Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Today could have been a vastly different day than it eventually became. The reason, I refused to allow the start to spoil the remainder of the day. Mornings are particularly difficult for me, painful to move and agonising to get to a point where I can see without dark glasses. However, this is what life is at present, so we persevere knowing it will get better.

One huge Huntsman spider!

One huge Huntsman spider!

This is how my morning began…..

Not exactly what I wanted to see through eyes which  felt as though they were being stabbed through the cornea and were so bleary it takes an age to allow the image and the brain to catch up.

Obviously, he wasn’t as large as I originally thought but he was big enough for me. I’m not scared of spiders, well not the ‘harmless’ ones, but if my daughter had seen this there would have been shrieking and rampant hysteria for an hour until it was completely drowned in whichever spray she could lay hands on to ensure its demise.

This is what the blighter really looked like……..Of course there are nicer ways to start the day and tomorrow I am attracting one for myself.

Huntsman, not dangerous to humans, unless they die of fright.

Huntsman, not dangerous to humans, unless they die of fright.

He can have all the insects he wants as long as he vacates my abode before I start to see, even imperfectly.

It’s been a while since I felt well enough to get outside, even the short trek into the lounge has been challenging. Today I was determined to make it to the lounge chair we have placed facing the deck and the ocean beyond.

The doors were opened wide to allow the beautiful cool breezes to blow into the room.  I ignored the roaring of vehicles up and down the street and concentrated on the other, more interesting and beautiful vistas.

There was a strong breeze blowing over the water and lots of white caps. They don’t show up well on my camera but we were fortunate to be visited by lots of passing whales. Most of them were way off on the horizon and whilst we could see their splashes, the photos don’t do them justice. However, a couple were determined to ensure we saw them giving us a wave, in fact lots of them.

Hello landlubbers.

Hello landlubber.

The second whales fluke is just discernible to the right of the first. They stayed for a good half an hour just waving at us, always a pick me up. I’ll get out the photos from our whale watching later.

After that a para glider did a circuit from one side to the other for us… just showing off and getting a bird’s eye view of the whales.

Kiteman 6 (Copy)

I’m not sure if it would be good or a little foolhardy when the breeze was so gusty, but he seemed to enjoy it… although I couldn’t see his face. The thrill of being up there, flying alone and seeing the world beneath your feet, well the ocean, would have been amazing.

Spring has definitely arrived and all the shrubs and flowers are coming into bloom. The African Tulip Tree is magnificent.

The Tulip tree. Their flowers are as big as dinner plates.

The Tulip tree. Their flowers are as big as dinner plates.

Whilst directly underneath there was an explosion of Acalypha growing.

Acalypha falling down the timber steps.

Acalypha falling down the timber steps.

Just around the corner was a large Brunfelsia bush, the fragrance drawing us in. It’s common name is “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” due to the colour of its flowers. The new ones come out a beautiful purple, the next day fading to a delicate lavender and the third day are pure white.

"Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow." What a great name.

“Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” What a great name.

Just at that moment a group of Major Mitchell cockatoos flew overhead noisily. One decided to have a rest and take a look at what we were doing.

Major Mitchell Cockatoo

Major Mitchell Cockatoo

As we rounded the corner the sound of the waves crashing on the shore took me back to the ocean. Since you cannot stop hearing it in the background it makes a counterpoint to everything you do, but I find it very soothing. (much better than the traffic noise!)

Ocean waves continuously rolling in.

Ocean waves continuously rolling in.

My short excursion around the garden ended with the glorious scent of Jasmin and the beautiful flowers of the Rhododendron (Vireya).

Jasmin, heavenly and heady scent.

Jasmin, heavenly and heady scent.

The Vireya, a type of Rhododendron

The Vireya, a type of Rhododendron

I was unhappy at the feeling I was cutting my time outside so short. It’s been a while since I felt up to being outside – at least without falling down! So, after being helped back inside, (those stairs are a nuisance!) I sat back on the lounge and watched the ocean for a while listening to my iPod.

When I ventured back into my bedroom I had a lovely surprise waiting for me….. a gift of love.

Flowers from my garden

Flowers from my garden

A beautiful way to remind me that despite not doing all I would like there are many things I can do and have. Ray brought my brief excursion back with me and I can smell the perfume as I type.

No-one said life would follow a set path. You make the path as you go along. The hard part is finding the happiness and joy each day can bring. If it is difficult, find smaller blessings, and if you are having a great day, look to the bigger things, but be grateful for what we have. ‘Today has shown me that there are many beautiful things around me which I can be grateful for. The rest…. well they may come tomorrow.

“If you reconnect with nature and the wilderness you will not only find the meaning of life, but you will experience what it means to be truly alive.”
Sylvia Dolson, Joy of Bears

Blessings,  Susan x

amy Whale, breaching, Stellwagen Bank National...

(c) Susan Jamieson

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Time marches on image from http://www.writebalance.com

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”     Anne Bradstreet 

We are just beginning to feel the nip in the air at night which is letting us know that Autumn is here. There  are so many reports of the cold still in the UK as they approach their Spring. It seems as though we are out of step with ‘the rest’ of the world.

