Tag Archives: nature

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

Small Is Beautiful

Micro

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(Photo: © Hayden Cannon)

Coccinellidae, or the humble Lady Bug as most of us would say. Definitely not micro, but definitely small. One of nature’s equalizers, it feeds on aphids, and therefore helps the market gardener, the floriculture industry, and the home gardener. Small but critical to the balance of nature.

Humans are not micro either, but we are the species that has an impact on the environment beyond our size. The creatures bigger than us have less impact on the environment. We are not particularly good at keeping a balance in nature, in fact, since the eighteenth century, humanity has pushed nature hard. I’m quite certain that if the Northern White Rhino had been crucial to agriculture or market gardening, or if the rhino could produce honey, or tea tree oil, it would still be with us. But, if we can’t save the rhino, what can we save? Or, more pointedly, what are we willing to save?

The way I see it, our carbon foot-print has to become micro in order to create a balance in nature that will enable all life forms to co-exist naturally. It’s not all doom and gloom though. There is some excellent work being done in alternative agricultural and horticultural practices, and in manufacturing too. The use of technology to resize and reorder how industry and commerce work (drones, micro-computers), where machinery cannot be decreased in size, it is streamlined and made more efficient. The attention to urban planning and using density as an option is (though hotly disputed by some academics) working well in cities like Melbourne (and, as yet, on a small scale). It seems we are coming to grips in some areas with the largess of our

The Lady Bug doesn’t just live for itself, it lives in a critical relationship with its predators and with its food sources as a predator. The Lady Bug is a great natural example (among many) for us, to live in a balanced, reciprocal, relationships. That sort of harmony is sacrificial, and if we want to live well, and if we want nature to survive, then we need to adopt the give and take of the Lady Bug, and the principle of sacrifice.

Paul,

pvcann.com

3 Comments

Filed under environment, farming, life, mindfulness, nature, Uncategorized

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

19 Comments

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

We Can All Restart

via Daily Prompt: Restart

 

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I’m always amazed at the resilience of nature. This section of the Bibbulmun Track had suffered an intense bushfire in 2014, but as we walked it, we encountered nature’s restart or recovery. In particular the eucalypts are hardy and you can see the regrowth along the burnt branches, and the regeneration in the grass trees or xanthorroea in the foreground. We were walking in the spring of 2015, so two winters had washed over the section and helped in the regeneration.

The resilience of nature is not indistinct from trees or animals, all living things demonstrate a hardy capacity to survive, adapt and recover from hardship, even regenerate after near annihilation. No less humans. Surviving cancer, divorce, near death, redundancy, the onset of debilatating health problems, disability and more, are all effects that people have demonstrated not just survival, but a capacity to turn their lives around and start again.

I think one of the greatest examples would have to be Nelson Mandela, who determined a change in his political goals and style, and in how he would lead. As he sat in prison on Robben Island (Mandela was incarcerated in a number of prisons, but spent most time at Robben Island) he determined that he could not continue as he had begun, but rather, he needed to let go of bitterness.

Mandela said  “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

And, not unlike the regrowth of the Eucalypts after a bushfire, Mandela experiences a personal regrowth by letting go the past, and letting go the potential attendant bitterness and hatred that, he acknowledges, would cripple him and indeed, imprison him. He lets go. He literally blooms. And the result is recovery, he restarts his life and becomes a gift to his own people, and in the end a gift to all peoples.

We all need to review our lives, we all need to attend and be aware of what we need to let go of lest it cripple us and therefore determine our lives in the negative.

We all have the capacity to restart, and constantly.

Paul,

pvcann.com

18 Comments

Filed under bush walking, community, environment, life, mindfulness, nature, Philosophy/Theology, psychology, Restorative Justice, self-development

Conversant With Nature?

via Daily Prompt: Conversant

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One of my favourite places, the main beach at Augusta, clean, pristine, and great for everyone. There are dune protection programs, a series of specified paths, signs about protecting the Sand Pipers who breed there, and also for the possums too. The State govt recently imposed a ban on plastic shopping bags, and the community are supportive of that goal. The problems are few here, mainly the threat of bushfire, or the one or two people who flout the accepted behaviour for using the beach, river, or the forest trails.

