For the past few months I have been participating in a course designed around using writing to motivate change. Integral to bringing about any change is truly understanding ourselves and the world we live in.
This course has been in many ways more about learning to pay attention to all that is -inside and out – than writing. For too long we have thought we are separate from the world around us. If we are to return some sort of balance to our world then we need to remember how intimately connected we are to it.
As the course has unfolded, I have found myself slowly becoming more attentive to the world and more able to draw inspiration from it. The most important thing I have found is giving myself time to do nothing. This seems to allow the necessary space for the creativity and awareness of the moment to emerge. The description below is one such beautiful experience I had one early morning not long ago.
Walking into the sun
Curiosity leads me out as the first rays of light tinge the sky a soft purplish-pink on one side and orangey-yellow on the other. Wide open vista’s keep me there. It is exhilarating to be out of the city.
I find a track that leads me towards the rising sun. In the distance a kangaroo spots me and I him. We assess each other briefly and then resume our morning pursuits: I to greet the morning sun with yoga and wordless worship; and him back to his morning feast.
For the first time I feel the need for a ritual to greet the sun. I feel keenly the loss of ways that pay homage to the changes in the world around us – shifting sun, changing seasons and so on. In the busyness of manufactured city life these don’t seem to matter. Out here where the elements of the world are laid bare, is where the necessity of weaving our days to all that is part of life becomes clear.
A little while later I wonder too close and realise the one is many, a mob of kangaroos, now bounding across the plains into the distance and then out of sight. As they flee an occasional thump echoes across the plains and I realise with delight that these are the subtle sounds that I would never hear in the city.
Here the morning is filled with lowing cows and a multitude of avian conversations. I can pick out crows, cockatoos, galahs and the odd magpie. There are many more I cannot identify reminding me of how little I know of this land. In my ignorance they merge into a harsh choir of squawks and screeches.
As I walk east the sun creeps over a distant mountain range. I breathe in its warmth and grace. After a while the thought of food turns me around back towards the cottage. The sun climbs steadily in the sky warming my back and brightening the world. I marvel at the interplay of light and dark, which sends long shadows reaching out across the plains.
Still I feel my body listening for what is not here – the unceasing thrum of engines. The sound landscape seems odd. There is a quality I am not used to. My body is so geared to bracing itself from the roars that fill every moment. Here instead there is a gentle, healing space between the voices of birds, cattle and wind that allows my body to unwind and relax.