DarknessThe branches holding sway in a heavy wind that smelled of rain. I have tried breaking through the thatch of branches and leaves blocking most of the sun. This day was darkening. In the distance, I see the massive fortress that is Death’s, and see the Lake of Souls floating in angel memories among the clouds. I see the birds but cannot see through the jungle of darkness to where light might be.

BonsaiBWBonsai is a Japanese art form using trees grown in containers. Similar practices exist in other cultures, including the Chinese tradition of penjing from which the art originated, and the miniature living landscapes of Vietnamese hòn non bộ. The Japanese tradition dates back over a thousand years. The purposes of bonsai are primarily contemplation and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity. By contrast with other plant cultivation practices, bonsai is not intended for production of food or for medicine. Instead, bonsai practice focuses on long-term cultivation and shaping of one or more small trees growing in a container.

20160005bwFramedConcentration has been defined as “the ability to direct one’s thinking in whatever direction one would intend”. We all have the ability to concentrate some of the time. To concentrate, we have to learn a skill, and as with any skill this means practice repeated day after day until we achieve enough improvement to feel that we can concentrate when we need to. Is this why most people stare at a phone?

BeforeTheRaceThe Legendary Burrandowan Picnic Races is unique among picnic races – located only a few hours from Brisbane and the coast, yet located a million miles from the worries of the world. Set among tall eucalypts 60km west of Kingaroy, the race day started in 1922 when soldier settlers wanted to gather together, and the tradition continues to this day.