Each day I draw a Tarot card and a small word card to ponder during the daylight hours. On my birthday a few days ago, 27th September, I drew The Star and “Healing” which I gave me the impetus to turn the day into one of rest and reflection.
I took time to stand on my verandah and just look at the empty paddock beside our apartment and enjoy the view. It is untamed land, as is much land on North Cyprus. People used to the manicured spaces of the UK and other Western nations complain about the lack of order, but to me the casual chaos simply adds to the charm of this little piece of wonderland on Earth. It is dry, brown at the end of summer, but also a vista which is much richer than it looks at first glance. There are all sorts of grasses, small bushes and a few birds hopping to and fro.
I’m a great one for birds. Here you get pied crows, sparrows, pigeons, the occasional great tit, migratory birds which fly in great skeins across the sky, and occasionally a raptor. In the evenings, flocks of tiny birds swoop over our garden, amazingly missing the bushes and trees, as they return home to roost for the night. Birds aren’t too rife on Cyprus as there’s a hunting tradition which includes shooting songbirds and pickling them to eat. Plus in the hunting seasons anything which moves in the sky is fodder for shooting as so many “hunters” aren’t trained and simply shoot at anything which moves. Mind you, often they shoot themselves or friends and I must be honest and say I can’t find myself very sad about such accidents!
What I really miss here after Australia are the bright colours of the rainbow lorikeets, the trill of the Willie Wagtail, the long, musical notes of of the magpie, and the thrilling riffs of butcher birds, riffs which alter from group to group and which are a means of communication within each grouping.
I also like to look up at the sky and feel deep gratitude that I can still see the beauty of the heavens above and know that I’ve reached the ripe old age of 66, and I’m still alive, something I consider a great achievement when I read of all the disasters which happen to other people.
So there I was, feeling very blessed to have somehow made it through to this stage of my life, pretty much intact although facing a few health challenges, but ALIVE!
And as I thought this, I looked up and there was a splendid kite circling overhead. As if aware I’d noted its presence, this beautiful bird circled lower so that it was only just above head height. I could clearly see its wedge-shaped tail and the wing feathers spread out at the end.
I remember in Australia you’d look up and see eagles circling high in the sky, wafting lazily on the thermals, as we lived in what seemed to be Eagle Central. On one occasion, sitting at an outside cafe in Coffs Harbour, on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, I looked up and there was a wedge-tailed eagle flying low over the cars and shoppers and no-one noticed this miracle in the sky!
So seeing a raptor above me last week seemed to me a great blessing, an appearance by a magnificent bird to remind me that life is brilliant. Yes, it can be tough, there can be huge challenges, but I just have to look at the sky, see the beautiful colours, the floating clouds and remember the appearance of the kite to feel absolute awe at living on this beautiful planet and delight at the beauty that surrounds us every day of our lives.