quote by Carl Jung that resonates with me.

As I wrote in the previous post, as a child I merely looked through a window at a world that was and may have been.  I did not really experience it.  I do now.

While bush walking there is much to see, hear, smell, taste and touch.  It makes one alert to the sensory experience of being in the natural world.

Although this is big country with magnificent landscape, I’ve learnt to look for small things too.  So I’ll share some with you.DSCN8230.jpgI found a cluster of bell-like gum nuts at my feet.  Although they will not bloom like other similar blossoms, their beauty is more accessible, close up.  This is how it is meant to be, for some.DSCN8169.jpgI look for solitary things in nature.  Things that should belong together, but somehow fall away.  Their beauty is undiminished, in isolation.  For some, it takes effort to believe in this but when they do, the rewards are endless.DSCN8252.jpgI prefer not to touch an object before I photograph it.  I feel I need to respect the space where the object has come to rest.  It was there for a reason.  Things happen for a reason.  It is something I’ve come to respect about life, too.DSCN8243During this walk, I followed a trail of clover.  It was a delicate wreath that wound itself around a massive rock.  The dichotomy of strength and fragility, written in simple lines.  And, yes, they can co-exist, each not detracting beauty from the other.DSCN8233.jpgI know now, even green leaves fall away and come to rest until they disintegrate in the wind.  This is their journey, not mine.  The moment shared was finite.  So is life.DSCN8232.jpgSome are plain, beige, but sparkle best, when it rains.  I’ve come to learn some people rise to their adversity, and can land softly, among rocks.DSCN8076.jpgSome fade with a kaleidoscope explosion of colour.  The message is clear.  I was here once.DSCN8253.jpgWhile others, are golden, among green.  They signal season.  A time for everything, and everything, in time.

This is my time.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

Vintage, me

I have just returned from beautiful Balingup, in the south-west of Western Australia.  A tiny hamlet of less than 300 people.  The weather was gorgeous.  Sunny days.  Zero degrees at night.  I rented a rammed earth cottage for three nights and used it as my base while I worked in nearby towns.  The self-contained cottage had all the comforts.  There were Belgian chocolates galore in every nook and cranny.  They all called my name!  A bottle of Cab Sav. Freshly baked bread.  A basket of breakfast goodies.  I could not have asked for more.

I arrived at dusk.  I’ve stayed here before and drove in carefully on an unsealed road in darkness.  The owner lit a roaring fire for me.  He promised to leave the newspaper at the door early morning.  When did I last touch a newspaper!  After dinner I climbed into bed, snug with an alpaca rug and awaited dawn.  I smiled in the dark as possums scratched the window.  DSCN7921.jpgThe cottage balcony faced forest.  This was the view I woke to each day.  The sun streamed in through mist.  Kookaburras laughed and chortled.  A smile travelled across my face, from ear to ear, and warmed me on the inside.DSCN7766.jpgEach morning I rugged up warm and headed out to explore with a grateful heart that delighted in all that I saw.DSCN7761.jpgThe pink camellias took my breath away.  Large as a man’s palm.DSCN7915.jpgThen there were double camellias.  The owner had left several in the cottage for me.  Gorgeous!DSCN7870.jpgI loved the white flowers, just as much.DSCN7775.jpgThe sunny jonquils bloomed despite the frost.DSCN7974.jpgThe white ones shimmered, too.DSCN7860.jpgA clump of these, added colour.DSCN7871.jpgEverywhere I looked, there was beautiful, delicate wattle, signalling winter.DSCN7999I walked along country roads. Contented.  At peace.  Empowered.  I have choice.  This realisation, is freedom.

Perhaps, it’s my vintage.  I’m mellowing with age.  Life is now defined by lifestyle.  I yearn for nothing else but more of the same.

This is how I would like my children to remember me.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

Switching on and off

DSCN7736

This is St Georges Beach in Geraldton, north of Perth.  It is one of my favourite spots in Geraldton to sit quietly and enjoy all that I see and hear.  The day I took this picture, the sunset was silver, the waves lapped gently and everything sparkled like I’ve never seen before.

I’m off to the South-West today for a few days of work.  From the warmth of the outback, I’m shifting gears.  I’m expecting the nights to be zero degrees and from the stark beauty of the outback, winter will be lush.

My work days promise to be busy.  But, I know I’ll find time to bush walk, take pictures, eat good produce, curl up near a roaring fire.  Write.  Read.  Dream big.

Take five is promoted for well being.  I practice this every day wherever I am.  I’ve found, if you look for it, you’ll find it, no matter how busy life is.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird