Recreating the Country blog
A close encounter
A good friend was sitting and watching the waves roll in near Point Lonsdale while thinking about a difficult life decision. A decision that could lead to her giving up the job she loved. She was captivated by the beauty and the wild freedom of the waves crashing in on the shore when she felt a light touch on her hair. She said it felt as if a friend had patted her reassuringly.
She looked around but she was alone on this open stretch of beach. Just a few meters away a Nankeen Kestrel settled on an old fence post and looked back at her. Its puzzled gaze fixed and without blinking. The two shared this close encounter for several minutes before the Kestrel lifted effortlessly on the breeze and glided away.
If we think back through our lives most of us would be able to recall a close encounter with nature. Often these encounters are uplifting, exciting, beautiful and become meaningful moments when we connect profoundly with the natural world.
If a close encounter happens at one of life’s crossroads then it can play a part in an important decision and become a moment to look back on, to find strength and reassurance. These close encounters could be with an animal, a plant, a remarkable landform or a beautiful place and they can form the basis of personal totems.
These close encounters with nature have played an essential part in important life’s decisions of humans for thousands of years. Particularly people whose culture is linked to the natural world that they live in.
Stephen Murphy is an author, an ecologist and a nurseryman. He has been a designer of natural landscapes for over 30 years. He loves the bush, supports Landcare and is a volunteer helping to conserve local reserves.