Category Archives: beach

A Friend

Introduce – Word of the Day

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I hardly need to introduce Augusta, and this particular part, the Blackwood River, as it is a constant reference in my writing. It is my favourite place and our true home. I first came here with a close mate, Nigel, in 1981 on a sudden whim, the same road trip which ended in meeting lyn, who would later become my wife. Lyn and I ended back here on our honey moon road trip in 83. And for nearly every year after we brought the kids for the summer holidays. Finally, we knew we wanted to live here so we eventually bought our home here, a place where we feel at peace, and where we feel that affinity with nature and community. This shot is the jetty where the river walk begins to pass the shire caravan park, and looks across the Blackwood to East Augusta. We were on a walk, as we regularly do, and I just loved the winter clouds and how the light played with them and the water, and the colour tones were unusual to the eye, hence the photo.

To return to the theme of affinity with nature, I find that my contemplative stance is richer in nature. I also experience nature as a soul friend, one who awakens my eyes, my heart to the deeper things, a spititual awareness, and one where I begin to feel more whole. Here my senses are engaged and I feel stimulated. Here I am content. so in that sense, I’m introducing you to my friend.

“Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there.” Gary Snyder.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Filed under beach, bush walking, community, life, mindfulness, nature

Affinity With Nature

Affinity – Word of the Day

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Yet another winter storm was coming, hot on the heels of the first of the season, the waves were really pounding all along the shore. Thankfully the strong winds had pushed the first lot through to the wheat-belt. The dark, rain leaden clouds were a wonderfull counterpoint for the sunset, accentuating the colour.

Nature never ceases to amaze me, whether it be the thought of galaxies beyond, our own solar system, or that part of the earth where I live, there is always something to marvel at from the most simple to the really complex. Colour, texture, smell, sound, taste, it’s all there.

We are dependent on nature, we need food and water for starters, oxygen, resources.

But I think we can be interdependent. As we live into the environment, we can manage our carbon footprint, manage our extraction and usage of both finite resources and renewables. We can help to establish regrowth of vegetation, and help repair after disasters, we can return some land to native vegetation, and we can value add what we harvest or remove, there is no limit to what we can positively do in this relationship.

Nature heals, forest bathing, meditating in the open, natural medicines, audio and visual pleasure, olfactory stimulus like petrichor, touch, the sun on skin, the wind around me. My mind is stimulated too, so much to learn, so much adventure, so much to reflect on. Just to be in nature is a wonderful experience for me.

I feel an affinity, a closeness, with nature. I love the feel of sand and rock, and they tell their own story. The streams, rivers and ocean speak, sing, and invade the senses. Eucalyptus like a balm. Dolphins and birds communicating. Sunrise and sunset drawing awe and emotion. I feel whole in nature, I heal better in nature, body, mind and soul. I feel at peace, and am often content in nature. Nature is always conversing, always reaching out to me. And I get perspective, I am part of something bigger than myself, that in itself is medicine for the soul. It’s not about me, it’s not just about everyone, it’s about everything, every relationship of nature.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under beach, environment, life, mindfulness, nature, seasons

SAD

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The last days of autumn, and the beauty of river and cloud along the Blackwood.

The days are shorter now as autumn gives way to winter. I am grateful for the change in season even though I don’t like the cold, somehow nature needs this, I tell my self, but I know deep down that I need it too.  But there is an impact that the seasonal change makes known as SAD (an auspicious aconym) or Seasonal Affective Disorder.

As winter progresses it is quite normal to feel tired and unmotivated, it is a form of the ‘blues’ but it now has a name – SAD. I think it’s probably an ancient hibernation process we are fighting, but that’s just a witsful guess, perhaps a latent desire to sleep in and ignore the cold air. However, exercise, dietary changes, sleep, meditation and a change in habit can recharge and motivate us. To do something different rather than force a summer routine into a winter context might be truly barking up the wrong tree. I note that several local young men are still clinging to shorts, t-shirt and thongs, and even though this week it has dropped to 3 degrees overnight, they are hanging on to summer as if to say, nature won’t force me to change. Yeah, right! It will.

SAD is best embraced and refocussed, a reframing of inner thought and responding energy, and to make friends with the season, and to live into it mindfully.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under beach, bush walking, life, mindfulness, nature, seasons

Twisted

via Photo Challenge: Twisted

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Taken near Denmark W.A. Twisted and bent by the winds, this gnarled tree shows tenacity and determination. I hope to follow its example 🙂

let's twist again
the wind crafts and molds
like it did last year

©Paul Cannon (with apologies to Chubby Checker)

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Filed under beach, bush walking, Country, environment, Haiku, life, mindfulness, nature

Tides

via Daily Prompt: Tide

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The tide coming in at the Wilson Inlet, Denmark, Western Australia.

