blessings · freedom · friends

A Sad Day…

In Loving Memory

If it should be

” If it should be, that I grow frail and weak,
And pain should wake me from my sleep,
Then you must do what must be done,
For this last battle can’t be won.

You will be sad, I understand,
Don’t let your grief then stay your hand
For this day more than all the rest
Your love and friendship stand the test.

Together we’ve had so many happy years,
And what is to come will hold no fears –
You’ll not want me to suffer, and so,
When the time comes, please let me go.

I know in time you too will see
It is a kindness you do to me,
Although my tail its last has waved
From pain and suffering I’ve been saved.

Do not grieve that it should be you,
Who has to decide this thing to do,
We’ve been so close we two these years,
So don’t let your heart
Hold any tears.” ~ Author Unknown.

Australia · enchanting · freedom · pecan nuts · photography

Ethereal

etherial.jpg

“To hear never-heard sounds,
To see never-seen colors and shapes,
To try to understand the imperceptible
Power pervading the world;
To fly and find pure ethereal substances
That are not of matter
But of that invisible soul pervading reality.
To hear another soul and to whisper to another soul;
To be a lantern in the darkness
Or an umbrella in a stormy day;
To feel much more than know.
To be the eyes of an eagle, slope of a mountain;
To be a wave understanding the influence of the moon;
To be a tree and read the memory of the leaves;
To be an insignificant pedestrian on the streets
Of crazy cities watching, watching, and watching.
To be a smile on the face of a woman
And shine in her memory
As a moment saved without planning.” ~ Dejan Stojanovic.

???????????????????????????????The first day that a flock of Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos invaded my Pecan Nut Tree was indeed a happy day for this bird-loving, photo taking blogger. For weeks I had listened to their raucous screeching sounds as they flew through the ether, bypassing my garden and heading off to parts unknown.

???????????????????????????????These are large native Australian birds, and whilst some may regard them as pests, there are many more, including myself, who love the personality, character and appearance of cockatoos.

During one of my early morning photo session I could hear my next door neighbour calling out “shoo, shoo” and when I looked towards her garden, there she was, running around her yard, waving a stick and obviously attempting to remove these angelic beauties from her garden. Not that she had many in her yard, and they were my pecan nuts they were munching on.

I chuckled to myself and continued clicking away with my camera. The cockatoos ignored the stick-waving human. The stick-waver gave up.

???????????????????????????????We planted our pecan nut tree about eighteen years ago, so you can imagine how large it is now, and we have enjoyed many seasons of munching away on the pecans ourselves. In fact, I’m sure I have a post, somewhere in the archives, of my delicious Pecan Pie…..

"Wanna share....?"
“Wanna share….?”

…..Here it is!  And look at that, I added the recipe on June, 18th, 2010, almost three years ago to the day! And I’m more than happy to share my pie recipe with everyone, unlike my cockatoo friends, who are very possessive with what they regard as their own, as you can see here!

"Gimme that now!"
“Gimme that now!”

During the silence of the early morning, with around two dozen cockatoos breaking open the hard shells of the pecans, the collective cracking of shells being broken open resembles the sound of a fire burning. You know the crackling sound a fire makes when logs are burning in the fireplace? That’s the noise that the cockatoos make with the shells.

???????????????????????????????Their white feathers are so pristine in appearance and with the birds being so large, between fifteen to twenty inches in length, when their wings are spread they seem to look as I imagine an angel in flight would look.

???????????????????????????????Oh okay, yes, you’re right, I don’t imagine an angel with a rounded beak and black beads for eyes, but you do get the picture, don’t you? Their white wings look like gossamer, cascading through the air. I suspect in reality those wings hold power, though my heart wishes to believe they are gossamer.

A white flurry of gossamer wings....
A white flurry of gossamer wings….

Cockatoos can be tamed and kept as pets, even taught how to talk. Apparently they are very demanding pets. I’ve also read that they are very affectionate birds, which doesn’t surprise me, after having been privileged to watch them interact with one another in the wild.

Pretty Cocky!
Pretty Cocky!

The long yellow feathers on their head, the crest, has its own set of muscles, allowing the bird to lift their sulphur crest when happy, excited or playful. As I have watched them, I’ve noticed that when something catches their eye somewhere in the distance, they will raise their crest before flying away.

???????????????????????????????My neighbour, who also feeds the wild birds, (not the stick waving woman!) has a huge pine tree in her garden and the cockatoos love chewing on the pine cones too. In captivity, they can destroy furniture, as they love to chew on wood. Perhaps the stick waver thought they were plotting to destroy her trees…..?

???????????????????????????????They seem to be quite partial to the exotic orange blooms of my African Tulip tree too. I’m guessing there must be seeds inside the flowers that they enjoy eating. I’ve also watched and wondered, as they shake their heads back when they have a mouthful of delicious orange-ness, just as this next cocky is doing.

???????????????????????????????I must admit, I wondered whether the cockatoos had left me any pecans on the tree at all! Not that I needed any, as I already have two buckets full on the veranda, waiting to be shelled, so I took another bucket down to the tree last weekend only to find that there were heaps of pecan nuts left for me! These gorgeous white-winged angels are not greedy at all. 🙂

An angelic pecan muncher in action.
An angelic pecan muncher in action.
Australia · Changes · freedom · new beginnings

“Yours is the Earth and Everything that’s in it”

The SS New Australia

One of the most time consuming, although thoroughly enjoyable, items on my ‘to do’ list, is to sort through old photos I inherited from my parents. I have two brand new scrapbook style albums, which will become the new home for most of the photos, after they have all been scanned and labelled.

Another album I have to work on is a very old photographic record of my parents voyage in 1951, on the ship the “SS New Australia”, which brought them and their three young daughters from Southampton, England to Sydney, Australia, a journey taking them over one month, when they travelled across the world in search of a new and improved life.

In among a paper bag full of photos I discovered three restaurant menus, carefully saved and well preserved after all these years from their weeks on the “SS New Australia”.

On the back of one of the menus, printed Wednesday, December 6, 1950, I found a poem. As I read the poem, I couldn’t help but think what a thoughtful gesture it had been, giving these immigrants so much hope for their future lives, in particular with the line “Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it”.

As they embarked on their new lives, they had the whole world in the palm of their hand!

Note~ After deciding to record these thoughts here today and researching how many others there were on the same voyage as my parents (over 1,500 people) I happened to notice the date when they arrived at their destination of Sydney, Australia.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge in the early 1950's

The “SS New Australia” sailed into Sydney Harbour on the March 19, 1951, exactly sixty-one years ago today. And just by coincidence, today is the eightieth anniversary of the opening of the “Sydney Harbour Bridge”!

~ ~ ~

“If” by Rudyard Kipling

“If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

And make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,

If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim,

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,

And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch and toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold On!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings, nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”

Rudyard Kipling ~ Photo scanned from my book "The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English"

 

Australia

Foam Fairies

Once where the wave breaks,

Where I love to play,

The little white Foam Fairies

Came dancing in the spray,

Little wild Foam Fairies

Leaping in the air;

Sea-green their eyes were,

Kelpy-brown their hair.

~ Annie R. Renoul.

freedom · spiritual

Where the Mind is Without Fear

I’m sharing with you today a poem that I have come across, by a poet I had never heard of before today. Rabindranath Tagore, I have discovered, was from India, perhaps explaining the spiritual note to his poem.

I enjoyed this poem on so many levels. I trust you will enjoy it too. 🙂

Where the Mind is Without Fear ~ Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.