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Posts Tagged ‘Bush Fires’

A photo of the beautiful Blue Mountains in New South Wales. Their name is derived from the gases from the Eucalyptus trees making the mountains appear blue as they rise.

There is always something surprising when you realise that the unexpected has occurred. I have tried not to dwell on my travails with Lyme disease. It creeps in now and again since it is never far from your mind. You go about your daily routine, minimising any affects it is causing. In fact you begin to feel that apart from sudden spikes in your ‘woes’ you’re doing okay.

Perhaps it’s a safety thing, a form of illusion to enable you to handle everything. Yesterday was like every other, within the variables I have come to expect. I was focused on the bush fires in New South Wales and my fury at what I feel is the mismanagement of our land care policies. I refuse to even pay lip service to some of the inane arguments which rage around this issue.

image from news.ninemsn.com.au

It doesn’t help when an elected ‘leader’ of an inner city electorate (a member of the Green Party) decides to use this devastating event to take a sideswipe at the current Prime Minister. Politics at a time like this is a poor second when weighed against the people affected. We have one person dead and two fire fighters injured. We have no idea of stock or animal loss. I hope and pray that will be all we lose, it is too many, but more is always a heavier burden.  Over 2000 fire fighters from throughout the country are traveling to help with the bush fires.

This is one reason I feel selfish when I am focused on my small woes.  As I mentioned yesterday, Byron is a ‘green’ area and today we have had light rain all day, 3 ½ mm of rain. Not a huge amount by any means. The farmers here are grateful for the rain, since for Byron, we’ve had a bit of a ‘dry spell’, but nothing like elsewhere in the country.

image from amywellsblog.blogspot.com

However, I feel traitorous today. I did get some sleep last night, so deep I didn’t hear my husband get up. It should have been wonderful, and it was as far as the sleep goes. Vivid dreams, strange and perplexing. Perhaps I should write about them sometime.

I woke in hideous pain.  Imagine, if you will, every bone in your body feels as though it is being crushed and pulled apart at the same time. Simultaneously there is an intense white hot sharp pain through each ‘major’ joint, but centering through the hips.  Sitting, standing or lying down bring no relief. Wheat packs seem to have no effect or the painkillers I had to resort to.

I feel miserable and I feel ashamed and humiliated that I‘m thinking about myself when so many people are facing so much worse. I’m keeping all the people, fire fighters, people who live there, all the animals in the area, in my heart and praying for their safety. I’m also praying for our ‘leaders’ to refrain from trying to get any political mileage out of this tragedy and work together to help OUR country.

Perhaps in some small way this might help, help our country and perhaps help me feel less self-centered in the face of what is happening.

image from barefootbarn.wordpress.com

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”   Buddha

My candle to focus my intention for all who are suffering tonight and in the days ahead. Why not join me?

Blessings, Susan  x

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It’s been a chaotic and tragic Australia Day here in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. We are now in full “get back to normal” phase, thanks to all the hard working Emergency Services personnel and the hundreds or thousands of volunteers.  I’m laying here in my bed looking at a limited view of the scenery and wishing I could do more than offer  my prayers in my meditations. I have to be grateful I’m not underfoot and need to be rescued!

Green and healthy hibiscus, new yellow buds already

Green and healthy hibiscus, new yellow buds already

The jungle of vines tangled with the palms from my first floor bedroom window. I have the strangest view at times since I’m so high off the ground. Like this bud outside my window, 25 feet off the ground yet looking so fragile.

Dead palm fronds stuck in trees waiting to fall

Dead palm fronds stuck in trees waiting to fall

Dead palm fronds are hung up by neighbouring trees, just waiting for the right moment to fall. They sound like a mini explosion as they hit the ground. Too high to remove we have to wait on nature to take a hand.

Smallest of our palm trees itching reach of the house

Smallest of our palm trees itching reach of the house

You can see how tall the palm trees are. These are the smallest of those near the house. At their feet you can just make out the fallen fronds we have yet to clear away. These two came down last night.