Rachel Carson, to whom we all owe a debt of thanks for her tireless work in advocating for the protection of nature, once said: “The winds, the sea, and the moving tides are what they are. If there is wonder and beauty and majesty in them, science will discover these qualities … If there is poetry in my book about the sea, it is not because I deliberately put it there, but because no one could write truthfully about the sea and leave out the poetry.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a poem called “The Tides.” An autobiographical  poem that speaks of despair (the loss of his wife) and the rediscovery of joy (the tide upbore – lifted him up) as the tide lifts him from despair.

"The Tides" Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

I saw the long line of the vacant shore,
The sea-weed and the shells upon the sand,
And the brown rocks left bare on every hand,
As if the ebbing tide would flow no more.
Then heard I, more distinctly than before,
The ocean breathe and its great breast expand,
And hurrying came on the defenceless land
The insurgent waters with tumultuous roar.
All thought and feeling and desire, I said,
Love,laughter, and the exultant joy of song
Have ebbed from me forever! Suddenly o'er me
They swept again from their deep ocean bed,
And in a tumult of delight, and strong
As youth, and beautiful as youth, upbore me.

But none ever so bleak as Matthew Arnold’s famous poem “Dover Beach.” A poem that is thought to be four very loosely connected sonnets about change. The third stanza tells how the tide is representative of the institution of the Chrisitan Church, that it is fading lifke the receding tide.

From "Dover Beach" Matthew Arnold, stanza three:

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and rounded earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Arnold would have been a contemporary of Friedrich Nietzsche, who wrote “God is dead.” (“The Gay Science” 1882) The way I read Nietzsche, is the way I read Arnold, they are simply pointing out that the institution of religion was dying, and the idea of God (the Medieval, the Christendom, God) was dying. For me that has been a positive, the old had to die for the new to come to life. Just as the tide goes out, it also, with equal regularity comes in again. this is its natural rhythm. Religion as a political power elite has been receding for some time, thankfully, and spirituality and mindfulness have entered that space. The absurd God of tribalism and petty moral values has died, thankfully, and a new sense of the divine has enetered, a more communal and relational divine.

So, in the end, I really resonate with Longfellow’s last line from “The Tides” –  “And in a tumult of delight, and strong as youth, and beautiful as youth, upbore me.”  The tides of Arnold and Nietzche simply wash away the dross of what ails religion, while the tide of Longfellow indicates hope in a season of loss and grief in an uplifting tumult of delight.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under beach, Country, life, mindfulness, nature, Philosophy/Theology, poetry, quote, religion

Thwart Across, Side to Side

via Daily Prompt: Thwart

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These boats have timber seats, planks thwart the boat. Otherwise known as thwart seats because they cross from side to side. They are a seat , but only rudimentary, their true purpose is to act as a reinforcing brace that helps provide a rigidity to the boat’s frame, so a thwart seat is a double-bonus, seat and brace in one.

I came to this example of thwart while at the same time I had been reflecting on forgiveness. The more common understanding of thwart is to obstruct, to stymie, or block someone or an action. When we don’t or won’t forgive, then we thwart ourselves, we block ourselves.

There are many serious quotes on forgiveness, one that I like is from the Greater Good magazine from UC Berkeley: “Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.” The upshot of this is that we unblock when we forgive, we help and enable ourselves to move on from the anger and pain. So forgiveness is about ourselves and not the other. When I forgive, the other may never know, but in the act of forgiving, even from afar, I am indeed releasing the anger, the revenge and the pain, I’m stepping away from the negative. And as a result I feel better, whole. And sometimes that enables me to reframe a relational conflict and bring healing into it, so that there can be reconciliation. Again, that’s because I have done the work in myself, I am transformed and able to meet the other, to enable the other, as such it is a double-bonus.

Forgiveness is not unlike the thwart seat, it spans from one side of a relationship to another, it bridges opinion and blockage, and most importantly, forgiveness supports me, and helps to hold me together when I’d rather take negative attitudes or actions. Without the thwart seat of forgiveness in our lives there is nowhere to place ourselves in conflict that has any positive way forward. As vessels we are fragile beings and we really do need forgiveness to be able to reconcile, heal and grow. Forgiveness is a gift to our selves, and yet also to the other, even though they may never know. Forgiveness strengthens us.

Paul,

pvcann.com

21 Comments

Filed under beach, boats, life, mindfulness, psychology, self-development

Warning Signs

via Daily Prompt: Warning

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Photo: abc.net.au

The famous Salmon Holes at Albany, in the Torndirrup National Park. Fishing is not prohibited but there are warning signs at the entry advising people that there is a risk of being swept into the water. Since 1983, 12 people have drowned, so the warning is quite real. But a University of WA study revealed that 226 people believed they would survive falling into the ocean. Well, some have, Lyn’s late uncle Grattan was swept off the rock, but managed to survive to tell the tale. But too many believe they are invincible. One of the features of the bay are the sudden “king” or large waves, that catch people off-guard. These are powerful waves, and pose a serious threat on slipery, wet granite.

