Into the light

Down on the coast the wind was blowing so strong it nearly knocked me off my feet.  Laughing I planted my feet in the sand.   The wind whipped my hair around my face, the sea roared and the sun set the churning sea glittering and glimmering.    The energy of it all was so intense I felt like my skin had suddenly become porous and the air, sound and light poured deep into my being.  


My response to my own On the Road prompt –Light on the Road


On the shores of the Southern Ocean

From the vantage point of having been to the same beach at this time of year for the past five years, I take the dirt road down to the shore.   It’s rained extremely heavily during the past week and now wide expanses of silvery water  lie across the paddocks.   Deep puddles framed each side of the road but the middle is solid enough to drive along – slowly.  

The car park is a maze of puddles so I park at the very edge.   I’m eager to see what changes the winter storms have wrought on the shore line  this year.  Usually at this beach there is a wide stretch of sand with the ocean on one side and the shallow waters of a river that doesn’t quite reach the sea on the other.


In 2014 the river broke through to the sea during a wild storm.   The water was  shallow and it was easy to walk along the near side of the river. 

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Looking at my photos of the day I can still remember the calm,  dream-like feeling that came over as I wandered along the river’s edge.

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Within two weeks the river mouth had silted up again.   It wasn’t until last year that the river broke through the sand bar again.  Very shallow water flowed languidly over the sand.  


Within a week the flow had all but ceased –  DSCN9958

Yesterday when I arrived at the same vantage point I had trouble believing what I was seeing.   Instead of gentle, dream-like mingling of river and ocean a raging torrent confronted me.

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The water had carved a deep channel through the sand dunes.   It was impossible to get down to the river’s edge for the water ate away at the base of a sand cliff that was at least two metres high.

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Walking down to ocean shore line I looked across a wide expanse of surging water.  

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This wide new river flows so powerfully it is hard to imagine it ever returning to the landlocked backwater it was just a few short months ago.  Perhaps the lonely stretch of sand on the far side will remain beyond reach of human foot prints.   Mother Nature fights back!

Linked to     I picked the word ‘vantage’ as the theme for this post.  

From S.W Ireland to S.W. Victoria

– the story of a journey

A few years ago I had the opportunity to go through some old family papers.   There I came across a letter written by my great, great grandmother, Priscilla to her daughter Eliza, my great grandmother.   In the letter Priscilla wrote that the family had lived in a particular part of the British Isles ‘for time out of mind’ before they came to Australia.

It is unclear why Priscilla and her common law husband John felt the need to take a three month sea voyage to the other side of the world with all of their nine children.  Further on in the letter she hints at some family trouble – some problem that forced them to flee  their ancestral home.  The details are very sketchy.

The letter is the only written story of my ancestors I have ever found.   The rest of my forebears are silent.  All that remains of them are a few tattered material goods and fragments of stories – stories that speak of loss and disruption – some sudden change in fortune that sent them across the globe to start again.


As their descendant I feel I carry these imprints of disruption, exile and wandering in my DNA.   No doubt many of us carry similar imprints for so many of us can trace our ancestry back to another country, another culture.

When I went to south west Ireland I felt I was venturing back through my own familial history into time out of mind – that time where my ancestral roots are lost in the mists of myth and legend.


These experiences enriched me and gave me a sense of belonging to a people, an ethnic group, even to an ancient pre-Christian belief system I can only guess at but feel spiritually connected to.

Wedge tomb Tomb of the crone goddess, Co. Cork, Ireland

Here in south west Victoria the feeling that I am journeying back in time still comes to me when I am alone in untamed natural environments.  Here though I feel as if I am travelling back into pre-history.  I walk past archaeological evidence of the Aboriginal people that have lived here for 40,000 years to ancient fossilized landscapes that date back millions of years.


As I clamber over the cooled lava flows that shaped this area or pick my way along the crumbling sandstone cliffs of the coast a sense of time beyond human time envelops me. I step beyond my ancestral roots into something far older – a sense of connection with the Earth that goes back through the very first humans that walked this land to the creation myths and the cellular connection between all carbon based life forms.

