Tag Archives: bush

The Thin Place

via Daily Prompt: Thin

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Photo: My thin places are the bush: A walk trail near Bridgetown.

The ancient Celts believed that there were places one could go where people and the spirit world could touch. The Celtic influence on Christianity was such that this belief carried over, that the veil between heaven and earth was thin or transparent. The barrier between human and the divine were almost non-existent. For the ancient Celts these places were mostly forrest groves, but in other cultures they are rivers, billabongs, monoliths, mountain-tops, caves and more.

Not the same, but related in some aspects, the Australian Indigenous peoples created songlines, which trace the creation of the land, the fauna and lore, by ancestral spirits. Indigenous Australians used the songlines as navigation paths, for social connection, cultural knowledge – especially coming to know the flora and fauna, the availability of water, the types of seasons, and how it all came to be. Songlines are places to touch the past and the present.

My thin places are in the bush, these are liminal, threshold places, where the mind transcends the ordinary, where the soul is restored, where the heart is lifted, and the eyes are filled.

Thin places might be Angkor Wat, Machu Picchu, Uluru, Chartres Cathedral, the Pyramids, the Himalayas, the stars, meditation, music, art, and more, places or experiences of place that awaken the soul to something more, something outside the self, something veiled but near. Whether or not this is a spiritual experience or a transcendence of some other kind, thin places are restorative, they are places of contemplation, places of beauty, awe, play, rest, and renewal. We all need thin places, we will know them differently, but we will know them. They are treasures to fill the soul.

John O’Donohue wrote: “When you begin to sense that your imagination is the place where you are most divine, you feel called to clean out of your mind all the worn and shabby furniture of thought. You wish to refurbish yourself with living thought so that you can begin to see.”

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Nature As Talisman

via Daily Prompt: Talisman

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When I was in primary school one boy created a bit of discussion one day because he brought along a rabbits foot, and he explained that this was his lucky charm. I was bemused. I never had one, though I had some favourite things that were sentimental and had I lost them I would have felt out of kilter, but no talisman as such.

I have a book that belonged to my great uncle Davey who died near Arnhem, Netherlands, during WW2, it is somehow a connection to the past. It is a large book, written for adults but yet fits the description ‘ripping yarns’ a bit like the ‘Biggles’ stories for those who knew them. I had a fave knitted red t-shirt that I’d had for years, it had holes in it, fibreglass stains and etc. I still had it when I got married. Lyn threw it out while I was at work one day! We now ask before disposing 😂 I still have a bedside lamp that was modelled on the story and cartoon character ‘Noddy’, I might repair it one day, it’s sentimental. But really, if these were taken from me, I’d grieve a bit, but eventually I’d not miss them, after all they are merely material.

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The labyrinth is for me a practice of meditation, but it is also a symbol of life, reflection and journey. It comes closest to talisman, as I would miss this if it were taken from me, it is important to my rhythm and balance, it is life giving.

But even more than that, the photo at the top, which shows a segment of Billyacatting Nature Reserve near Nungarin, was a regular haunt when I needed to meditate and take time out from long days of driving vast distances. Why is this a talisman? Well, because for me it is life giving and healing. I find natural spaces enable wholeness and awareness more readily than built environs. I come alive in the bush in ways I don’t or can’t in urban spaces. I’m certain I would go on living if I lived in a major city, one like Beijing or Tokyo, LA, London etc., but I wouldn’t thrive, I’d merely survive in such places. But give me the bush and time to walk it, soak it up, commune, meditate, and engage with it, and I am revived, refreshed, and whole. The bird song, the smell of the earth, the blossoms, eucalyptus and other smells, the visual feast, for me the bush, and all that constitutes it, is my Talisman.

What’s your talisman?

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under bush walking, Country, environment, labyrinth, life, meditation, mindfulness, nature, Spirituality

Can You Hear That?

via Photo Challenge: Silence

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Can you hear that? No? Exactly, relative silence.

Gordon Hempton and John Crossman published their book ‘One Square Inch of Silence’ back in 2009. It was an attempt to highlight the need for silence for healthy living and for the environemnt in general. It is a noise control project and has had some positive responce from commerce and industry in the US which is where the study was based. The book is a great read, and is really a biography of Hempton’s physical journey to establish if one square inch of silence could be found.

