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Epping, Victoria

Dear Readers,

So it may be a little quiet on my blogs soon, for the holidays have officially come to an end.

This year, I am aiming to face fears, and not let them to turn into bigger walls. Instead I’d like to deconstruct them and climb over them.

I just over one third of the way through my Masters for Teaching, and gearing up for another prac early this year. This quarter I am also sitting my lantite, literacy tests.

Holidays seem to pass so quickly, especially when you have had a very full and busy year.

Most of the family visited my eldest son (his brother couldn’t make it though due to doing summer school for university and then nation wide covid dilemmas for travel, Brisbane is still heading for a COVID19 peak in coming days) in Melbourne and spend some time whilst managing not to…

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Happiness is . . .

This week I have been reflecting on what true happiness is daily, especially to help inner equilibrium when local and world events could easily lead to feelings of despair.

As an artist, I am looking for metaphors that uplift, not add to that despair; thinking about all the metaphors for happiness. What does it mean?

What metaphors? What realities become the short hand of happiness – for me it is often deep satisfaction at finishing a task begun, that seems to have endless challenges.

It’s children gaining their independence, knowing we love them and will have their back, but we don’t want them to feel and know they can’t navigate their own futures.

Happiness is sending out positive thoughts to friends, instead of focusing on the physical isolation that may be the outer reality of how we relate to each other for now. It is creating, sharing, caring – and demonstrating friendship.

Right now happiness, is having a sense of the structure for a new collection of poems and short stories. It’s feeling confident to tackle the challenges of a history project. It is sensing balance is important to happiness.

It is knowing that sadness and grief pass, and can be healed through helping others, and thinking of how to bring to them spiritual happiness also.

Happiness is not wallowing in regret, but changing the present, and the future with actions that can be done right now. It is recognising the power of a small ripple, and throwing that out into the universe.

Final Farewells

Following the Crow Song

We didn’t make the funeral, and now almost a year later we make it to the graveside of Poppy.

That’s COVID19 for you. We are not alone in such journeys.

Time to say goodbye and prayers.

Nana, David, Sheridan and I. Standing in a row, on windy, warm day. Prayers rising into the air.

Roses bloom whilst visitors gather for funerals and grave side prayers.

Nana shows us the plaque.

We meditate and contemplate.

If he was here, he’d be telling jokes and stories.

He’d be taking us for a walk around the block.

Instead we see him through the memories of neighbours ‘I remember Howard, every day he came outside and say hello’ as David and I walk around the block without him.

And as we walk to my brother’s grave, I see this one. And I think of this little one who had no earthly life, whose twin…

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(c) June Perkins

“Glorified art Thou, O Lord my God! Every man of insight confesseth Thy sovereignty and Thy dominion, and every discerning eye perceiveth the greatness of Thy majesty and the compelling power of Thy might. The winds of tests are powerless to hold back them that enjoy near access to Thee from setting their faces towards the horizon of Thy glory, and the tempests of trials must fail to draw away and hinder such as are wholly devoted to Thy will from approaching Thy court.”

For more visit Nineteen Months

A poem inspired by current events and reflecting on the above quotation.

Field of Trials

Trials continue
     each combining like dry grass blades 
     scorched by humanity's tears
     multiplied by sunlight
     photosynthesised by pain.

Tall winds of tests flowing into a 
   field of Midas touch troubles
   where the rich grow richer
   from pandemics
  and everything they touch in danger.

Trail your fingers to the feel of grass blades
  to the sting of water poisoned by colonist's greed
   more tempests sway
   volcanoes in the middle of the Pacific
   islands going under volcanic ash and tsunamis
   now ... sharp silences waiting to hear of survivors.

Search for the horizon of glory
    above the tall weeping grass blades
    above the poisoned and rising waters
    soft barked trees clothed in 
   hope's synthesis.
Green leaves of the tree
  say 'we are all one
look for me beyond the trials
I'll help you find your 
           discerning eyes.'

June Perkins

A story unfolding – Uncle Fred Murray

Note: As part of cultural protocol in Australia the following ‘warning’ must be mentioned:
Warning – This story features photographs of First Nations people who have since passed away.   This warning is provided as a courtesy for First Nations people who may find this distressing.

Courtesy Williams Family

It is a time for healing, a time for sharing, a time for understanding the significance of Birria to so many people, his descendants, and his Baha’i family.

Uncle Fred Murray’s story has been precious to me since I was a teenager and came across a pamphlet created by his dear friend, and former Counsellor, Howard Harwood.

I became curious to know more about in my twenties. so curious I made a trip to South Australia to speak to people who had known him.

Many years, and just before the pandemic I followed this trip up, with another journey to South Australia.

On that trip I was able to meet the daughter of Madge Williams, and the great granddaughter of Uncle Fred and source several other materials. Over the years I have also written to many Baha’i communites around the world for materials from their archives, from Baha’is who travelled to Australia for the opening of the Sydney Temple, or who encountered or personally met Uncle Fred at the World Congress.

Wendy William & Fred’s great granddaughter

Such precious moments. I visited dear Madge, who has now passed on (pictured below). She was always such an inspiration encouraging me to finish this story one day and never giving up on this happening. I am so sad she won’t be there to see its completion.

I am thankful that in my twenties I took the time to interview Madge and that she held onto that transcript and returned it to me many years later.

Wendy, Madge and June

Presently my plan is to invite both Baha’is and descendants to contribute to this history project and inform them of everything I have gathered so far. And with the blessing of all these people to bring it into a form we can present powerfully to as many people as possible.

My research over many years, has led to some incredible findings, such as his passport in the South Australian Museum and a painted portrait by Uncle Fred, as well as a wood carving he did of a kangaroo.

I thank all of you who have supported this project and forwarded your materials, and hope to let you know soon that we are ready to share the materials, as well as looking forward to hearing from more people, especially descendants who can give consent for use of materials in the South Australian museum archives, and their sharing to the wider public and all those who wish to know how much Uncle Fred means to the Australian Baha’i community.