Monday, 13 April 2015

Morning Bush Walk & the Tradition of the Cairn

No dolly work today, hanging out with the children as its the school holidays here at the moment. I have to admit I love being able to wake up when when we want and not having to be anywhere by a certain time. Not to mention the days are absolutely gorgeous, brisk in the morning and evening, but warm and sunny during the day.... just perfect!

This morning we decided to go for a morning bush walk. Its been the first opportunity we've had since Easter as one by one we've all had a cold.... got to love being part of a large family, so lovely that we all share so kindly.

Its funny when you go for a nature walk with children, the first half of the walk is always spent trying to stop the kids running to far ahead, the last part trying to pull them onward as they dawdle behind.

The bush near our house was burnt out badly by fires about a year and a half ago. But thanks to some generous rain falls it is really looking amazing at the moment... the ferns are growing back and the wildflowers are blooming.

 The Banksias are in flower, a tell tale sign that the weather is getting cooler. They always remind me of candles, probably from my days as a child at a Steiner school where we had stories and sung songs about them as part of our winter festival. I have to admit I have a very distant school memory of playing the recorder to a song that celebrated these amazing flowers.

Not sure what these are called but aren't they amazing?!?! They are actually quite small in real life, no more than the size of a coin.

Flannel flowers, so soft and velvety, always makes my heart skip a beat when I spot one. There are hundreds upon hundreds of little flannel flower plants long the path where we walk.... a few more weeks and it should be awash in flowers.

Every great walk needs a cairn. This is ours and its the turning point for us on our walk. When we come across it we know its time to turn around and go back, otherwise our little walk in the bush turns into an eleven kilometer hike through the mountains. The kids always take turns placing a rock to mark our visit..... looking at its size though I think most people do.

Cairns are amazing and always have mystical feel about them. I love spotting them on bushwalks, especially if you're on one that isn't the most clear and used. Our local ones are used for markers on trails. But in ancient times cairns were used for astrology, hunting & religious purposes as well as navigation. Cairns date all the way back to the stone age and have been found all over the world.

On any bush walk you do feel a connection to the earth and a real sense of what is authentic... so important in this mixed up, hectic world. Placing a rock on a cairn is a lovely ceremony, not only does it mark our own personal passage through a place, but also our ancient roots to a much simpler time . In the process of placing our rock the kids and I always stop in a moment of peace and quiet, listen the sounds of the bush, breathe in the sweet air, and enjoy the tranquility.

Mel xx

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