Tag Archives: nature

An Anamnesis of Joy

Redolent – Word of the Day

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On the road to Jindalee, one of many places where a breakaway occurs creating sharp contrasts in colour and texture.

 

An Anamnesis Of Joy

To listen for the sound where there is none,
save for the elegance of birdsong,
nature’s grand opera.
Or a whistling breeze, when it can be bothered
to sigh along the gullies and through the trees.
The smell of eucalyptus, like laundry day,
nanna removing stains the old way.
Dust in my nostrils as my soles kiss the earth,
the crunch of grit,
and that dry feel of summer’s arrival.
The familiar buzz of flies,
a bead of sweat
released from winter’s cold cell.
And, overwhelmed by a sense of joy,
wanting to tell everyone,
I exclaim, again,
to no one in particular,
“I have no words!”
Just the silent liturgy of feeling,
An anamnesis of joy,
of a past now present once more.

©Paul Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

22 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, nature, poetry, seasons

Celebrating the Incomplete

Esthete -Word of the Day

Also spelt as Aesthete

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Image: thatcreativefeeling.com

Desiring to study the Way of Tea, Sen no Rikyu went to the tea-master Takeeno Joo who set Rikyu the task of tending the garden as a test. Rikyu cleaned to perfection, but before presenting his work to Joo, he shook a cherry tree, causing some blossom to fall to the ground. A little imperfection being the perfect ground. Thus began his journey into returning the tea ceremony and everything associated to its former simplicity.

It is said that the Japanese revere Rikyu as one who understood the aesthetic known as wabi-sabi. Wabi-sabi emerged in the 15th century as a reaction to the aesthetic of very formal and ornate and extravagant art and design of that time. Wabi-sabi is “focussed on the acceptance of impermanence or transcience.” It speaks of “a readiness to accept things as they are.” Or, finding the beauty within imperfections.

Wabi symbolises rustic beauty and quietness, simplicity and quietness. It can also refer to flaws, quirks and abnormalities that occur during production, e.g. pottery, or, as in the case of Rikyu, the blossom disrupting the otherwise perfect garden.

Sabi refers to things whose beauty can only come with age, like weathered timber, green copper, rusted tin. Sabi is said to evoke a sombre feeling very much like autumn.

Wabi-sabi is said to be honest, authentic, organic, modest, incomplete, and where nature, even nature’s corosive power, is celebrated.

Ref: britannica.com, dt.pepperdine.edu (Richard Martin).

How refreshing! I really warm to this aesthetic, and how much we need to embrace it today. Wabi-sabi simplicity could be the antidote to our materialistic, throw-away, plasticised way of living. An acceptance of life as it is. More than cloth bags and organic soap (important as these things are) we/all living things need a modern aesthetic equivalent to wabi-sabi. More imperfection and less sculptured fruit and veg. More authenticity and less keeping up with the Jones’. More incomplete, and evoking a sense of the real. Celebrating nature by engaging nature’s needs. Being organic in every way from relationships, to lifestyle, to purchasing. Accepting things as they are from people to the cosmos. Living with our flaws (shadow aware). How refreshing. I yearn for a bit of Rikyu in all of us.

 

I Love the Flaw in You

Dead center,
on the mantlepiece,
my truest work
as yet.

Soft clay now hard as nails,
its beauty is its cleft.
Its radiance not celadon,
a muddy glaze its skin.

She sits proudly among the celebrated,
offended by their pretence –
perfect, slick, and mass produced,
with images of empire now dead.

As I contemplate my minimum,
I know she goes with me.
The others to the Op-Shop,
or some other recycle path.

This ugly piece of earth,
this imperfect lustred pot,
speaks, shouts, to me of real life,
and how to cope with love.

©Paul Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

25 Comments

Filed under art, environment, history, life, mindfulness, minimalism, nature, Philosophy/Theology, poetry, quote

Nature’s Galleries

Sussurous

Also spelt – sussurus, sussurrous.

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The trail skirts the rock at Elachbutting Nature Reserve.

Nature’s Galleries

Plumes of breath
as warmth greets chill air.
Leaving the cocoon,
I embrace the moment,
solace in the billy.

