The Harvest

Three months ago I moved to this lovely place by the river. A priority was enriching the soil, and growing organic vegetables again. Today I harvested the first lettuce – an oak leaf variety. The first flowers on the bush beans are peeking through as are those on the cucurbits. It is exciting! Each day there is a fresh surprise awaiting me in the garden.

Gardening is a process that can’t be hurried. When I build a new garden bed, I collect the animal manures – sheep and horse at the moment. These are put on top of the ground, lightly dug in, watered well and then covered with straw. Several weeks must pass before the alchemy is complete. The result is a dark soil, rich in humus and energised by earthworms and millions of microbes who play a vital role in the process.

So when I say “I grew this”, I’m telling just part of the story. It is only with the help of the seen and the unseen below the surface that the miracle of growth occurs.

My humble thanks to all the seen and unseen who help me to live on this Earth.

Bunyip, kangaroo or illusion?

Today the bunyip appeared in the form of a kangaroo. The ‘roo and the horse seemed equally surprised to see the other. Then the ‘roo hopped away to a nearby gully and the horse moved to her usual grazing area. Calmly.

Often I have found, that once I bring my fear out into the open, it subsides, or disappears completely. If it doesn’t, at least I can see what I’m dealing with. It’s when it is lurking in the shadows that it’s most dangerous because then it’s running the show, and I’m the puppet. I’d much rather be dancing on my own than having my strings pulled.

Bunyips

A bunyip has moved into the reeds by the river-road crossing. For days now, my horse has ‘spooked’ and needs my presence to ‘protect’ her as she goes across to her grazing. Previously, she would stroll across unconcerned.

I suppose we all have our bunyips. That something which lurks about, waiting to snatch us in an unguarded moment.

Who do you have to offer you safe passage? Who or what steadies you when something threatens to pull you under?

Communion

It has been a heartening morning, a welcome respite after the painful physical challenges of the past few days. Before dawn, while still in that state that exists between worlds, I saw and felt myself dancing, dancing as light as air, twirling and moving effortlessly. Such a contrast to how it has been.

A cool breeze was about early after sunup, and I felt strong enough to go riding, so saddled up and headed off into the hills. Riding along, leaving the farmed paddocks behind and moving into grazing land, into land with more scrub, trees and grasses. The land more as it was before the white invasion. At the top of the first range, I took a different turning and headed northwards, exploring new territory. The vegetation changed, there were many desert she-oaks, one of my favourite trees. As the wind moves through the branches it makes a soothing sound, quite different to most other trees. Looking skywards I could see two eagles spiraling, their massive wings catching the rising air currents. I was feeling better all the time! Exploring new territory excites me, never knowing what may be around the next bend or over the next rise. Today, I was not disappointed. The horse and I had followed a ridge along, and as the ground began to drop steeply, we pulled up to survey the view.

And what a sight it was. A hillside covered in yackas, the grass trees, which were widespread in this district before land clearing decimated their numbers. They were interspersed by more she-oaks and clumps of stiff kangaroo grass. As I gazed at them, I found tears rolling down my face. The unspoilt land reaches out and touches me, it reaches into my heart, softens me, it is communion.

Our song, our gift

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer –

it sings because it has a song”

Chinese proverb

 

Listening to the little bird singing in the river reeds, and marveling at it’s song. It is a small, plain, brown bird but what it lacks in colourful plumage, it more than makes up for with it’s melodic tones and various tunes. Most of the time the bird is hidden from view, but it’s glorious song fills the air.

Another bird in this area, is called the rainbow bird because it does have colourful plumage. It is quite an acrobatic flyer, and while it’s song is distinctive, it is more just one note repeated, rather than a song.

Do these birds compare themselves with each other? I doubt it very much. The reed bird doesn’t say – “oh I’m such a plain bird, I have nothing to say” The reed bird just expresses what is there. As does the rainbow bird, each in their own unique way.

We all have our special gift. If we fail to be ourselves, our gift stays unopened, unshared.

Thank you little birds, for reminding me to sing my song.

The wind

The wind began before dawn, a hot drying wind. Some birds, fewer in number than usual, were flying about earlier, but as the morning progresses, even they are taking shelter. A day when the creatures know it’s best to retreat, and wait it out.

The land around here is a mixture of grazing and cropping. Due to recent rain, the grazing land has green grass, albeit not lush. But the cropping land is tinder dry, harvest is in full swing and every farmer has firefighting equipment at the ready. A tiny spark from machinery, fanned by the wind, can quickly erupt into an inferno. Just as a careless word can spark an argument, a misunderstanding.

So let’s follow the example of the creatures. On days such as this, days when we feel buffeted – by the wind, by emotions, by the elements around us, let’s simply retreat to a place of quiet. The inner sanctum. Of stillness. Of peace.

Death

Many types and forms of death are there; the egg kicked out by the broody hen, the weak chick turned out of the nest, the stillborn calf, the withered seed, the seedling snapped by wind, the idea that never reaches fruition, the hopes that fade away, the painful ending of a relationship. All of these have one thing in common, that is, they don’t appear to have gone through the natural cycle and had a natural death. Or so it seems. Perhaps it simply was not the time for that life. Perhaps it was deformed, weak, insubstantial. Perhaps it was simply an illusion. I am learning to see that there are many perspectives. Learning that all is not as it seems. Learning that what I want is not necessarily what I need. Learning how painful it is to say goodbye to what might have been but now never will be. But also knowing that this learning is what I must do, that in order to be true to myself I must be willing to acknowledge death in all its many forms.