Standing alone in the primal landscapes of south west Victoria I feel myself to be a part of the Earth and of the universe itself.  The life force that animates all living things pulsates within my being.


FOOTNOTE:   On a personal note this blog post was one of those ideas that woke in the middle of night.   I couldn’t get back to sleep last night until I had turned on the light and jotted  it down.   When I came online to write this blog post I saw a complete stranger had visited some old blog of mine I’d completely forgotten about and found a post I wrote about Priscilla 7 years ago.   It seems she too is a descendant of this indomitable woman and would like to email me.   Life is stranger than fiction.




Season change

Perhaps it is the smell of autumn leaves moldering in corners…

Perhaps it is the smell of burning fossil fuels as the gas heaters and wood burners of the town are arced up to combat the creeping winter chills…

Perhaps it is the smell of burning money as people in all electric homes attempt to pay their power bills…

Perhaps it is the smell of global politics – the malodorous stench of war mongering, hypocrisy and injustice – the lingering whiff of hot air escaping…

Perhaps it is the smell of my own kitchen waste slowly fermenting in the bin I forgot to empty last night…

whatever it is – it stinks.

As season change rolls in I am ambivalent about the coming winter down here in Oz.   It’s a chance to knuckle down and get some serious work done but then there’s all those long grey months and all those long, grey faces of people around town.   Am I just noticing it more or are more people more depressed than usual?

It feels like we all need a big shake up – a revitalizing blast of fresh air, ideas and energy. Not some superficial makeover that blows away as quickly as it arrived but some fundamental shift in perception.

I open my windows and let a blast of sharp salt wind stir up the stagnant air in my house.   I throw out my garbage and sort the recycling.

I walk outside and smell the rich, fertile earth damp from last night’s rain.   As the wind stirs the trees behind my house eucalyptus laden air fills my lungs.   It circulates through my being invigorating me.  It infuses me with the strength to keep going and the energy to keep clearing, to keep releasing everything that is keeping me stuck in old ways of being and thinking.

Let the change come…


prompts: – smell

Rocks as energy

I’m finding life very intense at the moment.  My feeling nature seems to have become more acute and I am becoming more aware of the energetic fields in the natural environment.   Today began with major tree felling going on next door.  At the sound of the first branches falling my legs started to shake.  It was a weird feeling.   I think it’s in the Star Wars movies where they talk about a disturbance in the force.   This morning felt like that.   As the men started to bring down the branches of the really big eucalypt it felt like a disturbance occurred in the energy field of the neighbourhood.

The noise of wood chipper was appalling so I went out.   When I came home later I saw the branches on all the trees that hang over my neighbour’s back fence have been removed but the smaller trees are still standing.   The large tree is now a massive tree trunk sticking up about 12 feet into the air.   It’s already partly covered in ivy.   I guess in time it will become totally covered and look like a tall thin tower of ivy.

The energy still felt kind of fractured and the wood chipper was still going so I decided to see if the rumour that the Southern Right Whales had arrived from Antarctica already was true.  (they spend the winter in the Southern Ocean here).    I drove out to the lookout.   There were quite a lot of people about.   My whale spotting strategy is to scan the ocean in the direction where most people are looking.  Sure enough, far out to sea I caught sight of the distinctive spume of the Right Whale.   As I watched I saw the dark shape of the head appearing from time to time and, once, the tail fin.   The animal was so far out I caught no more than glimpses.   All the same, there was a moment where my sense of myself in time and space suddenly expanded.   Maybe it was the thought of the creature swimming all the way from Antarctica that did it.    For a brief instant I felt like I was part of the vast cycle of life on this planet – hard to describe but it was enough to make me think I’ll be doing a lot of whale watching this winter.

So –  a day of high drama.   During the past week I got back out to the rock cliff I featured last week.   I walked in as close as I could get and concentrated on taking photos of the detail.    Reducing the photos to B&W highlights the dramatic presence of the rock wall.  I think the photos work as a visual metaphor to convey something of the intensity I’ve been feeling lately. Although the final photo is of a vertical rock face it suggests the power and energy of the sea to me.   It goes some way towards corresponding with the kind of feeling I get when I see the whales.


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prompt:  Sally D’s mobile devices challenge – challengers choice