“I always think that the best way to know God is to love many things.” ~ Vincent van Gogh

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Morning Rain

Sunday morning rain.
On my porch rail
three Noisy Miners huddle drenched —
tight-beaked, slit-eyed,
hunched and silent.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cutting Short the Retreat

Thunder rolled around the hills
all night: drums and crashing cymbals.

 My inflamed shoulder aches and stings
needing another new dressing.

 We stumble awake into news:
the Sydney siege over. Three dead.

 Half way through my retreat,
I’m pulled back to the world.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Changing Relationship

I have become to him more cat now. When we have cuddles, he will lick my fingers assiduously, much more than he used to — then will suddenly give a sharp little nibble. There would be more, but at that point I yelp and push him away. He goes, sulkily. I am still the Alpha.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

An Influx of Ants

I open my kitchen drawer, and leap back. It’s full of tiny ants. They can't be looking for water — it’s gently raining outside. So it must be going to be a hard summer. Usually we think of a hard winter; usually the ants come indoors looking for food in a hard winter. What is global warming doing?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Eyes That Won't Meet Mine

'Are you a bee or a wasp?' I think at it. 

As if it senses my unease and responds, it rises from hovering near the jade plant at the edge of my front veranda and heads over to the bushes by the fence. I sip my coffee and read about writing haibun. 

A little later it returns. It lands on a jade leaf, walks underneath it, and strokes the upside with its fine front legs. 

'I'm glad to see you, bee,' I think this time. 

I know they are said to be dying out. If they do, it is further said, we shall all be doomed.

I contemplate the tree growing tall by my fence. I know it's a weed — one I didn't catch and pull out while it was still a baby, and look at it now! It's beautiful. It's hard to know how to serve Nature best.

The wind freshens, the thunder revs up. It's time to go inside. The rain will be humid.

in my living-room
the painting of an angel
a sweet sad face

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Comforts of the Body

Slowing down and taking time to observe my life, I notice and savour the comforts of the body; I dwell in them — the cushions at my back and behind my head, the warmth of the shoes on my feet, the aftertaste of my dinner, my breath moving easily out and in.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

After the Heavy Rain

After the heavy rain
one drop falls from the roof
with a loud tap, repeatedly.

Slowing down
I start to observe myself,
what’s really there.

I let myself stay
with loneliness now
so as to know it.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Losing the Leaves

My northern hemisphere friends write of snow and the last leaves falling. Here the trees are thick with leaves, full of flowers; some already have berries. The threat is from sudden summer storms, which can tear them off in a few minutes. Quite by accident, we time our river walk perfectly today, and are sitting in a cafe when the thunder and pelting rain descend out of nowhere.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I realise that work is not in preparation for my retreat, but part of it. The good, honest, physical work of cleaning house. Much is needed. I neglected it all winter and spring. It feels good to give it a little time each day, incorporating it into my daily schedule of reading, writing, meditation, self-healing sessions, exercise and relaxation. Now, '... exercise, relaxation and work.' Not exactly in that order, and none of them at only one time all day. It is only the 3rd of December. I am still working out the routines that serve best. Already I am becoming more peaceful.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Preparing the Space

The first day of my home vacation.  I clean the outdoor chairs and coffee tables on both my back and front verandas, wiping them down repeatedly with a microfibre cloth.  With my yard broom I catch and remove the thick, old, uninhabited cobwebs binding the vines to my shelf of garden tools. I take the trowel and dig up my new French lavender, put it in a pot and place the pot on the front veranda where it will get the full sun I now know it needs.  I wash the frames of my front and back doors and dust the flywires. My holiday can begin.

(To be honest, it's not so much a vacation, though it will function that way too, as a spiritual retreat.)