Welcome to the One Word Sunday challenge. My cheeky visitor is an Australian King Parrot who regularly comes to chirp at us and eat wild bird seed.
Some random photographs taken during 2022, most close to my home. Although there was much more freedom to roam than in the previous two years, life seemed to be focused on the scenes, animals and community activities of our local area. There is much to be grateful for and as we all head into 2023 may that continue. Happy New Year.
If one rose can bring so much pleasure How much more joy can a bunch bring Or even a basket full. A blooming bush bursting with buds is a delight, As is a huge climbing rose full of heavenly scent. Make a garden bed full of roses to enjoy, Or a whole garden dedicated to the rose and stroll about at leisure. By Lynn Elder
By Lynn Elder
Splashes of yellow bright sunshine comes between, Splashes of water bouncing upon the already drenched earth. Splashes of red and blue announce the arrival of the rosellas, Splashes of water in the bowls as they frolic and beg for seed. Splashes and quacking as ducks land on overflowing dams. Splashes of running water cascading over temporary waterways. Splashes of mud and water as gumboots wade through. Splashes and squelching as cattle sink into the quagmire. Splashes of furious currents as spillways release the excess water. Splashes as the four-wheel drive negotiates the potholes and puddles. Splashes on the ground as the rainwater tank overflows. Splashes of colour emerge in the form of flowers when grey clouds roll away. Splashes of flowery fashions appear on the sunny spring days. Splashes continue with each rainy day that insists on not stopping too soon.
By Lynn Elder
Oh, what personality does spring display When it thinks it is time to play. Spring can be so fickle, Also, so changeable. Spring can be a myriad of colours As bursting buds bring forth the flowers, Then disappear in a breeze, With the sudden arrival of a wintry freeze. There is a promise of radiant sunshine, For which we did all through winter pine, For a return of some warmth to bask in, And feel the sensation on our skin. Spring does have a gentle side to its personality, Amidst all the activity and vitality. Blossom petals fall softly like light bird feathers, And newborn lambs and calves snuggle against mothers, To herald in the hope and joy of spring.
Certain rituals in our lives help to mark special occasions, rites of passage, or simply to make sense of what we cannot understand or control. Such was the case with the sudden death of my stepson, Matthew, over three years ago, which I have written about in previous posts.
Taking one’s life regardless of age or circumstances is a tragedy and devastating for those left behind to wonder why. We must celebrate life as precious and continue to remember those who were part of our lives. While they may not be here physically, our shared memories live on.
A group of us, including family and close friends, was finally able to gather to spread Matthew’s ashes up in the bush, looking towards the nearby mountains. It was his happy place. Constant lockdowns and ongoing COVID outbreaks curtailed this final goodbye for the past three years. I would often say hello to Matt as I vacuumed around the box containing his ashes.
His Dad finally said we needed to do this, so within a matter of less than a month, it was decided everyone could make it on the long weekend being the Queen’s Birthday public holiday. It also coincided with the official opening of the snow season on the nearby mountain where Matt loved to snowboard. A fitting tribute.
We arranged to meet for lunch before heading up the hills. The nine of us, all with different recollections of Matt. I took a framed photo used at his funeral, where he is grinning merrily, dressed in his snowboarding gear, to sit on the table. We bought him a pint and raised a glass to Matt’s memory.
A nice touch was when the bistro manager said she recognised his face. I said he lived in the city but spent much time on the mountain in winter. Apparently, she worked up on the ski lifts during the season.
The weather was atrocious, but we thought Matt might have the last laugh by sending snow up to the hills. Our ascent up the hills was icy, wet and foggy. It did not snow on us, but the cloud was so low it blocked the usual beautiful mountain views. It provided a surreal backdrop as we huddled on the veranda of the weekend shack. Each of us took turns spreading Matt’s ashes and saying our last goodbye.
His good mate, who owns the holiday property, had bought a mini-keg of pale ale to enjoy afterwards. I suddenly felt teary but had a real sense that Matthew’s spirit was with us and was where he belonged.
His good mate has set up a bar inside above the wood heater with a digital display of photos, and a snowboard mounted on the wall, in honour of Matt’s memory. We all need to find our own ways of keeping those we love close to us in a meaningful way.
We departed back down the hills, knowing it was a final goodbye. The landscape, in all its bleakness, seemed appropriate at that moment.
If anyone you know is struggling and needs help with anxiety, depression or suicide prevention, contact the two Australian organisations below:
“If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.” — Mark Twain
“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.” — Ernest Hemingway
“My cats are really sassy and sophisticated, but most importantly, they are picky.” — Jason Wu
“Time spent with cats is never wasted.” — Sigmund Freud
“You can keep a dog; but it is the cat who keeps people, because cats find humans useful domestic animals.” — George Mikes
“What greater gift than the love of a cat.” — Charles Dickens
By Lynn Elder
The icy embrace of snowy climes soon brings autumn to its knees. No good praying for it not to be when winter arrives on time. Artic blasts keep temperatures in check while us mere mortals shiver, And slosh about in rubber boots to keep the water out.