The sun catches up and,
peaty mounds are steaming.
And despite the damp,
leaves crackle underfoot,
such is the nature of eucalypts.

The haunting sound of sheoaks
rustling in the breeze,
entwining as lovers.
Grasses faintly whipping,
softly sweeping.

The trail fills my nostrils,
woos my ears and delights my eyes.
Birdsong,
that sensual dawn symphony,
joy for the expectant soul.

Soft drizzle a bejewelled gossamer.
captivated, I move along,
one gallery to the next.
A masterpiece on every side,
unseen, curators scuttling along.

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

26 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, Forest, nature, poetry

Finding My Way

Deviate – Word of the Day

Connection

I once took an unknown path that led
across lichen encrusted granite.
I slipped and bruised easily.
But I made it to the top.
However,  it wasn’t really that.

I once walked blindly into solid bush
certain it was virgin.
Scratched, sore and hot,
I found the center and a rusted coke can.
So, it wasn’t quite that.

I once climbed a mountain,
a torutous path.
Wind, rain, burning sun.
I reached the awe inspiring summit.
It was almost that.

I once followed a tiny creek line,
there was no trail.
I heard frogs and birds,the rustle of leaves,
I smelt the humus and the sweet air.
It was close to that.

But it wasn’t my conquest,
or my discovery.
It was something deeper,
It was everywhere and everything,
and it was nowhere in particular.

At once it was synergy,
congruence,
a oneness, a different discovery,
where I belonged in the bosom of the earth,
and it belonged in me.

©Paul Cannon

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When was the last time you varied your route? When did you last enjoy a challenge like a side path or rock outcrop, a creek line, frogs, birds, moist earth?

When out in the bush, any possible path or route is likely to be a deviation for me. I am definitely curious and I love surprises and challenges. So another stop along the Norseman –  Hyden Road along the Woodlands Discovery Trail, just to see. A granite outcrop, a running creek, and a view from the rock, birdsong, and a variety of woodland flora. Well worth the deviation for such simple yet rich pleasures, and oneness.

Paul,

pvcann.com

17 Comments

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

Nature Rejuvenates

Rejuvenate – Word of the DayIMG_3048.jpg

Redbank Gorge, the beauty of carved rock and the body of water, life abundant.

When were you last on the trail? When did you last encounter nature? When did you last stroll a lake, the park, or the beach? When did you last smell a fresh blossom or admire the lush leaf cover of a tree? When did you last appreciate the movement of water or wind?

It may be that nature doesn’t do it for you, but I can say without a doubt that nature rejuvenates me, body, mind and soul. To smell the air, unlike urban air, unlike carbon infused air, is refreshing. To bask in the warth of the unimpeded glow of the sun is refreshing. To hear the sound of water lapping a shore or singing over rocks is refreshing. To hear and feel the sound of rain, wind, thunder, hail is refreshing. To hear the curlew, owl, honeyeater or magpie is refreshing. Somehow all these things stir my soul, open my eyes – the eyes of my heart. I live in awe of the beauty, but also the depth of nature to speak into my life differently to buildings, concrete, politics, conflict, ego, machinery, drudge, stress … Nature is unpredictable (in the main), uncontainable, it is its very own and no other. Nature is owned by no one, and speaks for itself without agenda. It is truly free to include me (if I am willing of course) and release me through its freshness, its beauty, its uncomplicated relational way of being, and its overwhelming gift of humilty and vulnerability are priceless.

Whether it be birdsong, crickets, cicadas, or the sight of fish in the water, a tortoise on a mission, a kangeroo escaping, or a dolpin in conversation, nature has an impact on my daily being. Nature can be my solace, my meditation, my prayer, my friend, my antibiotic, my next breath …

Nature is something that brings me youthfulness, breath, a sense of being, an awareness of the present moment, and understanding of otherness and a sense of self. Nature is where I refresh, recharge, reframe. In nature I rejuvenate, I am new, playful, differently aware. I hope you are too.

Old branches reach up
ravaged by wind and sun
birds sing me life

©Paul Cannon

Paul

pvcann.com

36 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Haiku, life, mindfulness, 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

 

21 Comments

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

15 Comments

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 living.

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

5 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