Trees in less than 300 words

I am experimenting with stretching my writing from being a stream of my thoughts to something a bit more creative. I am a bit frightened of creativity but I think it is time to experiment – just for fun :-)

Albany 2012 028Trees appeal to me. I love the seasonal changes including autumn leaves and spring blossoms – the fresh shoots of new leaves coming after the blossoms fall. I see life in trees – a life force. I see steadfastness, permanence, and persistence – each day the same no matter what happens around them. The traffic comes and goes, people travel to work and home again, but the trees remain.

I wonder if a tree can see all the happenings around it. If it does, it keeps it to itself. That is why I like to talk to trees sometimes – they seem so wise, serene, and strong.

I had a favourite tree in the City of Perth where I used to catch the Yellow Cat Bus to work. I remember it was a native paperbark. I can see it now – no matter what the weather or the season it persevered with its existence. It was not fully grown. Maybe it was held back by the pollution of the daily traffic and limited water supply. I was always pleased to greet it, as it was a fixed mark in my environment – alive and vibrant.

The tree will continue to grow and thrive and be unaffected by my absence. I hope it is well cared for and does not become the victim of progress. We need trees in our cities to remind us of nature. They give colour, texture, and contrast to the multi-story office blocks. They are a sanctuary for birds and other creatures. Not least of all, they give much-needed oxygen for us to breathe.




Squirmy moments

Tooth section international

Tooth section international (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I woke very early this morning after an awful dream – one I have dreamed many times before – my teeth are falling out! On waking my first action involved doing a tooth stock-take! Thankfully they are all still there :-).

I couldn’t get back to sleep so I pondered the feelings behind the dream. They ranged from embarrassment, shame, panic and a wish to hide myself away. You know – those moments when you wish you could slide under the floor mat and disappear.

Wide awake by now, I reflected on some real life experiences when I felt like that. One that came to mind was a Sausage Sizzle fund-raiser I organised for Rotary (I was president at the time). I don’t claim to be an event organiser, however I have done quite a few since that time. It was a real flop – limited volunteer helpers and bad weather didn’t help. I did enjoy giving away the sausages and bread to some homeless shelters though.

The incident was bemoaned by members (who hadn’t helped on the day) and became a bench mark of what NOT TO DO! But HEY, I tried, which is more that many others did.

It is not unusual for me to take on tasks that are outside my comfort zone. Only problem is I expect myself to get a brilliant result first time. I am reminded of sports people who train for years before reaching a level of expertise but I expect so much more of myself!

What about you? Do you expect yourself to get 100% first time and feel like a failure if you don’t? It is a bit silly to think that way, isn’t it?






Albany and Denmark July 2011 017There was a time when I had a really strong faith in God. I went to a Catholic school as a child but, as an adult, I changed over to the Anglican Church. It was a powerful, spiritual experience and a very important part of my life.

Many years have gone by and my faith has gradually disappeared. I try to keep an open mind, especially in times of difficulty when I want help from on High. I always used to feel that at least I can pray for others, when I am powerless to do anything else.

I used to believe that God gave each of us special gifts and that we would only find fulfillment in our lives by using those gifts to make the world a better place. I still quite like the sound of that one.

The best I can come up with now is that maybe God is the source of energy experienced by all of nature. I accept that as a mere human I don’t know all the answers – I can’t see the BIG picture.

Today I learn from some of the teachings of Buddhism, philosophy and keeping life simple – accepting what I cannot change and changing what I can. I still see great wisdom in many of the teachings in the Bible and the beauty of the psalms and so forth. However, it is nature that feeds my soul and sustains me.


Dealing with our feelings
















They are just words and they are just feelings.

They are all part of being alive and experiencing life on the front line.

They are neither good nor bad – they just are!

Australian Government Election Day 2013

Village Square

I woke up this morning with a feeling of dread

My mind is hurting from all that was said

The worst insults I have known in many a year

What happened to those values that we hold so dear?

Care for those who are less well off

Positive solutions – not just for the toffs

Is it about ego, capitalism and personal gain?

Will they just bring more suffering and pain?

It could be so much worse, I know!

At least I can freely vote and come and go

Imagine if love, fairness and compassion ruled the day

I earnestly hope that one day we will find a way



If I had one wish…

so many people around the world - the same and yet different in interesting ways

so many people around the world – the same and yet different in interesting ways

Fellow blogger, Nancy from Spirit Lights the Way did a post recently titled “If I had one wish…” and it got me thinking. If I had one wish, then what would it be?

I know that wishing for world peace is often scoffed at however I am amazed that we are in the 21st Century and there is still so much conflict and suffering in the world. Just think about how much money is spent on people fighting and killing each other. Then there are the mega dollars spent on space exploration. We spend a fortune on science (and rightly so most of the time).