Fronds on the ground without hitting anything

Fronds on the ground without hitting anything

The little billabong/ dam filled after the rain.

The little billabong/ dam filled after the rain.

The small dam/ billabong filled overnight with the rain. It’s hard to see with all the weeds which had taken over. It looks so picturesque at present. All the dead palm fronds have been cleared away.

Fragile lilies under the awning in full flower

Fragile lilies under the awning in full flower

Hiding in safety, my fragile lilies are flowering beautifully after the fresh rain. Nothing is better than sweet rain for them.

Pale green orchid rescued before the downpour.

Pale green orchid rescued before the downpour.

Even more fragile my small green orchid. I’ve been watching the buds form all week so my husband made a rescue dash to bring it inside to flower for me.

Everything looks peaceful and lush.

Everything looks peaceful and lush.

Red hibiscus bud framed by dead palm fronds.

Red hibiscus bud framed by dead palm fronds.

the entwined limbs of all the plants show off their different hues. Life blossoms around us, even 25 feet in the air!  This red hibiscus bud would be 35 feet high yetis surrounded by dead palm fronds waiting to shake loose. The long cane it waves to and fro on will whip it out of the way as the fronds come down. Fragile yet strong, amazing isn’t  it?

Heart centered

Heartcentred

So from my home to yours, I wish everyone love and peace. I pray everyone finds a safe harbour in the storms. I look forward to seeing everyone well and happy as soon as possible.

With love and gratitude. Susan

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image from encwor.blogspot.com

I have spent the day, when I  have been awake, in mostly silent contemplation of what has been happening, to Queensland, Australia, the world at large and myself.  Australia Day 2013 will not go down as one of the best days we’ve had. It hasn’t been the worst, but Mother Nature has decided to remind us of her awesome power.

Less than a week ago, Central Queensland looked like this:

image from brisbanetimes.com.au                         Near Rockhampton

One day ago we saw this:

image from guardian.co.uk

The view from my bedroom window looks almost peaceful about two hours ago.

Stormy weather from my bedroom window

Stormy weather from my bedroom window

I am remembering all those people who put aside their problems and head out to tackle the elements, brave the dangers and help the rest of us to survive this crazy, changeable weather we have.  It’s not malevolent, it’s not personally directed at any one person or place. It’s not a vengeful “God” or whatever deity you believe in, wishing to wreak havoc on a sinful population. It’s not man-made Global Warming or Climate Change. This is Mother Nature at her finest. It is just today’s weather.

image from tasteoflifebysabi.wordpress.com

We are being reminded of our place in the scheme of things. I am reminded that my meditations for peace and harmony, for thankfulness and gratitude are as valuable today as they were yesterday. I am reminded that I am  no more, no less than this frog, I simply AM.

What is even more important is that this is not only OK, it is absolutely fantastic because it is as it should be. Life is meant to be lived. We may not understand  all our lessons immediately. Sometimes the lesson is absorbed deep within and it is only over time that we realise the great import of that lesson. This too is as it should be. I am exactly who I am meant to be in this moment. I am meant to be the best I can be, but no more and no less.

In the midst of this chaos I am grateful that I have been reminded of this as I allowed myself the time to roam along this path. I had a blog almost completed when the screen went blank and all I had left was an “r” residing at the top of the page.  Why? my mind cried.  The answer it seems was simple – there was something else I had to say. I trust in my higher self that this is the message that is meant to be sent out tonight.

image from fineartamerica.com                                           The Angel of Thankfulness

I am grateful for the safety of our world, its people and places. I am mindful that we need to be responsible for our land, our plants, animals and all the spirits and creatures which abound on our earth. I am grateful that I can be a small part of this, that I can contribute my small part to this wondrous experience we are having. As a spirit having a human existence I will succeed and I will stumble, but I will get up again and take another breath, another step and keep moving towards that goal….. whatever it may be. With you beside me, walking along with me, I will do my part as you do yours.

image from thebaresoul.blogspot.com

I also want to let everyone know that I have remembered to thank that special person who, despite my frustration when things go wrong, when I cannot be running around but bound to my bed, who always brings me cups of tea with dollops of sympathy and understanding, that one person who offers unconditional love at any time of the day and night, my beautiful shining star, my soul mate and partner in this world and the next, my husband Ray. Thank you darling for your patience and love.

