a shock of silence!
the crested cockatoo has fled
purple blossoms sigh
Under a new moon, at the turning of the earth towards summer, I sit at my table out on the deck, the candle flickering as the last stragglers of the bat community head over east, and I, a being once so addicted to “everywhere-but-here”, a global gaddabout of the first order, so easily seduced by salubrious memories of living and working and loving in Europe, North America, India, the Homeland (Aotearoa New Zealand), always ready to go – go – go now, am wallowing in a ridiculous contentment that consumes all desire to spend precious energy fleeing the inexplicable luxury of just this.
How, when my inhalation blesses me with the fragrance of Jasmine, Lavender, Wisteria, Orange and Mango blossom and I am giddy with double delight* at the excessive glory of the huge Bauhinia in my backyard, could I pine for any other clime?
How, when Kookaburra, Currawong, Magpie, uncountable Lorikeets and a host of unidentified cheepers and warblers chorus so insistently at 4am could I wish for a dark, cold, silent dawn elsewhere?
How, when greeted, like this morning, with a sky of powder-blue that throws the Border Ranges and Mount Warning into a chiaroscuro of subtle tones of silver, could I long even for those beloved Alps of my childhood?
I bless the land life has brought me to. It wasn’t my call, and it hasn’t always been easy. But I know beyond a shadow of doubt, it was, and it is, exactly where I need to be.
I am at last able to say – I love I love I love this sunburnt country.
And the weird thing is that it’s not about Australia at all.
I am simply and hopelessly in love.
Image by yours truly: Bauhinia blakeana – also known as the Hong Kong Orchid Tree. More info here.
*Treble delight actually – the tree is a dynamo of insect activity, and the Rainbow Lorikeets never draw breath.
“sunburnt country” – lifted from Dorothea Mackellar’s poem: My Country.
when you reach crinkled cronehood
days are as good as nights
as far as sleep’s concerned
I get up to pee
then I’m distracted by
the song of the Southern Cross
and lose my way back to bed
The Pointers are crisp and clear
SIT! they command
and who am I
to argue with the Cosmos?
oh joy and glee -
where else to be
but on a zafu
Image source – Sydney Observatory
One of the wonders of the night sky in the Southern Hemisphere (and greatly missed by its natives when they travel north of the equator) is the Southern Cross with its Pointers. In the image above, the Cross can be seen to the right, and the two Pointers to the left, indicating the position of true south.
[lungs rattling, terrorist bugs at war with antibiotics, cough like a dying camel,
green goo by the spittoon-full, aching chest, watery eyes]
[silence, stillness, serenity, pristine perfect, incorruptible, immovable,
unknowable Awareness – – – utterly unaffected]
breathing in, breathing out
A deep bow to my Dharma namesake and inspiration, Yeshe Tsogyal
At the beginning of this month I moved into an old (but beautifully renovated) farm cottage on Kiels Mountain, on the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Queensland, Australia. It is high enough to attract rain and mist, which are welcome visitors so far as the rainforest and its inhabitants are concerned.
And in spite of being only a few kilometers from local villages, the beach and coastal busyness, it has the feel of remoteness. It is my Cloud Mountain, and I am a happy hermit. In my morning scribblings, haiku begin to appear:
Mistiness in close -
drowning out my loneliness,
a Currawong choir.
Lost; an innocent
here, in spacious aloneness -
something Wild finds me.
Alone in the bush,
befriended by Beingness,
I stop asking why.
I’ve been there
riding a tunnel wave
but it wasn’t in that
rolling roaring wetness
it was in this
ocean of Being
imagine my amazement
to discover – here
in this human form -
an aging amphibious
Image source unknown – if it’s yours, please advise!
awakening from sleep
awareness arrays a new-born world
gropes for zafu
settles butt, folds legs
inhales the fragrant flowering gums
chuckles with the kookaburra
trembles with the palm fronds
sips steaming green tea
disappears into a silence
that senses every tone and texture
breathes – is breathed
not one scientist, philosopher or sage
can explain how any of this can possibly occur
on an exquisite pulsing rock
awhirl in a numinous space -
a space inseparable from
the immense, immeasurable awareness
in which it all appears
. . .
Image source – Parallax