It doesn’t matter what age the archaeologists study – there are always weapons found and mass graves. We could say that, yes, that was thousands of years ago and they didn’t know any better, BUT we are still doing it today with more sophisticated and expensive weapons. We can even wage war via remote control.

Obviously money is not the answer to solving our world’s self-destructive behavior. We have come so far and yet we have changed so very little. My wish is that we could use our financial bounty plus scientific, and spiritual wisdom and experience to find a way we could all live together in harmony.

What would you wish for if you had one wish?




Do you have an inner wimp?

I do and I am not happy about it!

IMG_0002 (Copy) I sometimes get angry with myself when I allow my inner wimp to have its way. I feel ashamed of myself when I take the easy way out and avoid a situation. I shared this with a friend and she suggested that we all experience this from time to time. I am reminded that when I try to resist something it only becomes a stronger force within me. I think it is time I had some compassion for that wimpy part of me. I can’t see it having any useful purpose but, who knows, it may well be doing some good.

What do you think?



Poll about blog topics

Melbourne Cup Day 2012 021Would you give up expressing your views (on a blog) if you knew some topics or opinions may alienate some of your readers? Should we stay away from politics, religion and health matters? What is more important – authenticity or popularity (statistics)?

When I write I tend to go with the flow and let my words express my thoughts – obviously there are some boundaries that I adhere to. I was surprised this week as I sent my blog address to a distant relative, Peter (are you reading this Peter :-)) and he provided me with some feedback.

He said: “Visited your Blog this morning.  First impression: warm, peaceful and serene.  Just loved it.  I don’t know how you have done that but it has such a comfortable feel about it.  Truly marvelous selection of words and pictures.  Must be the trees whispering into the ether! That was until I came across Julia. Ambiance shattered!!”

The “Julia” he referred to is our current Prime Minister. I don’t deny she is very unpopular with a lot of people but I wanted to express my views in support of her. I wonder if I lost any other readers with that post.

It is more important for me to express my true opinions/feelings than seek popular support. I rarely write about my political views but don’t try to hide them when they are relevant to the discussion.

What do you think? Are some topics taboo if we want to increase our number of readers? Please take my poll below and let me know if there are other topics that I overlooked please. You can choose more than one topic on the poll.



Mind over matter

Embracing Tai Chi

Embracing Tai Chi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I went to a Taoist Tai Chi Workshop – from 9.00am to 3.00pm. About 15 or so years ago I signed up for some Tai Chi classes – I think it was a ten week course. By week seven I was totally overwhelmed and opted out! I couldn’t keep up learning the new movements. When I say “overwhelmed” what I really mean is that I was freaking out! I added it to my TOO HARD list and didn’t look back.

So, to go along to the workshop today was a big deal for me. My emotions were all over the place. I judged every move I made as compared to the others around me. I kept losing concentration and I kept fighting the “this is TOO hard” voice in my head. I tried hard to let go and not care if I got it right or not but I worried that others might be looking at me and see how poorly I was doing.

Over lunch I shared my mental battle with the instructor and she was very kind. She encouraged us all and didn’t single anyone our for special attention. I was afraid that I might be the one to slow everyone else down. I started to think that it wasn’t all that important how well I went. I was there because I chose to be and didn’t have any obligation to continue.

I was aware enough to know that by biggest barrier to succeeding was my fear of failure. I think I faced my fears to some degree and gained some proper perspective. I would like to keep going to classes because I know it will be really good for my health. FEAR of failure is an awful place to be but at least I had the courage to go to the class and to stay for the duration. I think that is a good start :-)



Blogging and philosophy

Michel de Montaigne wrote of his condition tha...

Michel de Montaigne wrote of his condition that, “I am at grips with the worst of all maladies, the most sudden, the most painful, the most mortal and the most irremediable. I have already experienced five or six very long and painful bouts of it.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I am rereading my favourite book at present, “The Consolations of Philosophy” by Alain De Botton. I first read it about ten years ago and found it to be really enlightening and still do, every time I pick it up. The chapters are:

Consolation for

I. Unpopularity

II. Not Having Enough Money

III. Frustration

IV. Inadequacy

V. A Broken Heart

VI. Difficulties

Each chapter has gems of wisdom but the one that struck me this week was in Chapter IV. The philosopher is Michel de Montaigne and the year is around 1500. Montaigne spends a good part of his life in his library studying philosophy, history, poetry and religion. Montaigne believed that friendship was an essential component of happiness however he only ever has one close friend who died only four years after they met. I am leading up to the point that spoke to me….

Montaigne becomes a writer, and as De Botton says “He became himself on the page as he had been himself in the company of his friend…He was aware of the paradox of expressing his deepest self to strangers in bookshops”. Montaigne wrote,

“Many things that I would not care to tell any individual man I tell to the public, and for knowledge of my most secret thoughts, I refer my most loyal friends to book sellers’ stall”. (page 148).

A very good read :-)