Category Archives: bush walking

Conscious Authenticity

via Daily Prompt: Authentic

IMG_2898.jpg

Sunset at Uluru, one of my many favourite photos of the rock, taken last year. Uluru is a well known Aussie icon. Primarily it is an indigenous sacred site, but in a broader sense it is a well known visual associated with Australia as a country. For us Uluru is as authentic as it gets for an icon, along with the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. But Uluru is a natural wonder. The icons created by human endeavour are sleek, well designed and engineered, repaired and maintained. But Uluru was forged through time, weathered, beaten by the elements, sometimes shedding its skin as layers peeled off. It is old and wise and has many stories to tell, It has scars and wounds to show beneath its grandeur and striking presence.

We are a little like that. Forged through time, we grow and develop, mature. Along the way we are a little weathered, and beaten by the elements. And there are, perhaps, times when we psychologically shed our skin. We may well feel our age, but not many of us would admit to being wise – usually that is a label applied by others who experience us, and yet, in my experience,  every person carries a wisdom of their own. And we certainly have many stories to tell, especially because we have wounds and scars that are our story.

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. 
"It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, 
long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you 
become Real.'
 
"Does it hurt?" Asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes." said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 
"When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, 
"or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. 
It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people 
who break easily, or have sharp edges, or have to be carefully kept. 
Generally, by the time yo are Real, most of your hair has been loved 
off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very 
shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are 
real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand. 

Margery Williams Bianco "The Velveteen Rabbit"

Unless we risk love, unless we risk vulnreability, we cannot become, we cannot be, And we cannot be real. The sort of risk I understand is expressed perfectly by the Skin Horse, that we loved and held to the point that we are both hurt and yet whole. But in the main it is our scars and wounds that really make us. They don’t define us, they help make us, help us to become, help us to grow and be authentic.

To be authentic isn’t to be a thing, to be some predetermined you, to be ‘someone’. Authenticity doesn’t come down from the heavens, it isn’t randomly assigned to you. To be authentic is to simply be the you you already are. But you can’t be that person unless you risk the scars and wounds of living, it is a slow thing, it takes a long time, but it is to have lived and to have been real.

As Brene Brown has said: “Authenticity is not something we have or don’t have. It’s a practice – a conscious choice of how we want to live. Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”

I really like that, “Life is a collection of choices.”  and, that it is “a practice, a conscious choice.” Authenticity is something we can do.

Paul,

pvcann.com

24 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, life, mindfulness, psychology, quote, self-development, Uluru 17

Prolific

via Photo Challenge: Prolific

S4300040.jpg

Hakea Laurina, one of many Hakeas. A prolific flowering tree, and a beauty to behold, one the glories of the Australian bush.

Paul,

pvcann.com

11 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, nature, Uncategorized

Deplete or Regrow?

via Daily Prompt: Deplete

IMG_0123.jpg

Another shot of one of my many favourite spots – Boranup Forest. This a Karri Forrest in Western Australia’s South West corner. The additional beauty of it is that it is a re-growth forest. All the woodlands of Western Australia’s southern half were depleted from the time of the arrival of the first while colonists and into the 1960s, when people became more aware of the damage and danger instripping our forests, and the fragility of life in some the biospheres.

Trees were cut down in swathes for fire-wood, railway sleepers, locomotive and stationary engine fuel, building materials, and simply stripped out to provide farming land. Land 400 kms east of Perth was decimated in the harvest of timber for the railways and private consumption, as well as the highly prized market for sandalwood. Photographs of the era show depleted vegetation for hundreds of kilometres in every direction. Much of this is now State Reserve and regrowth has been successful.

MC Davies was the principal mill owner and operator at Boranup from 1886 – 1910, Karri was logged and milled for local and international export. The operation ceased in 1910, but not before massive clearing of the ancient forest had left it decimated. Farming was introduced where the forest was cleared, but in the 1920s the State government encouraged a regrowth forest, the results of which we see today. Amazing really, this forest is only 107 yrs old, and yet it looks like it’s been there for a lot longer.

This regrowth forest is also saying something else. As humans we have the capacity for blind, selfish, consumption. We also have a wonderful capacity to help heal our natural environs. For me, the various regrowth forests are a sign of hope, that we can make it in the scramble to halt global warming and work with climate change. If we can manage to sucesfully establish a regrowth forest, then surely there is much more we can put our minds to and achieve. The regrowth forests are, for me, a metaphor for the regrowth of our relationship with all life forms. when we regrow or restore or heal relationships of all forms, we in turn grow, and are also restored and healed.  There is a mutuality and vitality, a flourishing, when we respect other forms of life.

