Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Too long


Oh dear, I've left it too long to mow the grass. It's now so tall it needs reaping not mowing! On the weekend I did the lawn in the top garden but didn't have the heart to mow through the burgeoning forget-me-nots and violet clumps.

Words to walk with:
Even though it is entirely the wrong season, my dilemna reminded me of this stanza from To Autumn by John Keats
"Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers"

Monday, 29 September 2008

Crabapple blossom


This weekend -- cherry, peach and crab apple all at their best and my garden beds yearning to be tended.

Words to walk with:
June by Carl Sandberg
"Paula is digging and shaping the loam of a salvia,
Scarlet Chinese talker of summer.
Two petals of crabapple blossom blow fallen in Paula's hair,
And fluff of white from a cottonwood. "

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Spring Offensive


Finishing my Sunday morning walk, I turned down Honour Ave to head home. I wrote about this memorial on Anzac Day the year before last. I guess death is the ultimate transition and wars have made far too many make that transition too early.

My husband said the other day, "You know by blogging you are contributing to world peace ...people don't fight people they know." Let the blogging continue!

Words to walk with:
From Spring Offensive by Wilfred Owen
"Halted against the shade of a last hill,
They fed, and, lying easy, were at ease
And, finding comfortable chests and knees
Carelessly slept. But many there stood still
To face the stark, blank sky beyond the ridge,
Knowing their feet had come to the end of the world."

Saturday, 27 September 2008

The terrible, slow loveliness


The railway station is an important hub in every mountain town. Every day commuters gather there to be whisked away for a day's toil in the big smoke.

It's not just Lawson that is in transition, I am too. Will I keep my room with a view, live back here full time or rejoin the weekday throng on the train? I'm waiting not very patiently for certain things to transpire.

Words to walk with:
From Transition by Dorothy Parker
"What if I know, before the Summer goes
Where dwelt this bitter frenzy shall be rest?
What is it now, that June shall surely bring
New promise, with the swallow and the rose?
My heart is water, that I first must breast
The terrible, slow loveliness of Spring."

Friday, 26 September 2008

Blue Mountain Hotel


Lawson used to be known as Blue Mountain, named after the town's landmark hotel. Eventually as Blue Mountains became associated with the whole region, the town was renamed Lawson after one of the three white explorers who first found a route over the mountains.

The old Blue Mountain Hotel still stands but over the years has been subjected to unsympathetic additions which, as part of highway widening, are now being peeled back to reveal the shapely bones of the original building. Some day it will be beautifully restored and once again the centrepiece of our town.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Blowin' out the candle


Should we fight to keep all our heritage? Take this object for example -- a remnant of an obsession back in the 20s and 30s for gracing gardens with cement objects. I have shown one of these before.

I don't know what this sculpture represents but it reminds me of the Amnesty International candle.

Words to walk with:
From Blowin' in the Wind by Bob Dylan
"How many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind."

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Not yet had its day


Every Sunday a small group of devotees assembles two doors up from the church at the old Mechanics Institute. It's currently doomed by the highway widening but it won't be gone without a fight.

Words to walk with:
Youth, Day, Old Age and Night by Walt Whitman
"Youth, large, lusty, loving-youth full of grace, force, fascination,
Do you know that Old Age may come after you with equal grace,force, fascination?
Day full-blown and splendid-day of the immense sun, action,ambition, laughter,
The Night follows close with millions of suns, and sleep and restoring darkness."

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Amazing grace


Lawson is in transition. After years of waiting, the Roads and Traffic Authority is set to widen the highway which runs through our town. It's causing all sorts of stress as the historically minded fight to keep heritage and others just want to see old dilapidated buildings replaced with sparkling new replicas.

The Baptist Church and Tahlia the house next door were wooden buildings that could be moved to make room for the 4 lane road. They have been moved and wonderfully restored.

Words to walk with:
We sang this beautiful hymn of restoration by John Newton at the funeral of a dear old friend recently.
"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T'was Grace that taught
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far
and Grace will lead us home.

Monday, 22 September 2008

I cannot meet the spring unmoved


The garden is bursting with spring energy, making me restless, thinking about transitions.

Words to walk with:
By Emily Dickinson
"I cannot meet the Spring unmoved --
I feel the old desire --
A Hurry with a lingering, mixed,
A Warrant to be fair --

A Competition in my sense
With something hid in Her --
And as she vanishes, Remorse
I saw no more of Her. "

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Water dragon


Whenever I walk this path I keep an eye out for the water dragons. Another time I was here they were not to be seen but given the warmth of the day it was not surprising to find one basking on a rock beside the stream.


