Writing about beauty – a mornings meditation
Hello everyone and welcome to a slightly different post. Today I want to share with you my morning meditation on the beauty that is my sisters walnut tree (and surrounds). It has been a while since I posted my philosophical meanderings on this blog but now I think I’ll bring a few back. Mainly because the blog is and always has been about taking the time to look closer, deeper and more thoughtfully at beauty and what can be more beautiful than a Sunday morning spent sitting under a walnut tree hoping to talk to some sheep……
The walnut tree has to be my favourite part of my sisters garden. It’s natural nearly but not quite symmetry is pleasing to the eye and revokes memories of childhood paintings where all of the trees look like fluff balls on sticks. It’s comforting. The shade it offers is plentiful yet dappled meaning that grass grows all the way up to the trunk – you don’t get that with gum trees.
I find myself sitting on a pallet, one arm pleasantly shaded the other illuminated by an inch of mid-morning sun and getting hot only I don’t want to move because me and Mrs sheep have a thing going on.
At first she didn’t know what to make of this strange woman walking towards her and her flock, head down (thoughts not making eye contact would be less disturbing) iPad in hand but then she bolted. Not far, but far enough so that she could keep an eye on me. And keep an eye on me she did. At first she stood about 20 meters away behind the thin wire fence blatantly staring. I hadn’t looked up again as I’d started reading. However, after becoming disturbed by an ant I decided to survey the landscape. Low and beyond Mrs Sheep and I locked shares and for a second we held a ‘aha, busted’ eye convo before she dipped her head making me invisible to her gaze. That all seemed pretty normal and I resumed reading but again curiosity got the better of me and I returned my gaze to where Mrs Sheep was standing. Bless her, she had moved an inch or so so that her line of sight was slightly obscured by a large branch of a tree. There was no mistaking her and I’m sure she could still see me but maybe the branch-eye-view had given her the sense of security needed to carry on checking me out, unabated.
Again this reminded me of childhood. This time my kids pre-school days when we used to play hide and seek. It is pretty normal for a 3-year-old to feel hidden from your view just because they can’t see you and as such a game of hide and seek involved more eye covering than hiding – makes it hard to have a long, challenging game but they seem to love it! I wondered if the sheep felt the same…….
Anyway, the sheep have moved on and are now checking out the chickens, well that’s what it looks like they are doing but maybe they are enjoying the sprinkler that is over in chicken corner. I don’t know, I’m not a sheep.
What I do know is that nature is noisy and unrelenting in its mission to do its thing. A truth brought home right now by a crazy kamikaze beetle that just landed on my virtual keyboard as I was typing and is now playing dead until he’s sure I’ve forgotten him.
Noise and movement fill this paddock in a million different ways if you stop and listen. I’ve heard maybe 20 different bird songs, spotted all manner of creeping, crawling and flying insects and had my attention forcefully distracted by the random mooing of someone’s cow.
Oh dear maybe that beetle is dead. I flicked it on again and it’s now resting on a rung of the pallet not moving. I can’t even see its legs and have no idea which end is its head…….
The sheep flock has also split a little and one is now sitting down under the shade of the tree next to mine. This time its a ‘he’. He is still eating but laying down to do it. I wonder if that means it is going to rain or is it just cows that sit down before a storm?
The wind has picked up a little and I love the sound it makes against the leaves.
Beetle disappeared while I wasn’t watching, so much for flicking guilt.
Sheep are on the move again. They may have ADD. Do sheep get ADD?
The magpies are gathering and squawking. I don’t mind too much but their song isn’t as pretty as the gallahs or as brash as the cockatoos. I know many people who don’t like these birds including a few cyclists who have been swooped and pecked whilst going about their daily business – magpies are very territorial. Maybe this is their tree?
I think the Magpies and their constant chatter is starting to piss the sheep off as they are all looking at them as if to say ‘shut the flock up’. I guess they do sound like a whining 5-year-old after a while…
My leg is going dead and I’m pretty sure that my arm will burn if I don’t move only I don’t want to. I want to see if the sheep who have pretty much circled the field and are now on their way back will come close. I fear that if I move they will have to do another lap to re-build their confidence but maybe I’m being overly judgemental. I don’t know.
