Winter in Summer

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Out of nowhere
a thick sea fog
came barrelling in
– swamping – cloaking – shrouding –
the summer swimmers
stood frozen, inert –
engulfed in wintery silences

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prompt:  faaa  https://helenevaillant.com/2019/01/22/what-do-you-see-january-22-2019/

 

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Up to the Angels

I have decided to reblog this post again today as it might be of interest to people in these difficult days when life is throwing many of us many a curve ball.
I have used the methods I learnt in the workshop many times Sometimes when the situation is very complex I have had to use the words frequently.
I find they always work though sometimes the outcome might be different to what you expect or even hope for.

Being in Nature

This post first appeared on my old blog “Art and Life”.   Today feels like a good day to reblog it.

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As a young child I saw fairies dancing on moonbeams and felt the wings of angels catching me whenever I fell.     As I grew older I put away childish things and moved into the cold hard reality of the light of day where seeing is believing and all else is imagination and fantasy  –

not a comfortable place to be at times – a place where I felt I’d lost something but could not quite recall what.

I became a spiritual seeker and wandered through the years searching –

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One day I went to one of those Mind, Body and Spirit Fairs. Tarot readers and…

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The desert up the road

After deciding I probably wouldn’t get to the Australian outback this year and, quite possibly never again, I was surprised to discover a wild desert-like landscape just a few K’s from my home last Sunday.

My youngest daughter had suggested we meet in the carpark of a local bush reserve and go for a wander in the bush with her two small boys.   I moved to this area a few months ago and am still learning about it.   As we walked to a gate in the high cyclone wire fence that borders the reserve my daughter filled me in on the history of the place.  Although the bush looks like the kind scrubby bushland I remember from childhood I was amazed to learn it is actually regenerated farmland.

In the 1960s a group of local conservationists got together to reclaim the area.   Careful land management, weed control and the replanting of indigenous plants has been undertaken ever since.   The place is now home to a wide range of bird species,  reptiles, wallabies  and other small marsupials (the fence is to keep the wallabies in so they don’t get run over).  Although the place is now taken care of by Rangers employed by the government children are encouraged to climb the trees and build bush cubby houses from fallen branches.  Kindergardens and playgroups are welcome to visit and the Rangers sometimes arrange tree planting days for the children.

My grandkids are very familiar with the reserve and led us down a narrow track flanked with kangaroo grass to a man-made waterhole.
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Boy contemplating the successful throwing of a large stick into the waterhole

Just beyond the waterhole we came to the wide expanse of a dry river bed.    Something about the place reminded me of the Todd River in Alice Springs – a river that is usually dry.   I last saw that dry river bed nearly 50 years ago and had always hoped I’d get back there.   Lately that has seemed increasingly unlikely.   Gazing at the dry river bed just up the road from where I lived I realised I don’t really need to drive the many thousands of kilometres to Alice Springs after all – I can just drive up to the local reserve –
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There the boys have a favourite tree they love to play on.   img_20190113_211937 A natural tree lover

My daughter and I sat on a wooden bench in the shade while the boys played happily for hours.   That definitely wouldn’t happen if I went to the Todd River for the family wouldn’t be able to accompany me.

The afternoon slipped away until eventually we had to convince two reluctant boys that it was time to go home.    We ambled back to our cars completely relaxed and recharged from our time in the bush.   We had seen only two other people the whole time we’d been there and had heard no vehicle noise for hours.  That all changed as soon as I drove down the short dusty dirt track to the main road.   There the non-stop holiday traffic roared along at 100 kph.   Directly opposite the entrance to the nature reserve I had a clear view of the area where the trees were felled last week to make way for a major shopping complex.   The developers have left just two stately old trees.   The position of these trees suggests they will flank the road into the shopping complex – no doubt so the developers can claim they protected trees during construction.   Already there is very little trace of the 50+ trees they cut down last week.

Back home processing my photos I silently gave thanks for the beauty of tree in the reserve that had given us so much joy that afternoon – and, no doubt, will do again.

