The path to quiet

Amid the turmoil of our busy lives, I crave for quiet. Not the silence you might imagine, but rather, a peace-inducing space filled with the music of nature. A salve for my soul.

I stride out along the track, the dog on the end of a leash setting the pace for us both. The rate is rapid, reflecting the inner frenzy I feel. My thoughts are tangled, busy in my head. The clash and clamour of things to do, appointments to keep, problems to solve and doubts about my ability to achieve all of the above in the given time frame.

Life’s tangled vines of thought

Dog and I reach the fishing platform; a small timber deck from which to throw a line or gaze across the tranquil waters of the estuary. I sit on the bench exhaling tension with a long sigh.

Dog sits quietly at my feet. We enjoy the moment together. Water birds forage along the shore. And then, a flash of blue and tan among the mangroves. Could it be an elusive Sacred Kingfisher? I’ve heard its distinctive ‘chit chit’ call here before.

The fishing platform

As my mind quiets, I tune in. I hear a whole orchestra. My senses quiver. Crabs scuttle, water laps gently around mangrove roots. Magpies chortle somewhere overhead. The raucous notes of a leather-headed friar bird draw my eyes upwards. Leaves rustle and wave in the breeze, warm on my skin. Glimpses of blue expanse and gauzy cloud filter through the canopy.

The entanglement on the banks reflects my state of mind. Roots thrusting into ancient mud, deep layers of rotting vegetable matter and leaf litter. My detritus of thought, perception and deep-rooted worry.

And then I see it.

I recognise it in the harmony emerging, then enveloping me. A shaft of light, like inspiration, plays a spotlight on new growth, new ways of seeing. A revelation.

The old, decayed and obselete, are necessary.

They serve the purpose of nurturing the new. Fresh ideas cannot sprout from sterile minds. They grow from the decomposing matter of antiquated ideas, outdated perceptions, outmoded ways of being.

The cycle of new rising from old.

Dog smiles. He always knew this.

Dog waiting for me to catch up





33 responses to “Untangling

  1. Robyn, I love this piece and it resonates deeply with me. Feeling overwhelmed with our fast-paced environment where there’s too much emphasis on more, more, more leaves me exhausted and frustrated. This bit right here makes so much sense to me: “Fresh ideas cannot sprout from sterile minds. They grow from the decomposing matter of antiquated ideas, outdated perceptions, outmoded ways of being.” Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts. I had a question for you, are you by chance an introvert? I hope you are doing well. ~Steph


    • Dear Steph, so nice to hear from you. I’m glad we share similar thoughts and you were able to relate to my post. I haven’t been writing much for my blog lately. Life took over and other aspects have needed my attention. Your question about my being an introvert: I guess I would describe myself as inwardly focused although I am not socially anxious or shy. I am trained as a social anthropologist and as such practise participant observation methodology – even in my private life I guess. How are you doing? It’s so long since I have read yours or any other posts for that matter. I plan to visit you now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Robyn, I just finished reading The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney. I’ve always known I was different and while I knew I was an introvert I didn’t fully understand what it meant until I read this book. The author explains that social anxiety and being shy are traits that can be shared with extroverts as well. I think since we are outnumbered 3-1 the world finds extroverts more appealing however introverts are just as valuable and process differently. I was amazed to learn of the many famous introverts mentioned in the book. At any rate, I’m doing well and like you haven’t been posting regularly because this year for the first time in a number of years I’ve been doing a little traveling as a result of my blog so it’s been very exciting. Reading more and learning about how to be self compassionate has also re-energized me. I’m actively working to make my life simpler so I can do the things that bring me joy so social media was one thing I knew that if I curtailed time spent on it, I’d feel better and thankfully it’s working. It’s so great to hear from you and I’ll have to work my way backwards on your blog because your messages feed my soul. Thank you Robyn🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sounds as though you are on quite a journey Steph. I plan to look up that book in our library. I hadn’t thought much about being an introvert. Or even what it may mean to be one. I’m glad you’re enjoying the travelling. So nice to be in touch again.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Here I am responding months after you wrote this piece. I walked alongside you and shared your insights and your peace. But now… I’m not sure where you live but fires are devouring many peaceful havens of nature. It breaks my heart. Virtual hugs to you.


    • Dear Rachel thanks for your thoughts. I am safe while many others are not. Terrible times for those affected. I have taken a break from posting but hope to find renewed motivation soon Take care and thanks for visiting

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Robyn, just thought I’d check in to see how things are. I hope the fires have remained far away from your home and family. It has been heartbreaking to watch the horror happening in your country. Enjoy 2020 whether blogging or not 🤗
    Jude xx


    • Hi Jude, thank for thinking of us. It’s certainly felt like Armageddon here in Australia. I’m grateful to have been one of the lucky ones thus far although it’s been tense for many family members who are right in the middle of the bush-fires.
      My sister has been evacuated twice and each time her property has escaped destruction. The fire-ground is less than 7klms away from her, burning in dense forest which is largely inaccessible to firefighters. She took refuge further north where fires had already been through. Without communications and having only one road in and out she couldn’t risk trying to defend.
      In the last few days we’ve had rain – sometimes flooding or huge hailstorms – which has given some respite. Some parts of our state have suffered through towering dust storms – as if the smoke isn’t enough. The rain hasn’t broken the drought though.
      I’m tempted to go on about our lack of political leadership but won’t bore you with what is blatantly evident to everyone else except the ones who are supposed to be running the country.
      Anyway, as I said, I’m grateful we haven’t lost any family while others haven’t been so lucky.
      I’m also touched that you took time to enquire. I will get back to blogging. It’s been a long absence during which I haven’t even kept up my reading of friends’ posts. Hope all is well with you. All the best for 2020!
      with love


      • Thanks for the reply Robyn, glad to hear you are OK, but it must be a very stressful time. A blogging friend I have stayed with in South NSW was evacuated too, luckily the fires didn’t get to her house, but at 75 it’s not what you want. Take care and I hope the weather gods take pity on your poor country soon xx


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