It is funny, as in complicated, how some things just keep rolling around about the same time, but always seem to have some link.
The word “Gratitude” has been at the head of the pack for me this week.
A Chinese Proverb says, “When you drink water, spare a thought for the source”
As it turns out, I’ve been taking the time, and the energy, and the obsession I normally reserve for things in the birding world and doing a bit of research and investigation into some of the more esoteric aspects of Tai Chi.
The ancients divided the “elements” of the world into Five parts. Won’t bore you with the examination, but essentially they are Earth, Metal, Water, Wood and Fire. Each is linked to a season of the year, and there are so many health, hygiene, meditation and spiritual elements to it all that has so far escaped my attention, but it has given me a new area to explore during the current catastrophe that is upon us. At least it’s a distraction. 🙂
I take my hour of exercise first thing in the morning. As a photographer, I walk a little in the pre-dawn and then turn for home just about on sunrise. On a good day, and today was one such day, the crisp blue sky gives way to the brilliance of the sunshine skating low beams of light across the local wetlands and slowly but surely the shapes emerge, the colour glow, and the world seems to me to be in harmony for that 30 minutes or so that I walk home.
I also stop by a little secluded, off the track location that I’ve discovered and make it a practice to add some Tai Chi routines to my enjoyment of that morning light.
It’s only a little pond, I am thinking of calling it “My Beautiful Spot”.
And this morning as I was settling into the routine, a flurry of wings sped by my head and with a ‘splossssh,’ a Pacific Black Duck landed on the water in front of me. Completely oblivious to my presence, it paddled about the pond, came to a spot near where I was standing and stepped out of the water for a bit of wing stretch and preen. I had to slow down my Tai Chi so as not to put it to wing.
Eventually it paddled back to the far side of the pond, and lifted vertically out of the water and was gone.
My beautiful spot took on quite an awe of optimism. For just a few moments. I had a friend. 🙂
I managed to sneak a photo of duck, poor quality as the sun was still a sleepy-head, but hey, it was the best encounter, I’ve had this week.
During the week, I drove down to the end of my 5km radius to see how the Black Swan Family were doing.
And another touch of sunshine and some healthy looking young cygnets also lifted my heart.
From: The Fortress: The Global Headquarters of the Doona Hermit.
6 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Post #149: Gratitude”
Thanks for sharing your morning mindful moments David. It is a blessing to have a little pond inside your 5 km, we only have houses and kids park. Yes the attitude of gratitude is the healthy approach to all of this, and so lovely to incorporate your morning dawn walk with exercise routine. Watching the morning wake up is a very special privilege and delight. The little Black Duck is a lovely lift for the morning. I have had a similar experience of one just missing my head and landing in a pond nearby. It exacly the same thing, shook its wings and paddled across a little then flew off. Enjoy your week my friend, we go into curfew as the next stage tomorrow night.
Hello Ashley, to be honest this post has struggled with over-editing. I had so much to say, yet in the end sounded like I was delivering the “last rites”, so in the end, it was heavily cropped. Hopefully I didn’t lose too much of the feel in the edit.
I was at the pond again this morning and again the duck came in, sat at the other end of the pond and chatted away to me for about 10 while it preened. I do feel ‘special’.
I have a sneaking suspicion that its mate might have a nest in the grasses beyond the pond. But, I’m not going to look.
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A beautiful spot indeed, David! And lovely to have the duck share your space for a while!
Lovely to see the swan family too!
A wonderful and uplifting post in the midst of life as we know it!
And I just got word that for the time being I can not visit Di in hospital.
Glad I got in early today!
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Sorry to hear of the plight with Di, we are certainly struggling on many fronts.
Hope that all goes well, and you’re reunited quickly. It is scary to see the challenges that are being put on our health system.
Do look after yourself, the Carer is often as stressed as the patient, and needs plenty of support as well.
Indeed, we do have so much to be grateful for, and it can give us a positive outlook on what we are going through, rather than grumbling about being “locked up” – which of course we are not. (Mind you, I think a bit of locking up of some of these protesters might be a good idea for all our sakes!)
I love the story of your little pond and the Pacific Black Duck. Let’s hope there may be some new ones on the way and that you have the privilege of seeing them emerge in due course. There are beautiful spots to be found everywhere if we only take the time to look.
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Took me awhile to find, I must have written it years ago, I can’t find a link to the story and wonder if its not one of those apocryphal things people invent that Lincoln Might Have Said, but it fits here anyway.
“A Civil War story is told of a woman who sought the favor of Abraham Lincoln on behalf of her soldier son who, apparently, committed an act of treason.
After reviewing the soldier-son’s case, Lincoln gave him a pardon. Nevertheless, he hesitated to rejoice with the mother, saying, “Your son may be free, but I still wish we could give him a little bit of hanging.”
Seems some of the rabble (I cannot deem them protesters) could do with a touch of humility.
The early morning light and the timing, on the way home in the morning makes a stop and a few minutes of exercise and mindclearing worth while. As the days lengthen, I’ll probably have to by pass the Tai Chi interlude.