Hahahaha, magpie is running off to get a worm or something, his gait is comical and makes me want to ask him why he didn’t just flap over but he seems happy and is still running along. The sheep that were staring at him and now doing their best to look everywhere OTHER than at him. Maybe passive aggression is a sheets thing. Maybe they are giving Mr Pie the cold shoulder because they really wanted to tell him to shut up but didn’t dare confront him. Maybe they just don’t care as much as I do. I think it’s funny, especially now that pie is sitting in the tree above Mr sheep’s head. Maybe he’ll drop a poop just to prove he has the upper hand.
Magpie has been joined by a mate and they are now warbling away in a much more beautiful tone – not at all whine. Sheep seems happy enough.
Break away sheep is a boy with humongous testicles which begs the question WHY? Are large testicles a product of human intervention and domestication or are all male sheep burdened in this way. I say burdened because that’s what it looks like, maybe Mr Sheep loves it and wishes that his balls were even bigger but I can’t help thinking of the dangers of carting around such precious infrastructure so close to the ground especially with said ground teaming in biting ants. Ouch indeed.
All the sheep are eating. The talking magpies have flown off leaving me to my pallet and iPad.
But there is a fly. There are always flies but this one is sitting licking his lips and sniffing in my fresh-meat smell – or maybe I smell rotten, I showered today but who knows…….
Fly has gone, must have sniffed out a better offer and I’m glad. I don’t want to waste energy swatting and not do I want to risk worrying the sheep. They sheep haven’t come any closer.
But there is a conversation going on above my head. Maybe the magpies over there thought that there was more sport to be had over here and they have brought friends. It’s a busy tree this. Busy and noisy but so far not itchy. Nothing has bitten me and even the ants seem to have vanished. I don’t know why.
The wind picks up again and I look up to see give gallahs wind-surfing in formation across the back paddock. They settle in a dead tree and look back at where they came from. I wonder what they are thinking about and watch with awe at their synchronicity wondering if it’s by accident or design. I realise that I’ll probably never know and that’s ok. Sometimes it feels good just to wonder. I sometimes wonder if they wonder about us too. I guess it’s a possibility.
The loud birds closest to my resting place have stopped for a second and I can hear the lighter, alto voices of the finches or whatever have out here. I am reminded of my time in the orchestra sitting next to the trumpets. You can only here trumpets when you sit there but out in the audience you hear everything. I feel like I’ve picked the trumpet pit to sit in and wonder where the dress circle for this performance is, if indeed one exists.
Mr Big ball sheep is taking a break from eating and is hanging his head against the fence. He looks bored until a ute kicks up some stones on the lane way. He looks then turns back towards me and settles down for a nap. He wasn’t bored, he was just taking time out. He is now chewing the cud and staring right at me, face lit by the sun and looking very handsome.
I always wonder how white animals keep so clean. I mean I know that sheep aren’t white but they are a light colour all the same. In fact this sheep is the exact same colour as the carpet in my home and I really struggle to keep on top of that stain wise but he we have mr sheep looking dazzling. My mind turns to chemistry and my product making and I re-enforce my belief that man can’t trump nature. It feels good really, I want nature to win.
It is a cloud that captures my imagination next. It looks so alone but so happy, in fact the more I stare at it the happier it looks and my imagination projects the details that I want to see – eyes, muzzle, neck, fluffy furry cuteness.
It was a Scotty dog but then it had gone. Gone? But where?
I remember what an art teacher had said when trying to get us to draw things as they are – anyways look at the subject. Don’t draw from memory when painting as memory is pure projection’ I didn’t realise I did it until then. Now I wish I could stop it as it seems to be all I do.
The cloud is back but it has changed. It looks nothing like a dog. Maybe it’s a different cloud. I don’t know.
Now everything has changed again.
I turn my attention to the sky for a minute and my sheep have vanished. How did I miss that? They are now behind me chewing over in the corner where we started. I am reminded of how quickly things can change when your focus narrows. Life is like that both personally and in business and it makes me feel vulnerable for a moment. Like even simple things are beyond my control or knowing but I understand deep down that it doesn’t matter.
My sister and the rest of the family are back from their walk.
I’m going in for a cup of tea.
I believe in the power of quiet time. Of time spent passively watching and letting thoughts come and go as they will. I believe that people function better when they give themselves time, that businesses flourish, customers smile more and those doing the work feel more rewarded and fulfilled. In essence I guess that I believe that money really does grow on trees, wallnut trees in my sisters garden.