There are warning signs in many places for a variety of expected risks and outcomes. These signs are on equipment, packaging, cliffs, rocks, and well, everywhere.

Humans don’t come with warning signs. I’d add a few: dangerous when ego is driving; an ecological hazard, if lacking emotional intelligence 101 do not engage, dangerous if provoked, and so on. We are a complex species, and not always adept at working out where our emotions are coming from, sometimes not until damage is done in a relationship. We can be swept away by jealousy or anger, ego or fear. The rock of life is just as slippery as the one in the photo, and sometimes there are “king” waves that sneak up on us unanounced. Best we need to read the signs, and take care.

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Filed under beach, life, mindfulness, nature, self-development

My Favorite Place

via Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

Augusta, the place where two oceans meet near a river mouth, and where heaven touches earth.

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Above; Early Morning from the deck, looking east across the Blackwood River, and the Southern Ocean beyond.

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Above: The Southern Ocean, and part of our routine has been to walk this beach as part of a loop.

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Above: The Blackwood River, not far from the river-mouth, and this is part of our regular walking route.

Augusta is my favourite place. Although it would be true to say, I have many fave places, but Augusta would be top of the list. It’s not where I work, and I’m not yet living there full time, but we have renovated an older more compact house to be our next step, and later, into retirement. We fell in love with Augusta 35 years ago when we spent some time here on our honeymoon. And we returned regularly over the years for family holidays, eventually being able to afford to buy a house and renovate it. We work about 1.5 hours away and so we come down for our days off and holidays etc. It is my fave place because it has bush walks, river walks biking and kayaking, ocean and beach, forest. The flora and fauna are magnificent, the views are great – restful and restorative. It is a small community and relatively. For us it is a place of happiness, and where we can be creative too.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under beach, boats, bush walking, community, Country, life, nature

Cleaning Up The Mess We Made

via Daily Prompt: Messy

I don’t know about you, but there are times when I see news bulletins or read an op ed piece and the sheer negative of the report overwhelms me. Some years ago I saw footage of plastic waste in the ocean and I had steam coming out of my ears. How could it come to this? Such a mess!

Boyan Slat, a young engineering student has one proposed solution to the problem. Slat encountered plastic in the Mediterranean Ocean and at 17 yrs began working on a solution to plastic polution in the ocean. We’ve all seen the shocking footage of marine life snarled in plastic, or the photos of granular plastic which makes the sand look coloured. But Slat has at least put his mind to it. Of course, his proposal has attracted both support and criticism. He has raised in excess of 27 million US for his company –  Ocean Cleanup, but some in the scientific community have pooh-pooed the idea because it is yet untested in the wild. However, some criticism has come from those who believe that we should be working solely on prevention.

There will will always be a need for constructive criticism especially in testing and peer reviewing scientic work, but I wish that the opinionated people who haven’t a clue would butt out. It would be nice to live in a world where prevention was the sole effort in anything, but on the face of it, our track record as a species is that prevention is hard won. I don’t work in binaries if I can help it, and my prefernece is to use both prevention and reactive solutions together. Besides, I’m a born skeptic in regard to the human condition, and I believe that even with prevention methods, we would still have a problem of plastic in the ocean. Some polution is just by negligence or accident.

Even if this doesn’t work, at least he’s tried, and I applaud that. We will soon find out as the company are set to deploy this year. For me, this is a positive step, and the scientific community have been engaged in a new way forward to resolving a mess of our own making. And in my view, a step forward invites more.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under beach, boats, community, education, environment, life, nature, Science

New Eyes

via Daily Prompt: Imagination

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It’s known as Cathedral Rock (Windy Harbour), I get it, it’s quite large, it reaches skyward, spire-like. It was clearly someone’s imagination, and I get to share in that a little. However, if inclined, I can use my own imagination and come to my own sense of this rock, I thought of it as The Leap, the rock in the water having already done that.

I have met people who claim they have no imagination, or they only have a limited imagination. Initially I react to that with sadnness, but I question their premise. I think they have not had the encouragement, and probably the opposite in fact, to explore their capacity to imagine.

My imagination was given free reign. My mother indulged me in imaginative ways. She made cardboard castles and forts with working drawbridges (it’s amazing what bobbins and string can do), she taught me to imagine that my toys were real in the play moment, the cars, the plastic farm set, the soldiers, the trains. The best gift to my imagination was that mum read to me and taught me to read very early.

Reading took me to other worlds, and worlds I could extend, or place myself in. The Last of the Mohicans, Treasure Island, Pirates and Amazons, The Secret Seven, all fueled my mind and my play and creativity. These gave way to Asimov, Tolkien, CS Lewis, Donaldson, Moorcock, Rowling and more. Best of all were the poets from Donne to Oliver, and music, of course. It flowed out into writing, poetry, painting and more that I have passionately engaged. Imagination gave me new eyes, a different view. Which reminds me of one of my favourite quotes, which is related:

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”  Marcel Proust

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Filed under beach, bush walking, Country, environment, history, life, nature