Words to walk with:
This week I joined City Daily Photo where I have met new and talented friends. One of these is Julie who's Sydney Eye is a delight -- check out The Sunbather for words that suit today.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Nettles



Even in this paradise there are things that sting.

Words to walk with:


The Stinging Nettle by A.E. Housman
"The stinging nettle only
Will still be found to stand:
The numberless, the lonely,
The thronger of the land,
The leaf that hurts the hand.

That thrives, come sun, come showers;
Blow east, blow west, it springs;
It peoples towns, and towers
Above the courts of Kings,
And touch it and it stings."

Friday, 19 September 2008

Wattle


Wattles lean over the clear waters made aquamarine blue by dissolved limestone from the caves. There are lots of different varieties of wattle, many in flower the moment. Golden wattle is Australia's floral emblem.

Words to walk with:
The Wattle by Henry Lawson 1910.
"I saw it in the days gone by,
When the dead girl lay at rest,
And the wattle and the native rose
We placed upon her breast.

I saw it in the long ago
(And I've seen strong men die),
And who, to wear the wattle,
Hath better right than I?

I've fought it through the world since then,
And seen the best and worst,
But always in the lands of men
I held Australia first.

I wrote for her, I fought for her,
And when at last I lie,
Then who, to wear the wattle, has
A better right than I?"

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Power in the landscape


There are lots of bits and pieces around the Blue Lake dating from the time when hydro power was used to light the Jenolan Caves.


Words to walk with:

The first known record of a water wheel is in a Greek poem by Antipater of Thessalonica in 400BC.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Blue Lake


Soon after we reached the beautiful Blue Lake that is shaded by wattles and fringed with whispering she-oaks and waving fern trees.

Words to walk with:
From The Lady of the Lake by Walter Scott
"Harp of the North! that mouldering long hast hung
On the witch-elm that shades Saint Fillan's spring
And down the fitful breeze thy numbers flung,
Till envious ivy did around thee cling,
Muffling with verdant ringlet every string,--
O Minstrel Harp, still must shine accents sleep?
Mid rustling leaves and fountains murmuring,
Still must thy sweeter sounds their silence keep,
Nor bid a warrior smile, nor teach a maid to weep?"

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Devil's Coach House


The track down to the Blue Lake passes through the Devil's Coach House. Inside I heard the twitter of swallows that seemed to be nesting on the high rock ledges then from outside tjhe sound of a sharp whip crack.
Words to walk with:
Listen to the whipbird's call recorded by Dan Mennill.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Carlotta Arch


Our destination was an old favourite, Jenolan Caves. The walk from the upper car park passes by Carlotta Arch which has a view of the Blue Lake deep down below. It's so lovely to be out walking and photographing again and the daily grind of the city a distant memory for a fleeting few days.

Words to walk with:
From Her Happier Lot by Carlotta Perry
"Afar the river, like a thread
Of silver, poured and farther down
Lay fields that had been harvested;
And Autumn leaves, red, gold and brown,
Made earth a crown.
And farther still, a city
Men go about with smiling eyes,
The while their smiles great burdens bear;
And mingled moans and songs and sighs
From pale lips rise."

Sunday, 14 September 2008

The return


It was a glorious spring day yesterday. When the sun shines after cold grey winter days I always feel the west beckoning so we jumped in the car and headed up the highway. While filling up with fuel at Medlow Bath I took this photo ... not a bad place to start again as we were in Medlow Bath when I last posted way back in June.

With the sunshine of spring filling me with optimism I have decided to go back to posting every day. I have missed the joy of sharing my love of the natural wonders of this beautiful city within a national park. And I have missed selecting poems that ponder the themes of this heavenly place.

Words to walk with:
The Return by Theodore Roethke
"Suddenly the window will open
and Mother will call
it's time to come in

the wall will part
I will enter heaven in muddy shoes

I will come to the table
and answer questions rudely

I am all right leave me
alone. Head in hand I
sit and sit. How can I tell them
about that long
and tangled way.

Here in heaven mothers
knit green scarves

flies buzz

Father dozes by the stove
after six days' labour.

No--surely I can't tell them
that people are at each
other's throats. "