Many of the great poets and writers I grew up with hail from the northern hemisphere so it is natural to find this imbalance.  For all those who come to live here it means not merely a cultural change but a climatic change also. In some ways I’m unsure which is the harder to adapt to.  I still think fondly of snow at Christmas, holly and mistletoe, bare trees and snowflakes softly falling from the skies. Of course, that is the romantic side of winter, it forgets the chill of frigid winds and wet sludge as the snow is churned to mush underfoot.  The huddle around the fire and the wishing for Spring to arrive.

I’m reminded of these things since we moved to Byron, such a short distance from the Gold Coast and Queensland, but it has made a difference in the weather and air temperature, the pace of life and the feel of the earth moving through its rhythmic seasons. I feel that I am reconnecting with nature and Mother Earth once more and there is an excitement pouring through my veins I find soothing and exhilarating.

Rejuvenating for the soul and body image from justthespot.com.au

“Waves are the voices of tides. Tides are life,” murmured Niko. “They bring new food for shore creatures, and take ships out to sea. They are the ocean’s pulse, and our own heartbeat.”    ― Tamora Pierce, Sandry’s Book

I sit here watching the ocean rolling in. I can hear its sound day and night. The breeze blows soft or strong and in a storm it batters the windows wildly.

I see the sunrise peeking over the horizon, warming the earth and waking life. I watch the moonrise, pink and mysterious, lighting the ocean with its mystical light. As the moon rises I see the stars appear, brightly sparkling as we are away from the hubbub and rush of life. Mars is shinning red in the sky at present gifting us with a special show.

Pink Moon Magic

Pink Moon Magic

Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night.   Hal Borland

Pausing often to think as the day rolls by I’m reminded how much simpler things were when I looked at the world through a child’s eyes. My memories are of the love which surrounded me from my family, especially my parents who are no longer with me. The fun and excitement of birthdays and Christmas. Building snowmen and snowball fights even if the cold nipped at fingers and toes.

I remember walking along under the Autumn suns failing warmth, leaves of a myriad colour crunching crisply underfoot. I recall the excitement as the first buds were seen on the trees and the bluebells pushed their way through the cold earth and began nodding their delicate heads in the sun. I smile with delight at the images of summer, of heath and heather, trees and flowers, daffodils, jonquils, carnations and roses, hyacinth and myrtle, all spreading their delightful scents along the soft breezes.

colourful autumn foliage image from http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

Snowball fights, cold fun, tingling fingers and toes image from http://www.guardian.co.uk

A carpet of fragile bluebells, Spring has arrived. image from http://www.forestpictures.co.uk

How does your garden grow? image from http://www.horniman.ac.uk

All things change, as all things must. Children see with children’s eyes the magic adults often walk by. Our inner child works hard reminding us of things we may have forgotten and in remembering we are made rich beyond imagining once more. Who indeed would refuse to wander through the happy memories of our childhood once more?

Blue skies, ocean breeze, peace and tranquility - Byron Bay

Blue skies, ocean breeze, peace and tranquility – Byron Bay

Childhood brings diamonds to life in our memories.  Going back and revisiting places may never be the same yet they are still diamonds. It all depends on how you look at them

Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”      Ashley Smith

May your life be a collage of the beautiful memories of childhood.

Bless  Susan x

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“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”
L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

North York moors

North Yorkshire moors, courtesy of wonderfulwhitby.co.uk

I was asked today what sights, sounds or scents were evocative of the place which I thought of as the most special place of all.  Its something I’ve often given a lot of thought to since I came here as a teenager, oh so many years ago.  Yet, after all this time it is a relatively easy question to answer. This is my home now. It will always be my home. I have lived here longer than ever I was in the country of my  birth and my family are here. How could anywhere else be home?

Yet for all that, my “soul home”, the place where I belong, is still in England. There is something there which, whilst I love Australia and will never leave here, still draws me to those “unquiet shores”.   So what are those memory triggers which send me back to the land of my birth?

The sight of the heather in full bloom, such a rich deep purple, and so high that when you lay down you are surrounded by a thick prickly carpet of purple flowers.  Surrounded by the sounds of birdsong, the rustle in the heather as my dog burrows his way through, and the sight of those lazy cotton ball clouds floating serenely  across the eggshell blue sky.

Then there was my favorite ‘go to ‘place during the spring, when the trees where budding and their leaves just unfurling. The oaks were my favorite. There was a place, Chelodean, a reservoir where during the second world war anti aircraft batteries were built. They had been boarded and blocked up for years, but they were still there and you could see the external walls.  permanent reminder of days gone by.   Best of all was the carpet of bluebells under the trees.

bluebells under trees

Bluebells flowering underneath the trees, courtesy of  nationBaltrust.org.uk

Perhaps one of the greatest memory triggers is seeing a Border Collie. I had a beautiful dog, my best friend, who followed me on my ramblings every day. He would scrabble through the heather or chase the butterflies through the bluebells, but he never chased the rabbits, although he looked longingly at them from time to time.

Border collie

Border Collie, courtesy of sciforums.com

So, in many ways there is no simple way to explain what the sights, sounds or scents were, since they were all a jumble of the burgeoning spring days after the cold and bleak winters. Although, after saying that I did enjoy my winter wonderland, despite its cold winds and wet feet.  Perhaps that’s the benefit of looking back, we see the happy memories and replay the happy scenes.

Yet for all that I will remember the heather prickling into my back under the clouds and the smell of crushed bluebells under me and their gentle heads nodding in the soft breeze.

“Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England – now!!”
Robert Browning
Home Thoughts from Abroad.

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