Paul,

pvcann.com

10 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, environment, life, mindfulness

3 Day Quote Challenge

Day Two

IMG_0574.jpg

Taken at a junction on the River Walk above Flat Rock, Augusta.

"... Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference."

From: 'The Road Not Taken' by Robert Frost

When I chose this one it dawned on me that I had another ‘road’  or direction quote. Well, so be it. Life is indeed a journey along a path – our path. And that is Frost’s point, we have choices, they are our choices as to which way to go. At the heart of these lines is the call to authenticity, will we go the road well travelled – the predictable, comfortable, everybody is doing it road; or the road less travelled – the one that is going to stretch us, deepen us, cause us to question (and question ourselves), enable us to grow, the one that includes pain or discomfort, love and love lost ….?

Frost, ever the subtle poet, guides us discretely to the thought that authenticity is about being true to self and honouring that which only we can bring to the world, to community. This not new, but Frost is original and profound, giving a new angle on life through his own experience. For Frost, the authentic person can only be truly themselves if they take their own path. It is an acknowledgement that no one can carry us or do it for us, no one else can be us. Frost doesn’t preach or moralise, he simply honours his own authenticity with – “And that has made all the difference.”  He rejoices in his choice to go his way, to therefore become himself, no matter what he meets along the way.

Today’s Nominations:

On A Mission

Soul Therapist

Moira

Paul,

pvcann.com

11 Comments

Filed under bush walking, community, Country, life, mindfulness, poetry, quote

Awakening in the Bush

via Photo Challenge: Awakening

IMG_0090

Last spring near Mayanup, one of those scenes so common in the bush, the wildflowers awaken and disturb the sedate tones of sepia that is our winter scape with rich colours. The rains soak into the soil, the sun warms and the seeds respond, an awakening of visual delight, and food for the soul.

Paul,

pvcann.com

19 Comments

Filed under bush walking, nature

Froth, Perhaps the Best of Us

via Daily Prompt: Froth

IMG_2380

Taken a while back, the Blackwood River on the north side of Boyup Brook, froth in the foreground, foam to the middle left.

Froth in water, be it lakes, rivers, creeks or the ocean, is generally a combination of pressure or agitation (so, rushing water, or crashing waves creating bubbles), the matter from decomposing plants such as oils (in Australia one significant culprit is eucalyptus), dead plant tissues, dust making froth or foam, and protein (which is also a common contributor to foam in expelled urine). Many people imagine that someone has dumped detergent in the water, given the dramatic effect of the froth or foam, and yet it is all natural ingredients contributing to the phenomena.

Froth or foam is not ordinarily considered to be a negative. That which occurs naturally in water is quite normal and shows nature in process. In some circles a froth on top of a glass of beer is considered a good thing as it indicates that the beer is not flat or lacking. In firefighting foam has been utilized in combating fires involving flammable liquids, the foam restricts oxygen thus preventing fire. Detergent froth and foam is seen as useful in that the foam is the detergent becoming active when needed. And we have all at some point utilized pretrochemical foams in mattresses and pillows, etc. But froth and foam have been used negatively in literature. The old saying, “it’s all froth and bubble” is a form of ridicule applied to any situation you wish to criticise:- The speech was all froth and bubble” meaning, the speech was lacking substance.

Everything has its good and not so good side, or, everything has both strengths and weaknesses, froth and foam are no different. But the weaknesses are few and overall froth and foam make such a valualble contribution to nature and to life. In some ways we can see froth and foam as a metaphor for ourselves. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. I have a view that our weaknesses are few in comparison to our strengths, and we all make a valuable contribution, and often not just in our core vocation, but in what my grandparents might have considered stuff that was froth and bubble – hobbies, interests, leisure activities, creativity – the things that make us come alive, energise us and carry us (and others with us) through.

Froth and foam are the result of aggitation and energy and natural ingredients, this is not unlike ourselves. When we are aggitated, put under pressure, stimulated, enabled, we can produce all sorts of creative things. Froth and bubble are signs of life, signs of substance, a parallel to cream – the best rising to the top. When we are energised the creative rises to the top, sometimes dramatically, and for all to see, just like frothy waves, or foam enveloped waters. Life is not all froth and bubble, but when the good and the creative rises to the top it is to be seen, shared and celebrated.

Paul,

pvcann.com

25 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, life, mindfulness, nature

Rush

via Daily Prompt: Rush

IMG_0087.jpg

I took this photo when Jon and I went to Bluff Knoll a couple of years ago. It was raining towards the top, and given the the sides of the mount were almost vertical in long sections, the rain rushed, hurtled down in streams. I love the sound of rushing water, it is something I’ve liked since I was a child, and this day was no different, it was a real treat. The other experience, inevitable really, was that we got soaked, and I didn’t mind that either. When I was a kid I’d run around without my raincoat on and rejoice in the rain. To play on the word rush, I got a rush out of the rain, and out of the rushing water.

