Gumtrees

Haibun

Van rolling to a gentle stop, not in a hurry, handbrake on, door opens – met by zesty breeze. A new place – small town Tasmania – refreshing. Quaint – with its colonial architecture, painted and preserved with double edged pride – it could be rural England, except, we don’t have mountains like these, maybe then, more like rural Scotland. There’s a ‘Ben Lomond’ close by – fitting.

A land far from home,

Hands that laid the stone -

Sown in British soil.

Been cooped up in the city for the last week. Who am I kidding? – The “cities” in Tasmania are as well nestled in the landscape, as a bird nests in a tree. I was appreciating the open road, but, even more so, the gum (eucalyptus) trees, as tyres spun round, and wound the bends, I realised I hadn’t felt excited about the scenery for some time. We (humans) get used to things so quickly. Paced into being conditioned numb.

Time to slow down – pay attention to the shades of colour beneath the gumtrees bark, shedding dramatically, exposing its belly with its bleached pigment, unlike anything I’ve seen in Europe, as it goes through its yearly cycle.

We’re a bit like gumtrees – shedding layers, growing new ones.

Tough exterior,

Shedded to make room for growth -

Shows inner beauty.

There’s a liberating texture to this new skin I’m wearing, eyes picking up on things which trickled beneath the bridge, yesterday. It’s amazing how from a momentarily confronting realisation, an acknowledgment with minor adjustments, can bring such rewarding developments. I come to a physical bridge, kneel there for a while, people pass behind me as I snap a photo – lap up the unfamiliar flora at its banks, nuzzled between the falling yellow and copper leaves.

Kneeling on the bridge,

As time trickles by beneath -

Drink up the moment.

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


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Exploring mental and physical

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