I may not be fully conversant with all things environmental science, but I do feel conversant with nature, for me there is a sentience, a relationship with all beings. The result of that sense of relationship is more than just awe for nature, I have a respect for and desire to engage with nature. The interdependent relationships we survive with and thrive on are finely balanced and require care and attention. Any loss is more than just regrettable, it is permanently damaging, and in some cases, cataclysmic. Plastic islands in the ocean, plastic sand (grains of plastic) in the Mediterranean, marine and terrestrial creatures bound or damaged by fabrics, salinity, air pollution, and more, are a major concern.

As we continue to battle human rights and have made sweeping changes in some areas of human rights, it seems that we are not yet conversant with the rights and needs of nature across the world. Time is short, and nature needs us to be conversant with its needs now and its future. The irony is, the UN are in dialogue over space law, especially the treatment of the Mars environ by the Mars One team, yet we haven’t really ironed out a binding agreement on earth that gives nature a voice of its own. Ecuador has already stepped up (in 2014) and shown the way: “We the people assume the authority to conduct and Ethics Tribunal for the Rights of Nature. We will investigate cases of environmental destruction, which violate the rights of nature.” (Prosecutor for the Earth at the first International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Quito, Ecuador, January 2014). A sign of hope.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Filed under beach, bush walking, community, Country, environment, life, nature, Restorative Justice, Science

Viable

via Daily Prompt: Viable

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How anything lives in this great southern land is amazing. From rock hard clay and gravels, to granite and sandstone, to deep alkaline sands. The tree in the photo has seeded in a shallow crack of this granite rock and it is making its way against all odds. A bit like nature in general, given that we now know the crisis the planet is facing. To be viable is to be able to live, to thrive, to flourish. Via meaning way, ble meaning the completion of the verb to be, making way, living. The way I see it we can’t just be individuals, we must make way together, we must be a network of communities or ecosystems supporting and respecting each other, that is the only viable option for all species. And together we must set down roots of mutuality and turn the tide. Together we can make a way.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under bush walking, community, life, nature

Boxing Day Proclivity

via Daily Prompt: Proclivity

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Well everyday really. But today was a day for all of us to get out and into nature. This is the spot where two oceans meet, the Southern ocean and the Indian Ocean, on our south west corner, salt water meets fresh water, oceans meeting, rich ecological interconnections, a great place to be. There is (I read it somewhere) a tale that speaks of where two oceans meet being the safe place when nature is in danger. I’m glad I have that proclivity for nature, and tales, that has lead me here, it’s a leaning that has refreshed and inspired me time and again. Today was just that, refreshing.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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

Bliss

Bliss

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The road taken, the trail traversed, the track experienced, this is my bliss. It plays into aspects of my life not walking related, the roads taken in reading, painting, gardening, meals, friendships, driving … There are friends along the way, sister tree, brother rock, birds, marsupials, fish, so much to enjoy and take in, and get to know in some way. The road taken might mean another or others not taken, but so be it, and as Frost says, this one “has made all the difference.” Though, clearly, he could have said the same had he walked the other one. But, and I agree, the road less travelled is somehow more inviting. Perhaps its the liminance of choice, the threshold that is truly delicious?

And, speaking of Robert Frost, one of the truly great poets in my estimation, wrote this wonderful poem, a poem which is ingrained in my psyche, a poem I have embodied, and which in part goes some to explaining my bliss of bush walking and love of nature. I tell it with a sigh, a sigh of longing, and a sigh of love.

The Road Not Taken (Robert Frost)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveller, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Absolutely,

Paul,

pvcann.com

18 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, life, poetry, Spirituality

Egg

via Daily Prompt: Egg

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Community gardens are such fun, they bring people together from all walks of life, they offer opportunity and learning, they provide purpose and give to all who participate. This photo is from the community garden at the back of St. Luke’s church hall, Maylands. We were given several chickens. Lots of people turned up over a couple of weekends to create the garden and many contributed to the construction of a chook pen. Within a few weeks of settling the chooks in the eggs started coming along. It was a shared thing, the most needy at the top of the list, and so on, as egg distribution took off.

The eggs were raised in organic conditions, and they were fabulous. Eggs are nature’s multi-gift, they can be used in so many dishes, and for so many meals. which is a metaphor for nature itself, the gift that diversely keeps giving, at least, until we completely ruin it.

Paul,

pvcann.com

4 Comments

Filed under Country, life, nature