They’re common birds. I see them every day. Yet they still provide interest and delight to a genuine lover of nature. With one wing lifted and spread out, the dove rolls over and appears dead in the midday sun, presumably enlisting the heat to evict parasites. Its mate joins in the ritual. Then they get up, shake, spread the other wing and stretch out on the grass. Finches feed around them. Suddenly, with a whirr of frantic wings, birds large and small move as one, disappearing into the undergrowth. The brown torpedo-shape of a juvenile Black Butcher-bird darts low over the feeding grounds, diving into the undergrowth. The predator emerges empty-billed, and the pray remain silent and still until the clearing is again safe.
Nature plays out extraordinary sequences of well-being and survival, dedication and loss, life and death, everywhere, every day and night. To the human who appreciates and is fascinated by the details of nature, these sequences are always interesting, often entertaining, sometimes laugh-out-loud amusing, and with limitless beauty and wonder.
Whilst travelling, I meet other birdwatchers/photographers. Some are pleasant company, more are so obsessed with the end result of their hobby (ie: the number of ticks on their species list, or the perfect photo) that they miss the point of nature entirely. They emit stressful, threatening energy that repels the very birds they’re chasing. That self-serving vibration repels me too. I wander off in search of the natural peace that nature IS when nature is left to BE. And because I have no agenda, all I want from nature is to enjoy the beauty and magic of the moment, whatever that moment might produce, PEACE is granted to me.
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.
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.
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.