Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Chrysalis & Transformations

The creature that lived within the chrysalis is gone - only the husk remains, but the early morning sun turns the abandoned case into golden beauty. The rising sun alights on grasses, weeds, dewdrops, and gilds them all with beauty. 

Morning has broken


The lawn is still wet with dew - my youngest daughters run ahead, laughing, then stop to see why I'm not following. I've sunk to my knees in the wet grass to study how the spiders webs catch the water droplets. 



One of my daughters' has decided that she is a were-wolf mermaid Queen, and while this might seem to have logistical problems, as she explained it, this is easily solved. Her castle sits upon the shore, and on land she's a were-wolf and ruler of all the were-wolves, and in the sea she's a mermaid, and ruler of all mer-folk. 

She takes it quite seriously - a boy at school hurt her feelings by telling her she isn't a were-wolf. 

I blinked a lot when she told me exactly how he was 'mean' to her - and suggested he didn't mean to upset her. 

Our walks at night to study the local owl are interrupted by howls, as she calls to her people, and then yells as she tells my youngest daughter that as a were-wolf she will eat all ten of her sisters' imaginary bat babies. 

As our area is going through a mice plague I suggested mice are a good alternative were-wolf food, but she decided to abstain. I've also had little luck persuading her mermaids eat fish, although she did try a little seaweed. 

She'll solve the food problem next week - for now she's working on her howling. 

As... Dragonflies draw flame

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; 

As tumbled over rim in roundy wells

Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's 

Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name; 

Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:

Dealts out that being indoors each one dwells; 

Selves- goes itself: myself it speaks and spells. 

Crying What I do is me: for that I came

Gerard Manley Hopkins - As Kingfishers Catch Fire

In days past we were more familiar with the thrum of the natural world around us. Reading older poets their words are alive with their observations and their precise references to the natural world around and the wonder and richness of our earth. 

My children have a language of computer games that they apply to Real Life- 'camping' is to wait in place in order to attack someone when they reappear in game. (Confusing when the kids use it in reference to our dog versus cat drama, someone blinking their eyes rapidly is 'glitching' and their are multiple others. 

The computer language entertains me - but I wish they also knew more of the language of the living world. 

Studying more closely the world of the mini-beasts as it unfolds parallel and inter-dependent with our own, it strikes me how wilfully blind I have been until the present. The world of the small things is so vast, varied, busy and brutal. I watch the bees buzzing in the lemon blossom, and note their furry abdomens. I study the abundance of small pale moths in the early morning grass and see how at rest they hide beneath a leaf. A spider notes my approach and draws it's legs together so it resembles more nearly a stick. 

At present it is the dragonflies that most interest me. Their sun-gleaming translucent wings are so clearly the basis for fairy wings. And yet their faces are so unsettling. Most alien faces in movies and pictures seem based on some variety of bug. My husband says it makes sense; bugs are the most populous things on earth - obviously their features are ones that survive. 

I wonder how they perceive the world through their bulging eyes. I've read somewhere they perceive ultra-violet light - how would our faces appear to them? 

My great grandfather told stories of a golden Beatle that would appear beside children, and shrink them to his own size, to take them adventuring on his back in a world seen afresh and made giant-sized. 

I find myself increasingly re-imagining these long ago child-adventures, and seeing anew the wonder in the world.  


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Early morning dew-fall.

Early morning as the sun rose. My mum and I walked in the golden light - our feet soaked through in minutes with the thick dew-fall and the world around seemed transformed as the golden light ran along the caught droplets. My mum walked the dogs so they didn't tangle and yank at me when I paused, and I could stop and focus and consider. 
The spiders webs amazed me - it's hard not to think of the spiders as great artistes - amazing architects, designers. I wondered at their thoughts as they sat within their illuminated creations. 


Pastural Perspective

I have spent a lot of time recently crouching low, kneeling, peering up close at various plants and bugs. Sometimes, it's nice to look up. 

Photos from a sunrise walk along the old rail trail near our town in the South Burnett. 


Childhood & Memory


The moments are slow but the years are fast, and our brains discard so many of the small moments that make life so beautiful.

The kids and I were talking in the car recently about how the brain decides what will be remembered and what will be forgotten. How we can't remember every moment, so our brain makes executive decisions about what will be important for us in the future. 

The kids were annoyed until I pointed out that we wouldn't want to remember every time we went to the loo or blew our nose or did the many boring things we do again and again. 

But we all agreed that we wished we had more say in what we remember and what we forget. 

The librarian in me wants to present a collection policy to my brain. This: we remember. This: we forget. 

I fear my brain has evolved to remember the things necessary for survival - the hard things, the dangerous things, the new and unusual things. I wish to remember the moments that make my heart sing. The sweet and the heart melting. The small things. 

My youngest child is leaving the 'little stage' and nostalgia fills me. (A familiar state to be honest - I first remember feeling nostalgic at about the same age my little Dinosaur is now). 

I want to remember each thing she says, each inflection of her voice, the way she curls to me in her sleep, the feel of her small hand in mine, but life is so busy, and so much is forgotten. 

I love this photo - her face is so serene, and yet her hair shows her inner wild!

These photos are from moments on a swing, on the first day my mum flew up from Victoria for a week. The first time we'd seen her in a year, apart from my grandmothers funeral. 

And my Little Dinosaurs' joy in having focused attention was so wonderful and so bittersweet. The Sickness has kept so many of us from our 'village', and within the house with all the busyness and stress I worry about the benign neglect of our youngest. 

She is never short of absent minded kisses, distracted hugs, someone to tell her they love her, siblings to squabble with, pets to over-love, but she misses out on the focused attention her older siblings got. I remember all the trips to museums, zoos, national park, the stretch of coast we took her older siblings to almost every weekend while their dad was studying for his med degree down in Victoria, the beaches we visited almost daily when we lived on the coast.

Our dinosaur gets walks - the same walk really, up past Owl Tree, down Wallaby Hill, down by Millipede Stream and past the cow paddocks and back - trips to the much depleted local dam (9.1% capacity at the moment) and many, many school runs. 

I content myself she doesn't seem unhappy. And when all the days are full of small things, hopefully more small things are remembered.