Saturday, October 22, 2016

A MINDFUL MODE OF STILLNESS


"What amazes me about landscape, landscape recalls you into a mindful mode of stillness, solitude, and silence where you can truly receive time." - John O'Donohue

We have returned from the Drakensberg feeling soothed and replenished. The first thing I did once the car was unpacked and we had enjoyed a cup of tea was clean my work table. Now that's a first! Quiet time has done me a lot of good if I'm feeling the need to get back to work so soon. 



A profusion of wildflowers were out wherever we looked...



....as were the baboons. The pastures and hillsides were alive with them. Eating, sun bathing, grooming, chasing. They were not happy having a camera pointed at them.



The fields were dotted with Sacred Ibis. Everything in flocks, herds, troops, clusters and strings. I had forgotten a group of ponies was called a string of ponies, but it makes sense!







"....you look up into a blue sky and, in a moment of grace, imagine a worthwhile tomorrow." -  Dianne Crumbaker


We experienced every season in one day. Even snow which melted the moment the sun came up so that we thought we had imagined it. Many storms, day and night but short and cleansing. The beauty of the landscape sparkling after rain caught my breath every time I stepped outside and walked on squelching earth to look at the lush farmlands.

"there is a certain shimmering essence that nearly breaks the heart" - Dianne Crumbaker



"I would like to step out of my heart and go walking beneath the enormous sky" - Rainer Maria Rilke

My friend Dianne Crumbaker has written a beautiful poem which I have quoted a few times in this post. I would love to share the whole poem with you.

AXIS MUNDI

The point at which heaven and earth meet.
There are other definitions. But think about this one. 
Better yet, think of it this way:
"A" point at which heaven and earth meet.
There is a point at the base of a baby's neck where heaven meets
earth.
And, certainly,
when fall moves into winter,
in the late afternoon light filtering through not-quite-bare
branches,
there is a certain shimmering essence that nearly breaks the 
heart.
Consider the point at which,
lying on your back,
you look up into a blue sky and, in a moment of grace, imagine a
worthwhile tomorrow.
Or when an unexpected wind sweeps around a corner and brings
with it a hint of some distant unknown sea
Maroon and gray and gold strata on a rocky headland
above a green-gray sea.
Tea in a special cup.
Points at which heaven and earth meet.
A string of points, connected, make a line.
A line can be followed, to a destination,
can draw us in.
Axis mundi.

- Dianne Crumbaker




16 comments:

  1. A gentle post, Robyn. I read it, literally, 10 minutes after I had listened to the Vaughan Williams' Thomas Tallis Theme, when I had been transported once more to the mountains and valleys of New Zealand's South Island.

    "Landscape as Mindfullness" - yes!

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  2. thanks for the reminder, there is much solace in the observance of nature

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  3. and that point is always there when we slow down enough to see it

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  4. Hi R - it good that we know of and can travel to places that can restore and calm us. Glad you have been able to get away to your favoured place. And as you say it must have worked given you have returned home and your mind turns to creating. Thanks for sharing the poem and other words of inspiration that I enjoy on you FB. Go well. B

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  5. Very beautiful pictures Robyn. Almost a glimpse into Eden perhaps.

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  6. wonderful place to see wish I could go there!

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  7. I can see how this kind of stillness could be very invigorating and inspiring.

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  8. Robyn....beautiful post! Thanks for sharing the wonderful photos and glad you are refreshed from your travels. I do love that poem....speaks eloquently of things so hard to put into words. Cheers! Patti

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  9. The break you needed gave you energy and zest to create! But first slowing down the everday rhythm of life to reach that state of stillness and relax... Thank you for sharing those lovely photos and the emotional poem by your friend!:)

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  10. What dramatic and beautiful landscapes! No wonder this place nourishes your soul. Thanks for sharing these images and words.

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  11. Finally signed in. To comment. Love the photos esp the Ibis. Hope u r well. Thanda

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  12. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful nature pictures with us. It looks like a fascinating place. No wonder you LOVE it!

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  13. So beautiful... the images and the poem... and much needed after our American election.

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