Circles are in every aspect of life, from pratical wheels, to notions of the family circle, to schemas of life itself, the unbroken circle of love is one of those. The labyrinth is, for me, a special type of circle (and although not all labyrinths are circles, most are), it is a place to be still while yet moving, to be meditative, mindful, centered. I can be lost in a labyrinth without losing my way, and I leave things behind in the center if I want to or need to.
The labyrinth is also an ancient circle, an ancient wisdom (back to the Minoan civilization, and across other cultures on every continent) which doesn’t so much speak to me directly, but as through patient ferment, through the rhythm of our shared path. And it is a circle of life in that it breathes life through that rhythm, the movement is crucial, and so is stopping and pausing at the turns, and waiting in the center.
Sometimes I am on this journey alone, sometimes I encounter others along the way.
This circle is a friend, a real friend who holds a space for me and yet challenges too.
via Daily Prompt: Witty
Nature’s own witt. For those familiar with an Australian Bobtail or Bluetongue lizard – this burnt out tree caries the shape or outline of one, made me smile.
Just so you can see the shape, this little bontail has featured before.
via Photo Challenge: Windows
Not that old by world standards, but getting old at 92 (I took the photo in 2013). Those windows have looked out onto at changing farm heritage on two sides, and native bush on another. The windows have let light shine into it’s school room, its Church gathering, its wedding breakfasts, and a few wakes, the odd public gathering, and many, many dances. Windows can tell stories.
via Daily Prompt: Launch
Sometimes even the sheer effort can be daunting, all the prep, all the organising and the getting there, but once launched, it’s really worth it. There’s something really meditative about kayaking, the smell of the water, salty downstream, brackish upstream. There’s plenty for the eye to rejoice in, dolphins, stingrays, King George Whiting, black swans and a host of birdlife (some migratory). There are sounds too, birds calling, wind rustling vegetation. And there’s the sound of the water lapping on the side of the kayak, and the sound of my paddle as it divides the water and pushes. But it is not overly intrusive, the kayak is gentle on its surrounds, respectful of nature. The fish and birds come close, they trust the quiet nature of this vessel, and so do I, it is an invitation to presence and calm, even stillness (which is not an absence of movement per se). When I launch the kayak, I launch into something too, something deep.
Filed under kayaking, nature
My shell may have been damaged, I face an uphill battle, I’m out in the open, but I’m going for it.
Critter Connection Challenge
via Daily Prompt: Coincidence
I’m not a great believer in coincidence. I do think it happens in love and momets of liminance. Things might just happen, but I don’t believe that happens very often. If you set out with a certain belief, or put yourself in a certain place or situation, then surely, things will happen? Sadly coincidence has become a legal cop out for companies or governments that want to avoid legal responsibilities by claiming that negligence or occurrence of a problem is purely coincidental. Cancer is a prime example, oh there’s never a problem, it’s always a coincidence that all the people in that street, suburb, factory, have that cancer, purely random. Or take climate change, it’s all coincidence that there are some changes being identified, but the deniers want us to believe that all is normal, these are normal abnormalities. Generally, things happen because there’s a process, there’s an experience, we engage in an action or activity and there is an outcome or a result. But coincidence seems to be a way to say, there’s no liability here, no responsibility, Mr. Nobody did it. Is it coincidental that our actions in the West impact developing nations, is it coincidental that our chemical and processed food regimes contribute to cancer? Is it coincidental that our industrial processes over three centuries have brought us to environmental crisis? Is it coincidence that filling our water ways with refuse and industrial waste has killed off those water ways? I don’t think so.
via Daily Prompt: Focused
I’m focussed on orchids. Cowslip Orchids, native to Western Australia, not endangerd overall, but under pressure where they are adjacent to urban areas. Saw these on a recent trail walk, there were many along the trail which is heartening, and the moths that help pollination were out in force, so some hope for regeneration.
When posting about orchids here it is really important to not give any details of your find, why? Because there are people who will go and dig them up, or take them as cut flowers. Which is counter productive because many Australian native plants are not easily transplanted, and most orchids won’t transplant, so to move them at all is just destructive. And to cut them is to kill them off. Sadly there are those who try (which happened several times where I live). Others will trample all over them just to get a shot of the one they want. It is very competetive, especially the endagered ones (no acounting for ego). There are such people. I really live in hope that orchids and their habitat will be a focus for protection by city councillors and workers all over the state, rather than the devastating rush to put concrete over every blade of grass.
If only we could learn from our indigenous peoples – that we must care for habitat, it is our friend and it is entrusted as gift. The gift is to enjoy not destroy, so that others can share in it too. Habitat, ecosystems, are vital to the web of life, surely they are worth more than ego or money? Surely they count in their own right? What we focus on matters!
via Daily Prompt: Planet
Photo (mine): Blackwood River, swollen after late winter downpour. The Blackwood sustains several eco communities along its approx. 300 kms from the junction of Arthur River and Balgarup River (near Quelarup) via Boyup Brook, Bridgetown, Nannup, and down to Augusta and into the Southern Ocean. The river has been vital to the forests and natural communities for thousands of years, but chemical runoff, salinity, erosion, and pollution have affected the river over time.
I’ve just finished reading a most wonderful book: ‘Braiding Sweet Grass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants’ by Robin Wall Kimmerer. I would never have had the privilege had it not been for Carol Hand at carolahand.wordpress.com (check out her blog Voices From the Margins).
Kimmerer (a native American) draws together the wisdom in developing a relationship with nature, and she draws out how this has already been done by the indigenous peoples of America, but sadly marginalised since European settlement (repeated on every continent). The book is refreshing, moving, and challenging. It is also deeply distressing where Kimmerer tells how America’s waterways and lakes have been filled with industrial waste and all but destroyed. Kimmerer’s point – that when we despise and treat nature with utter contempt and use it greedily without thought, we kill off our best and much needed friend. As a fan of deep ecology the book resonated strongly, and from a spiritual point of view the ecology, economy and relationships also resonated strongly. An amazing reading journey.
The book is also a reminder that other indigenous peoples have also been ignored, and their wisdom scorned, yet such wisdom would contribute to protecting and rescuing the planet.
Our planet is the only one we’ve got, we need to treat it like someone we really, deeply care for. If we do we can live and breathe together.
There are few indulgences on the trail, other than the rainwater tank, drop toilet, and shed for sleeping. But when you’re bush-walking or hiking, that’s all you really need anyway. You certainly wouldn’t go to be pampered (dust or mud, rocks, inclines, hills, blisters, rain). I go to engage with the bush and to encounter myself, to reflect, to breathe. In that sense, I am pampered, indulged, by the bush, awakened, attentive, it’s like a form of meditation. Food for the soul.