A Sense of Wonder

City Beauty – June Perkins

For Rachel Carson

Rachel says
open your children to wonder
about birds
together learn each ones song
and their many names
as you  wander  their land
maybe imagine flying
to their tree top

Rachel says
imprint in them
the story of the sea
the delicacy of balance even on the rugged shorelines
through them knowing
its biography
as if it’s their best friend.

Rachel says
listen to the wind
find the names of each wind
so you can read its personality
warm or cold
and know when you should
stay away from the sea
and when you can embrace and nurture

Rachel says
open to them to wonder
so they will not pass by this world
without knowing it calls
to us
from stars to shoreline
moon dust to leaves.

Rachel leaves her love of nature
on the shorelines of our present
each wisdom wave

The late Nell Arnold introduced me  to Rachel Carson’s writing after seeing some of my photographs and poetry.  We had been living in Far North Queensland in a country town surrounded by the natural environment.

I always loved biology and nature at school and one of our best excursions was mapping the shoreline, and if I had heard about Rachel earlier I am sure I would have wanted to study ecology.  I think it’s time for me to read more of her work.

I am working on my first nature essay and searching for a focus for it.  The clues come to me in photography, poetry, parenting, and connection. I am contemplating how science and art can come together and how we can find nature in the city.

Living in the city now, I miss that connection.  I search for splinters of it, in noticing the bush turkeys that dig our yard and taking opportunities to go to the park and look for wildlife and work out the species of the trees. Every time we leave the city I feel the pull of the shorelines.  I feel sad that we had to leave the natural surrounds of our old home for the opportunities the city offers. I carry those shorelines and rainforests in my soul.

If only the opportunities could exist in the spaces close to the environment, so that wonder was inbuilt into our opportunities. Now I look for the times we can go and find ourselves closer to the earth…

(c) June Perkins


Writing nature in images

tree study- bark

Recently I went out to tree in my neighbourhood and photographed it from every angle.

I looked at the bark, the roots,  insects on the tree, other plants growing on the tree and out of it.

I looked up into the sky through the leaves.  I kept trying to think of new ways to look at it with my camera.  I went down on the ground and focused on the grass and faded the tree.  I realised I was having not just a lot of fun but trying to come at it from an insect or birds point of view, from high up or from down low.  I also photographed the tree as if I was about to be an ant clmbing it.

Then I wrote about the tree!  Beginning with a description.  I have more questions though- what is the tree actually called, what is the tree growing around it called, and what are some myths about trees that might inspire me.  I have also been thinking about my life and how I have come across trees- the memory tree.

My story tree is in me waiting to get out
It tells me of the Bodhi Tree
Of Trials and Serenity
The tree sits within me
And to it I call and say
You will be my story tree
And I will see you in me
and me in you.
(C) Gumbootpearlz

Story Tree

Rain Mirror

contemplation river

Originally uploaded by gumbootspearlz

My mirror watches rain
It splashes out my reflection
As that reflected meets that outside the mirror

Fingers dance in mirror movements
Reflection and I yawn,
We sing, we commune to find out
Who is real
I or reflection
I or the rain
The rain or myself

Rain dances down the mirror
I see the butterfly flower tree outside the window
The green tree frog suctioned to the window
I declare “I am the real
You are the reflected”

My reflection takes my words and processes them
Says nothing but hears the rain
Smells the rain, longs to touch the rain

Mirror rain, reflect raindrops
Raindrops reflect rain mirror
Rain watches mirror my-self.

(c) All rights reserved image and words gumbootspearlz