All is well with the world.  Blessings,  Susan x

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Dawn at home

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today.
I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”

~Groucho Marx

My morning started as it has for the past two weeks or so. I had decided to put a kick-start to my day, and since I am often awake very early, or late depending on how you look at it, decided a meditation either on getting up, or before I get a few hours snooze time would really put a zing in my day.  It has been working out really well. I have more energy, new ideas are flowing and seeing and being a part of that beautiful calm of pre dawn and dawn has had a magical quality for me. I have been more grateful for the small things in life and that has made some of the gnarlier issues a little easier to deal with.

This morning, after all the horrors of bushfires throughout Australia, and that’s not taking into account the multitude of other issues we are surrounded by, I wanted to spend time sending love and healing to everyone directly affected by these fires, the people and animals, the land devastated by fire and the tireless rural fire brigades which save countless lives whilst standing in the front line against those same fires.

It is a daunting thought, that we are all, in one way or another, able to be affected by natural disaster.  The sheer enormity of the love and healing the land and people need at those times is hard to comprehend.  At times I struggled to remain detached from some of the scenes of the tragedies I could not avoid over the past week, knowing it was possible for it to be repeated again and again before this fire season is “officially” over.

My rainforest songbirds usually blend into my meditation with their musical song.  This morning, for the first time, they found their way to the corner where I sit meditating.  I was brought back to myself earlier than usual. That’s ok, their song is always refreshing and was a nice finish to my meditation.  I decided it was time for a few hours of sleep and curled up next to the warm body of my husband and fell asleep.

All was well, apart from an unusual dream which I will share another time, until I woke up. The crushing pan from a migraine  was assaulting me.  So, I have spent the day cloistered in semi darkness and quiet whilst this monster migraine takes itself away.  Hence, the blog I had prepared has been postponed for this shorter one.

image from diamondheadache.com

For all the myriad problems we, as Australians, have to deal with due to our vast continent, its variable and unpredictable weather, the insurance companies whose only concern is their profit margin, and those NGO’s whose only existence appears to be to make it impossible to make saving life and limb, home and hearth, wildlife and domestic animals, more difficult to achieve, I hope and pray that the good vibes from everyone meditating, from sending their gratitude for our wonderful world  back to it, has the effect I, and others, are praying for.

Early morning from my balcony

“Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth… This is the real message of love.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Teachings on Love

Love and Happiness

Be beautiful, let your soul shine.  ❤

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“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.” – Ralph Marston

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qi gong at sunrise Coolangatta
image courtesy of tonycaves.com

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It’s been one of those days. No matter how hard  I tried nothing seemed to go as planned.  For some unknown reason I’m having trouble sleeping and find myself working throughout the night. It’s great to get so much work done  but by sunrise my energy levels suddenly bottom out and I have to get to bed.  I feel like a mole, constantly working at the other end of the spectrum from everyone else.  I’ve seen some beautiful sunrise’s  but I’m sure my husband would feel happier knowing I was sleeping when everyone else was and awake with the day, like he is.  Conversation is so much simpler, and easily understood if both parties are wide awake and able to comprehend simple English!

