Winter has come to an end and Spring is upon us. The wild, native flowers begin to bloom once again as we prepare for a long hot summer here in Australia.
The island where I live is alive with colour right now and the grey/green hue of the Australian bush and scrub has once again come to life. I love this time of the year for its warm sunny days and cool nights. It is an awakening from the cooler months, and here in Queensland, a small gift given before the hot, humid rainy months that are approaching.
Tea Tree flowers along with so many other beautiful Australian Native flora are in abundance and this literally makes my soul sing. My love of Tea Tree and its traditional uses will feature in another post as I have so much to share and a special place I would like to take you all to virtually, so stay tuned!
I find the seasons here in Australia intriguing and I am beginning to understand why the indigenous, rightful owners of this land have developed such intricate and varying ways of telling them apart. To read the twinkling of the stars, the land, its flora and fauna in order to survive, takes more than simply splitting the year equally into four parts. It requires a connection on a deep level, the activation of all 5 senses and most importantly - Stillness.
I have come to the conclusion that these tribes would have to be some of the smartest humans alive! Their 65,000+ year knowledge of the land is something I cannot begin to fathom nor learn in one sitting, however, I have started slowly learning about the native bush food or 'Bush Tucker' around the island where I live and I can't tell you how rewarding it is.
One of my favourite finds so far is 'Pig Face' - A strange name for such a beautiful and resourceful plant. It grows in abundance along the coastal dunes all year and begins to flower in early spring. The day I came across it on our beach walk brought me so much accomplishment and joy. I sat with Phoenix on the sand enjoying it's salty and slightly sweet fruit whilst we watched the waves. The succulent type leaves are also fantastic to use on insect bites and sunburn.
When we sit or explore slowly and quietly in nature and just absorb what is happening around us, that is when the magic happens. Spring speaks to us through the scent of her flowers and leaves, through the buzzing of the bees, the calling of the birds, the symphony of insects and the rustling in the bushes and trees of reptiles and mammals warming their bodies, preparing to birth and nurture their offspring.
I ask myself, as a mammal who is living within this Eco-system - What part in spring do I play? Everything around me is so in tune with each other. The flowers so intelligent that they know when to bloom, animals so in sync that they know when to birth, the succulent leaves of the Pig Face growing on the dunes so handy and ready to apply to sunburn and Tea Tree ready to go into battle against the mosquitoes. There must be a way back home. Spring must be more than just 1/4 of a year. My part must be more than just basking in its beauty.
A wise Aboriginal Elder once said:
If you belong there, your country will find a way to call you back. Country needs to be remembered, needs to be listened to, needs to know that we can still speak its language.
— Aboriginal elder in TV series Double Trouble
Is this the answer? Must we just listen and learn this language of orchestrated beauty? Is the 'Cuckoo' echo of the mysterious and magical Southern Boobook Owl I hear every night, outside my window in the tall gum tree hollows part of this call? I sense that there is something so much bigger than me, something so much deeper, ancient, that has natural importance that dwarfs my own.
I will leave you this week with a beautiful poem by A.H. Scott called 'A Little Sprig of Wattle', that perfectly celebrates Springtime here in Australia.
"I almost see that glimpse of spring:
The very air here seems to ring
With joyful notes of birds that sing
Among the sprigs of Wattle.
The old home snug amidst the pines,
The trickling creek that twists and twines
Round tall gum roots and undermines,
It's all ablaze with wattle."
Wherever you are in the world, I hope you are well in spirit, and for my readers who are now moving into Autumn and Winter, I hope my musings have brought some warmth and colour to your day.
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