Travelling – The beach of the balancing stones

Balancing stones beach cairns 1

It’s like the peace hidden and lying in wait in every person’s heart has emerged, just for a few moments. I wonder if they felt it? And I wonder if they experienced a connection with the other travellers they wandered amongst? And I wonder if any person leaving the beach was changed forever?

There are no directional signs, and it’s not an official tourist attraction, yet the beach is obviously visited by thousands of travellers who contribute to the impromptu art. Balancing towers of rocks and stones against a backdrop of tropical ocean, on the road from Port Douglas in far north Queensland to Cairns. I guess it’s rather unique.

Just picture: all cultures, all religions and all faiths, all political persuasions, all sexual orientations, and a full spectrum of social standings mingling, admiring, and feeling part of something simple that is also something special. And knowing that this simple natural expression of cross-cultural creativity is special. Boundaries have been crossed and walls have come down, and everyone is part of a whole. There are no officials telling dark-skinned people to go there or rich people to go here or heterosexuals to go there. Every person is equal and one with everyone else. A celebration of humanity. That’s how the world should be.

I’m disappointed to find, a few months later, that most of the stone stacks are gone. It doesn’t appear to be an act of wanton destruction by humans, but rather, I think Mother Earth has claimed the stones with boisterous stormy seas. More towers of balancing stones are starting replace those washed away, and I hope the process will be repeated so that people from all over the world and from all walks of life can once again leave their positive energy and creativity for all to enjoy.

I sat on the beach this morning amongst the new art pieces to write, imagining cultures mixing, and all going away with a smile in their hearts.

Balancing stones beach cairns 2

 

Winter solstice 2017

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A table with a water view as darkness descends over the ocean. A seaside restaurant. Alone. This is how I chose to celebrate the winter solstice. I plucked a few delicate pink daisies from the garden at the caravan park where I’m staying, and picked some dandelion seed heads from the park as I walked to the beach. And I asked the waitress if I might have a little candle for my table and a tiny bowl of water for my private solstice celebration. She was happy to oblige.

Earth, fire, wind, water – all Universal elements decorate my table for my solstice ritual.

Just look at me go. Confidence and love for the being that I am, without the slightest look sideways to see if there are any strange looks from others. This is ME. And this is also a celebration of the ME that I have become. Living authentically.

Winter solstice 2017 02

My day began at dawn, on the beach with the sliver of moon and morning star shining down on me, walking alone. The pre-sunrise sky was brilliant, fiery, and I felt so blessed to be amongst the beauty of nature. My being infused with joy. I AM joy. I sat on a cushion of seaweed, contemplating.

[At the restaurant it is now dark, and in my view I can see an elderly white-bearded man riding his ‘gofer’ with a pizza box on  his lap. I LOVE that. I love to see people enjoy life ‘their way’, not giving up when all seems lost. Smiling happily, I send my love to him, and he’s gone.]

Contemplating where I’m at and where I want my journey to go. Only briefly though, because I’m at a very good place in my life, and my immediate future needs are simple: ie continue on my path of inner growth and awareness. It’s exciting, fruitful, satisfying, and a warm loving place to BE.

Traditionally and historically, the winter solstice recognises and celebrates the season of change on the shortest day of the year. A time for spiritual transformation, turning inward for quiet introspection. New hope. Fresh plans. Feeling and expressing gratitude for the life-giving light and warmth that is the sun.

My meal of local calamari with local wine has been my celebratory feast for one tonight, followed by a scrumptious ice-cream and chocolate dessert (why not?). I voice my prayer of thanks privately, but out loud:

Thank you for the warming winter sun; thank you for the knowing darkness; thank you for the ocean view as I celebrate; thank you for the fresh local produce; and thank you for the growing awareness that is now Me.

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As I walked back to my cabin under a black moonless, but starry sky, I blew the dandelion seeds to the breeze.

Gratitude. Namaste.

Birdwatchers of Hervey Bay celebrate 20th anniversary

Twenty years ago, on 14 February 1997, the newly formed group of birdwatchers had their inaugural outing. Ten birdos gathered at Arkarra Lagoons for a morning of bird spotting, recording 32 species.

Local bird enthusiast, John Knight, presided over the meeting, but there have never been any official office-bearers. Twenty years later, John still endows the group with his passion for native birds and habitat, recording sightings from weekly outings.

Now, between 25 and 30 members gather early every Wednesday morning at one of the 80-odd venues in the Fraser Coast area, splitting up into small informal groups, the more knowledgeable always offering assistance and expertise when requested. For me, it is always a learning experience as well as an enjoyable social occasion.

Following two hours of birdwatching, everyone meets for morning tea and some socialising. Then it’s time for the bird count. Those who wish to stay for another bird spotting wander, do so, and then meet for lunch.

To date, the group has identified about 300 bird species in the local district, with the usual weekly count between 50 and 80.

As the first meeting was held at Arkarra Lagoons, this was the choice for the anniversary meeting. More than 50 members and visitors celebrated the milestone with morning tea and a cake.

Great memories.

Birdwatchers of Hervey Bay 20th anniversary Arkarra Lagoons 15 Feb 2017

Australia Day and gratitude

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Traditionally, Australia Day is our national day set aside as a holiday to celebrate the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet from Great Britain, the initiation of Australia’s European history. Although I’m pleased that Australia sees fit to recognise and showcase our history and all the privileges that our country offers each and every one of us, it’s not a day that I do anything special to celebrate my heritage, freedom and progress that I am a part of.

I privately give thanks for all this and much more every day of every week. I am so very grateful for every aspect of my lifestyle in Australia.

Top quality and ample fresh produce available to purchase at clean and convenient shops and markets – vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, meat and seafood. Take your pick. So much to choose from. I’m sure that many international visitors to Australia would be astounded to set sight on our supermarket shelves stocked full of such premium food. I feel genuine gratitude to our farmers, to nature that provides the essential conditions for the growth of this food, and for the transport and employment and infrastructure in place necessary for getting this produce to the public.

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Also astounding is the fact that most of us have a quality roof over our heads, clothes aplenty, and services to deal with all that we need. Doctors, scientists, education facilities. All everyday possessions and services that we could so easily take for granted if we did not consciously think about and identify regularly. Daily.

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We depend upon a stable economy and socially considerate society. We depend upon the wellbeing of nature in every corner and far-flung expanse of this country. We depend upon a non-judgemental and charitable attitude in every community. Without the participation of all Australians in the goal of creating and maintaining a society that supports the wellbeing of all people and the land that we live on, we will not continue to have this liberated and affluent lifestyle to celebrate.

My gratitude is unfailing.

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