In part it’s easy to understand what’s happening.  We are planning a trip away and as usually happens when you decide these things, there has been an influx of work which simply “has” to be done before that can happen. The last thing I want is to be haunted by thoughts of work and what I “should” be doing instead of resting happily at a beach somewhere.  Not that we’re going for long, or that far away, but the break is what we both need and more importantly deserve.  So, for me, the dilemma is GST records and returns.  Sorting out multitudes of receipts into categories and then recording them onto a spreadsheet so that we can work out exactly where everything is.  Should be simple,  should be straightforward, but there are, yet again, many reasons why it is a logistical tangle.  I’m almost there, just two more folders to go before it’s all finished, but that is cold comfort when pages of figures float across the screen of my mind throughout the night.   Not the stuff of dreams!

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GST sheet

image courtesy of anthonywrites.posterous.com

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This is what it feels like, one slip and you are totally undone.  One thing is certain though – I will not be beaten by a column of figures! Despite losing my Saturday I will have this waste of time completed today so that tomorrow I can concentrate on more pleasant things, like our holiday.  I learned one very valuable lesson over the past few days – I need to BE present  and fully committed to what I’m doing. If I am in the moment then the work flows much quicker and I can move on. If I am not present, if I resent the work,  if I am BEing distracted then the work does not flow and I struggle to get the simple figures recorded.   It’s not something I need reminding of, or so I thought, but it has been brought home over the past day or so that when I’m fully in the moment the work isn’t the drudgery I painted it in my mind in the beginning.   Lesson learned! The GST is not going away any time soon, even if I think and know it is a stupid way of running the show, but it has to be so I’m in the moment, BEing present and the work is running smoothly.

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Easts Beach Kiama
image courtesy of  smh.com.au

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This is what I am focusing on, my holiday.  It is only a ten-day break and we are going to be celebrating my father in-laws eightieth birthday whilst we’re away. Now that is something worth thinking about. Until recently he was still an active volunteer in the Rural Fire Service. Not a bad track record. He knows more about fighting bush fires, knowing how and when they are going to change direction, and how to get them out without losing life or limb for any of his men than most people I know.   I’m hoping the fires along the NSW central coast will be well and truly our over the next few days before we travel down through there.  Without any loss of life, and without loss of homes or wildlife.   A somewhat futile desire since the wildlife seem to come of the worst in these instances. I pray that all will be well and no one hurt.

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bush fire fighters

image courtesy of izismile.com

Our wonderful firefighters risk life and limb during bushfire season, made all the worse by the number of fires lit by arsonists. Inexcusable.  Second only to the stupid laws pushed through which prevent farmers and landholders from clearing a firebreak around their homes.  Sometimes political point scoring is criminal when personal cost is taken into consideration.

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koala after bushfire

image courtesy of rotaryeclubone.org       One of the koalas hurt during a wildfire.

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aust home lost in fire

image courtesy of theadvocate.com.au      Home lost during a bushfire.

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So, I’m grateful I’m sitting here fighting a stubborn row of figures. I’m safe and sound in my home, listening to the birds welcome the sunrise, which is beautiful.  I’m looking forward to a party to celebrate my Dad’s  eightieth birthday and I’m totally grateful I can have a week with my husband, lounging around the beaches and bush, coffee shops and books stores, look for crystals and other treasures and BE present for all of it. I will also BE present and pray for the welfare of our firies who do an amazing job each year. This year looks like it could be a bad one after the flooding  and the growth from it which has now dried, so that we have acres of tinder dry fuel for the fires.  I’ll be praying for sanity to prevail and the laws will be amended so that farmers and landholders can clear around their homes without penalty,  for the firies who do this work to be kept safe and all the native animals to get out of the way of the flames, as well as our ‘domestic’ livestock who don’t have the option to hop in their car at the last-minute and ride off into the fire laden sunset.

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bushfire sunset

image courtesy of 123rf.com

Firemen are going to get killed. When they join the department they face that fact. When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of work. They were not thinking of getting killed when they went where death lurked. They went there to put the fire out, and got killed. Firefighters do not regard themselves as heroes because they do what the business requires.”
Chief Edward F. Croker Quotes

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