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.
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.
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 They grow from the decomposing matter of antiquated ideas, outdated perceptions, outmoded ways of being.
Dog smiles. He always knew this.