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Posts Tagged ‘lessons from nature’

#LifeCycles

A tree of life

“We trust nature to know what it is doing, but we are not nearly so kind, understanding and trusting of our own rhythms and cycles. It’s ridiculous that we are so hard on ourselves. Can we not trust that the very same forces that created the rhythms and cycles of nature created our own? Of course we can. We often don’t, but we can, if we remember.”
Jeffrey R. Anderson, The Nature of Things – Navigating Everyday Life with Grace
#LifeCycles

The Duck Pond

One of the first things we noticed when we arrived in Redland Bay was the beautiful “Duck Pond”. We have since spent some beautiful afternoons walking around the boardwalk and finding the myriad of life forms the area was teeming with. One of the intriguing sites from the lookout was the trunk of a huge tree. I have since found out it was a giant Jacaranda tree which was covered by a carpet of purple blooms each spring.

However, that was far from the sight I saw from the lookout. It was a huge dead trunk. It seemed somehow sad to see such a magnificent tree slowly dying, branches pointing towards the heavens but still standing tall and proud.

#LifeCycles

The old dead tree

At the very top was an unusual ‘U’ shaped pair of branches, almost like a crown. I could see the tree in its glory days, flowers waving in the breeze like a bejewelled crown on its ‘head’. It didn’t seem to matter what the light was like, the dead tree had a majesty unique to itself.

Deciding to take a different walk one afternoon we walked towards the old tree. There were raucous screeches coming from the tree, more sqawks, strident and ear splitting and occasionally a soft cooing sound.

Walking along and looking into the heavens along a pitted footpath is a sure fire way to turn your ankle, which is what I did. However, perched on a fence post I had the opportunity to really take a good look at the dead tree trunk. Far from being dead the tree was actually brimming with life. Life of a far different kind.

#LifeCycles

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

There were Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Major Mitchell Cockatoos and Eastern Rosellas. At the very top of the tree, to the right side were a strange looking pair of birds I was sure I’d seen before. Camera at the ready I saw an amazing sight – a pair of Coucal, nesting in the hollow in the top of the tree. Their long tail made it easy to recognise them from the first time we saw them on the Gold Coast.

#LifeCycles

Rosellas

Each cavity in the dead stump had been claimed by a pair of nesting birds. There was a cacophony of sound as we moved along the path to pass the dead tree stump. Entranced we spent an age simply watching the birds fly back and forth and after taking a careful look around, hopping into their own particular ‘hole’. As long as we were in sight of the tree the sentinel, the Cockatoo keeping watch, made a raucous call to warn everyone strangers were around. The local magpies and crows were chased away quickly by a horde of colourful denizens of the dead tree.

We have been back several times now, and although we can hear the chirping of many babies, my camera isn’t strong enough to get a picture of the babies in their nest. What has been wonderful, for me, is realising that this dead tree stump has as much life in it now as it did in its heyday – just very different.

In so many ways that old dead tree is symbolic of life. Just as it began as a small seedling and took time, food and water to grow, until it reached its full potential, so do we. It went through so many stages in its growth before it reached its mature state, had to stand strong and tall before wind and weather, sun, rain, hail and cold. Yet it survived and produced a magnificent display of flowers year after year. Who knows how it ended its life as it now is? I was unable to find out, but it has obviously been severely cut back and hasn’t recovered.

It hasn’t recovered to its former glory, but has become home to so many other creatures, many more than I could see. There would be bugs and beetles, spiders and ants, perhaps even a tree snake. It is still a wonderful example of life adapting to diversity. As we do during times of crisis or great change.

Like life’s ending when we move on to another sphere of existence as spirits, so too has the tree moved on to another phase of its life cycle. There is a calm symmetry to the rhythm of life as I watch the old tree and its denizens and think on the changes in my own life, in life in general. Nothing lasts in its current form eternally. Eventually everything leaves its current form and becomes something new and different, its next phase of life.

#LifeCycles

The circle of life

During the hard times, painful times, sad times and joyous times, there is a profound truth to the reality of the Cycle of Life. I’m more than happy with that.

“Life can be magnificent and overwhelming — That is its whole tragedy. Without beauty, love, or danger it would almost be easy to live.”
Albert Camus  An Absurd Reasoning

Other photos: http://www.josephinewallart.co.uk, http://www.developmentsolutions.org.uk,
blog.asiantown.net

Blessings, Susan♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2014

 

 

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