Down by the Lake

April 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Posted in Australia, Experiences, Mental Health, Nature, Society, Writing and Life | Leave a comment
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I have been struggling to get back into my novel after sickness and many life interruptions. So I went to the lake today to be alone and do some writing.

I didn’t get any of my novel done, but I did do some writing about the things around me.

(1)  A web strongly strung between trees,

orb-weaving spider keeping watch

at its centre; large, well-fed.

Her mate is relegated to an outside

edge of her web, subservient.

She is mistress of her domain.

And yet, she is ever constrained;

if she moves as a bird passes by,

she becomes just another meal

in the complex web of life’s relationships.

(2)   A gaggle of red kayaks loose upon the water

blue, yellow, red paddles flash in sunlight;

excited voices borne upon the mild breeze.

Youngsters, freed from the land’s constraints

follow each other along the shore line;

searching for fun and adventure

but finding safety and security in numbers –

except for one who paddles farther out, alone;

searching for his own adventure,

or unable to control his craft?

(3)   A sudden flash in the sunlight, then another;

Silvery leaps from a watery world to the wind-blown waves above.

Why do fish leap like that?

Do they leap for the joy of life,

or simply to snatch a morsel from the air?

(4)   Meanwhile, the waves continue

their constant lapping against the shore,

slowly smoothing out the pebbles,

the discarded shells,

the shattered, submerged branches.

The lake’s power in not as great as the ocean’s,

but it is just as patient,

just as persistent.

I had enjoyed watching the kayakers from a distance, so I went to take a few photos as they paddled from the lake into the little creek that leads to the activity camp. But I was quickly told by the Mother Goose who was escorting them, that I wasn’t allowed to do that.

Her order, “No photos!” made my spirits droop. We must all pay for the sins of the wicked ones.

© Linda Visman

3rd April 2012

In the Background

July 9, 2010 at 4:01 am | Posted in Nature | 1 Comment
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It could be a jetliner taking off in the distance, or the muted roar of a freeway, but it is neither. The sound is not constant in tone but surges and ebbs continuously, an underlying motif.

During the daytime, I hear many other sounds as people go about their lives: traffic passes, dogs bark; mowers, garden-edgers and saws whine; hammers resound across our gully. The underlying noise is pushed further into the background and often appears to have gone completely. But at night and in this winter season, it is clear, providing a deep-throated background to the occasional bark of a dog, or the passing of a vehicle on the road nearby. 

When I lie in bed I can hear it, even though the bedroom window is closed against the cold. I would love to go and see the power that produces this constant roar, but, although it is only a dozen kilometres away, across the lake as the pelican flies, it is almost sixty by road. It would take three-quarters of an hour to drive there, and sleeping time is precious for insomniacs. 

Perhaps we will drive there on the weekend. It is a place we love to visit anyway. The beach at Catherine Hill Bay is beautiful, whether it is bathed in summer sunlight or covered in misty autumn rain. But when it is pounded by south-easterly gale-driven waves, the roar of the surf is relentless and invigorating in its power.

For now, I will lie in bed and fade away into sleep, lulled by the distant, soothing bass.

© Linda Visman

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