The photo is of Jindalee Breakaway, and there, there was the sound of birds, and wind, and nought else. But the search for outer silence is one thing, and can never trump the search for inner silence. My meditation teacher always said, you should be able to meditate in an airport lounge. And I laughed then, but now I know it to be true.

But the double bonus for me, as some of you know, is to meditate in the bush – this is a literal heaven. There I am nourished and truly flourish and become whole.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Cherish

Cherish

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There are so many things I cherish, I could be writing for weeks. But one in particular stands out (and which would be no surprise to readers of this blog), and that is the bush. The open road is always calling me, and I cherish the opporunity, time, and experiences that come with it. there is never a dull moment, and there is plenty of time to reflect and attend to what needs to be attended to. In fact, my experience of the bush is that it raises the things I need to atend to, it opens me up and enables me to be vulnerable, observant, and reflective. Awareness, that’s worth cherishing.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Prefer

via Daily Prompt: Prefer

I prefer this: (Photos mine: A breakaway before Jindalee, and a section of Jarrah Loop Walks, Bridgetown).

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To this: (Photo from Wiki Commons: Anshan City skyline)

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I know people need to live and work, but city living, though convenient for some things, is not for me. Give me the bush any day. I rejoice in the small house movement, and I rejoice in the rooftop gardens, vertical gardens, community gardens, but I still prefer the bush to the city. I wonder that we could have thought urban living differently if only we had valued nature above productivity and conquest.

I find peace and contentment in the bush, it’s where I feel most whole, but I feel busy and fragmented in the city. My experience of the bush is relational, I feel a part of it, and I know my dependence on it, I value the life of the bush which nurtures me, I don’t get that from the city.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Exceptional

via Daily Prompt: Exceptional

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On our recent trip out bush, we stopped in Gwalia for a time and had a look at the museum. Steam engines, steam locomotives, ancient motor vehicles of all types. And there were graders too, as shown above. They were amazing pieces of machinery, tractor or horse drawn, but those who operated them must have been exceptional given that they were working in very demanding situations in the bush. Making those dirt roads and maintaining them must have been bloody hard work in those harsh and unforgiving conditions. When you look at the sophisticated machinery of today (computerised, gps, airconditioned cabs) and the fact that it is still hard work, it makes me wonder how much harder it was with flimsy, basic machinery like in this photo. It would have required strength and patience, wisdom and commitment, and for months on end.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

 

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What Interests Me

via Daily Prompt: Interest

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What interests me is always, whats over that rise, what’s round that corner, what’s next?I love bush walking, and I always love the invitation of the bush to take that next step, to anticipate a wonderful surprise, to find yet another refreshing vista. I’m never disappointed, always surprised. It lifts my soul, clears my head.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Pamper

Pamper

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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.

Paul

pvcann.com

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Visceral

via Daily Prompt: Visceral

 

What moves you? The gut is where we feel it, hence the connection of viscera or gut tissue with feelings. Injustice, grief, injury, insult, passion, joy, love. Music, art, poetry. Nature. All visceral because we have a gut response. The Greeks had a wonderfully expressive word for it splanchna (σπλαγχνα), which to my ear sounds like a word for guts. Say it a few times and you’ll get the same feeling I’m sure.

Many things move me. I have music that transports me to other dimensions, art that evokes many responses, poetry that I dearly love, photos that help me re-member (to member back together the body of knowledge), relationships that speak love without actually speaking.

I am also deeply saddened by pain and hurt in  my life and in the world. The plight of refugees, the ever abiding issue of debilitating and alienating poverty, racism, sexism, classism, and ismism. The many stories of brutalised people bring tears.

One of the more visceral joys for me is to spend time with Lyn and friends taking in the Australian bush. I wonder how many of you find the bush somehow, perhaps difficult to put into words, spiritual or life-giving?

The bush for me is smells, colours, textures, even visceral in its own gutsyness, yet also its fragility. It is place to recover, refresh, rediscover and reframe. I feel healthier, more aware, more myself, after days in the bush.

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The Photo shows part of Jindalee (Giles Breakaway), it was a wonderful time there, and one to revisit. I hope you have a favourite place to go to.

pvcann.com

 

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