Over the years I’ve experienced a rush in different ways, the usual suspects, drugs, alcohol, sugars, speed, abseiling, sport, travelling, bush walking, and the list goes on. It took time to learn to simply enjoy the moment, to attend to the experience as it was without seeking after it. It took time too, to emmerse in the experience without just consuming it. Of course it was partly learning and maturing, but it was also learning to let go and to deepen in the experience. There is something about experiencing a rush, a peak moment, to reach the pinnacle, but to do so without rushing it because the quality is richer and lasting. Not everything has to be immediate.

Who could forget the clasic Aesop fable ‘The Tortoise and the Hare” where the hare presumes to beat the slow moving tortiose, and yet through over-confidence and arrogance loses. Aesop simply making an observation about life, it’s how we are when we don’t immerse and attend.

I love this quote from Tolstoy: “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” and Rousseau: “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” The reverse is also true.

Paul,

pvcann.com

15 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, life, mindfulness, nature, Spirituality

The Inchoate Life

via Daily Prompt: Inchoate

What is the sound of?

The inchoate Zen koan!

IMG_0102.jpg

Steps?! More an inchoate mess. On the day I cursed these, they had deterorated and certainly hinderd rather than helped the climb. Some sections were good, but around 400 metres of this and you soon tire. However it was worth the agony just to achieve the summit. Coming down was no easier.

A kind of parallel to my life –  incomplete, messy, no less easier after the climb through youth. Tough steps. But worth every minute and all the effort, and more to come. An inchoate life.

Paul,

pvcann.com

13 Comments

Filed under bush walking, environment, life, mindfulness

Explore

via Daily Prompt: Explore

IMG_2558.jpg

One of my shots of Jindalee (Giles Breakaway). The Great Central Road and the roads that intersect it, the places along the way, have well and truly been traversed over two hundred years of exploration, mineral exploration, pastoral leases and tourism. But for us (Lyn, Su, Geoff) it was a time of exploration – it was the first time we’d been out there. As I looked out across to the east of the breakaway, I wondered what visual and geographic delights lay beyond. I was happy to camp for a time and explore the breakaway, and even happier to drive on into our unknown and see what was up ahead.

That has been my life up to this moment, that inner exploration. For me there is always that interesting intersection of living in the present moment, savouring the past for the treasure it has yielded, and looking to the next step, yearning to grow, to be more fully present, more in the experience, less attached to the material. Keeping the balance is the key, learning to love the past without clinging to it, rejoicing in the real now, and embodying the tension of possibility in tomorrow without trying to make it happen. I have worked hard at begining to let go the past, and I don’t always plan tomorrow, in fact, it is often said of me that I like to live in chaos – creative chaos I might add! Progress, though I smile, it comes with age and experience. Yet one must attend, be aware.  Even so, it is still a great achievement when I can just be in the present moment, and today, for a time, was just one of those moments. It always takes my breath away, and I am grateful for it.

I am one of life’s explorers, a soul on a journey of self discovery. I hope you are too.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

12 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, environment, life, mindfulness, nature, self-development, Spirituality

Frantic

via Daily Prompt: Frantic

Sheep drinking at a dam.jpg

I parked the ute as usual by the garage, I was just stopping in for lunch, and soon would drive out again. Barely through the front door and Lyn is frantically calling to me, “Have you seen Hayden and (his friend) Nathan?”

“No” I replied. “What’s wrong?” “I called the boys for lunch, but they’re not responding and I walked out to the places they’d normally be, but nothing.” “Okay, I’ll drive the top end of the paddock, you take the home block.” And off we set, tooting, yelling, whistling, calling, but no sign of the boys.

Now I was frantic too, I stopped to check the granite outcrops, then the creek line, and then with some trepidation, my heart in my throat, I drove out to the dam, looking but not wanting to look, barely breathing. Relief flooding in that there were only sheep there.

Somehow we managed to time our return to the farmhouse, and no luck. I drove out again with lyn behind, and then suddenly,  there they were, jumping out from behind some rocks and laughing. It had been a huge joke for them, seeing us frantic and playing hidey! Apparently it was fun to watch us driving around and shouting out. It was that weird moment of anger and relief. That moment when you realise just how tense you have been in the moment, sweating, rasping, dry mouth, pressure around the forehead. It took some time for my pulse to settle. I worked much harder that afternoon. The boys took it to heart, thankfully, that it was not quite so funny for us.

Paul,

pvcann.com

6 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, Farm, life, nature