Saturday, 15 January 2011

Standing Still In The Land

Since our little Daewoo didn't quite get through the vehicle roadworthy test last weekend, we brought it back today with a tightened-up handbrake and new ball joints.
While we were waiting for the examiner to go over these two points, I revisited the Vygies.

The bright purple Mesembryanthemums were tightly wrapped up against the overcast morning, but, as I stood there drawing in their anarchical beauty in the middle of a testing-station parking lot, they started to unfurl. Deep golden stamens were presented to what there was of the sun. Because we've got a lot of rain coming (with flood warnings this weekend), the wind had started to blow quite hard, but the little purple flowers with their succulent leaves stayed quite still - apart from this gorgeous opening movement.

Did I mention that a couple of minor physical irritations which I've had for years have disappeared with the recent solar eclipse in Capricorn? Well, the inability to stand perfectly still when in an upright position was one of them. I am now able to dig my roots deep into the Earth and just stay there, for hours if necessary. And it was effortless to stand like that to witness unfurling Vygies.

Eventually, a flurry of yellow wings caught my attention, and I turned to one of the Sweet Thorn Acacias standing around the lot's perimeter. A half a dozen Weaver families had built their incredible nests there, and I was being threatened by a bold male: wings flapping quickly as he rode the swaying tree branch, trying his best to look three times his size.

I sent him my reassurances of peaceful and loving intent, and he stopped, hopped onto the next branch, and became an upside down bird for a moment as he checked on his chicks and mate in the nest. But for a while there I was also riding the wind-moved branch, my plumage gaudy and shining in the sun, a proud bird with a mate and family to defend.

This land is - even with all the concrete, tar and steel - my place. As much as it is the Vygies' place, the Weavers' place and the place of the Sweet Thorn Acacia and the rawking Pied Crow passing high above us.