“…It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humourless little prig. Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me. When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic. No rhetoric, no tremolos, no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell. And of course, no theology, no metaphysics.
Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling, on tiptoes and no luggage, not even a sponge bag, completely unencumbered…”
You just know I have been milking that joke (in the post title) all month, right? 🙂
I love me some nature photography. I do not claim to be very good at it, nor do I have any fancy equipment, lenses, or even a decent camera. Just my little iPhone with the cracked screen. It does the job though and I get some pretty nice shots when we are out and about. But, really, nature does all the work – I just show up and take the photos.
Fungi always seems a bit magical and other-worldly, because of its weird shapes, colours and places in which it grows. I would like to tell you I can identify all of these little toadstools and mushrooms but, clearly, I would be lying. I have no idea if anyone of them are edible. They’re just neat – that’s all I know – and, during this hike through the forest in Jarrahdale, they were in abundance.
We had to be careful where we walked, in case we squished some of the more well-camouflaged specimens, and you had to look down and up and sideways and under things and above your head because they grew in all sorts of places.
Nature is so clever and beautiful, and we should take the time to notice her work more often. Not just trample all over it. We need to learn to tread more softly and leave smaller footprints. We miss out on so much when we don’t stop and look around every now and then and remember to be grateful and appreciative.
“…Many people seem to think it foolish, even superstitious,
to believe that the world could still change for the better.
And it is true that in winter it is sometimes so bitingly cold that one is tempted to say, ‘What do I care if there is a summer; its warmth is no help to me now.’
Yes, evil often seems to surpass good.
But then, in spite of us, and without our permission,
there comes at last an end to the bitter frosts.
One morning the wind turns, and there is a thaw.
And so I must still have hope…”
“…And I learned what is obvious to a child. That life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals. That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered…”
“…In a noisy world like ours, the best gift to have is a quiet mind. In a dangerous world like this one, the best gift to own is a calm soul. In a life like we are placed in, the best gift to receive is a serene outlook. May we have all three of these gifts…”
There is absolutely no point to this post, other than to say I love black swans. Most days I go walking at a big lake on the way home from work, and I love watching these guys as they paddle about on the water. They are majestic and comical all at the same time. At this time of year, when they are not consumed by the breeding urge, they are friendly and inquisitive, quite happy to waddle up to you and graze nearby or check out what you may have for them. Sadly, I don’t bring them food because I know it’s not good to do so (especially bread) and so I am a bit of a disappointment. Still, they seem to know me now and will hang out for a while if I sit on one of the benches or on the bank.
I love their little honks and whistles, their head-bobs-in-greeting and their lovely big feet. I love their upside-down feeding when their in bums are the air and their heads are underwater, feet paddling like crazy. I love their ballet stretches and their sleepy eyelids when they are dozing off. The way the water beads on their blue-black plumage, and those bright red beaks. Just beautiful.
“…Our bird plays a starring role in all this owing to a belief in Europe, dating back 2000 years to Roman poet Juvenal, that swans are invariably white. Like purple cows and flying pigs, the black swan was a symbol of what was impossible. In medieval Europe, unicorns had more credibility. Dutch navigator Willem de Vlamingh, by finding black swans in Western Australia in 1697, showed how risky it is to declare something impossible…”
I’m glad they ARE possible, and that I get to share their space with them. Come breeding season they are less inclined to be so welcoming but, even then, they are accommodating and patient, allowing a certain amount of intrusion into their little family groups. Cygnets are the most adorable things on the planet. Grey balls of fluff – it’s hard to imagine they will grow up to be something so tall and glorious. Don’t get too close though – you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a Mummy Swan’s wrath 🙂