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linked to:-  Jo’s Monday Walks

 

The Yin and Yang of Self

A challenge on https://dogwood.photography/52weekchallenge2019 really got me thinking – ” week 1: Story Telling: Self-Portrait (take a picture that tells us who you are, without actually showing your face).”

I let the idea roll around my mind for a while as I got on with household chores.   As I worked I started thinking about duality – yin and yang, light and dark, negative and positive and how this plays out inside my being.   I decided to find a photo that represented this and also the way in which focusing on light and consciously calling it into my being helps me become more balanced.

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If you are curious the photo is of rain pouring out of leaking guttering.  I took it from inside so the white dots are actually raindrops on the window.  The white mist is an added extra my camera mysteriously contributed.

 

 

 

Climate Change Summer

January in Oz and the temperature’s rising.  Hordes of tourists gather on the coast.  The beaches are covered with their gear – surf boards, paddle boards, boogie boards, jet skis, sun shelters, deck chairs, bright towels and clothes.   They say it’s fun.

On the roads cars crawl bumper to bumper through dusty roadworks – highway duplications designed to bring yet more tourists to the coast.  Abutting the roads new housing estates are being constructed for those who desire a permanent sea change.    Shopping malls too.  Today in my neighbourhood residents are advised to seek alternate routes for a mass clearing of trees is taking place on the main road.  The clearing is to make way for another vast shopping mall.

In the mall constructed last year babies bawl and toddlers scream with rage as they are denied the toys and sweets they were showered with at Christmas.

They call it fun,
progress on steroids
– it’s getting hotter.

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prompt:  https://dversepoets.com/2019/01/07/haibun-monday-january/

The end of the road

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Back from a long road trip and two nights camping I realise that is probably the extent of my travelling in 2019.  Australian roads are so busy now and so many people drive huge four wheel drive vehicles.  No one seems to drive at the speed limit anymore.   Tailgating is common.  Driving a narrow two lane road with a big jeep just a couple of metres behind my little car and a stream of heavy duty vehicles charging towards me with their lights on the daytime is unnerving.

Years back I loved driving along winding country roads.   The traffic was minimal and most drivers seemed to content to amble along rather than rush.    These days even if I find a quiet road chances are the surface is riddled with potholes caused by all the heavy vehicles.

The decision to stop taking road trips has been hovering in the back of mind for a couple of years.   To finally decide ‘that’s it, no more’ is hard.    I’m not a person who likes staying put and I’ve always imagined I will get back to faraway desert places I drove to when I was younger.

Go overseas then you might say – or fly to distant destinations in Australia.   Maybe one day if and when I ever manage save the money – most likely not in 2019.    Besides, flying isn’t something I enjoy.   Those little hops in Australia play havoc on my ear pressure and long distance flying where you’re cooped up in a flying tin can with all those other people for hours and hours and hours doesn’t appeal any more.

So it’s goodbye to travel photos taken in exotic locations.   It’s goodbye to writing travel haibun.   2019 will be about experiencing my immediate locality – anywhere within an hour’s drive of my home.  I won’t be taking any roads, narrow or otherwise, to the deep north.   Unless of course you take a metaphoric view of such journeys and see them as being more about inner travel than outer.   In that case, well I’m paving new tracks constantly.  I’m exploring new territory on a daily basis.

A single crow
cawing outside my tent
– who am I really?

prompt:  Frank Tassone’s haiku challenge – first crow

Colour

After spending a few days sorting out my craft supplies, finishing projects and ditching some that weren’t going anywhere I indulged in some new supplies –

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-scraps of recycled embroided cloth from Rajasthan, coloured threads and a box of Japanese ink sticks – new things to play with over the summer holidays.

For Paula’s December photo prompt  – aquamarine, cyan,maroon, pale pink, golden
https://bopaula.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/thursdays-special-pick-a-word-in-december-y3/

I think I covered them all in one photo