Two Bright Orbs: Shining the Light of Love

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When attending celebrations where unity in diversity is not just in words but in action I feel hope for the future of Australia and the World.

I was so happy that my family were able to experience the inspiring coming together of the diversity of the human family and community into one larger family at the wedding of Shannon and Sarah.

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I was not an official photographer, just a friend, caught up like all of us were, in the connections made between so many cultures and religions that day.

Here is the Southern Sudanese Welcoming Party who called the Bride into her Wedding.

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These are special moments of connection, where two families become one, followed by an image of a lovely lady who said an Islamic prayer for the ceremony.

 

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Some of the ceremony includes a Baha’i prayer, a song, and some words from the Celebrant.

Shannon’s mother reads a prayer.

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The next few pictures are of my children at the wedding.  My daughter loved the beautiful and interesting fabrics.  They were both delighted and engrossed with the ceremony.  One of the groomsmen was Felix, a long time family friend, who we have not seen for many years, but have stayed in touch with on facebook. Felix has both Torres Strait and Papua New Guinean background.

This beautiful lady, a first cousin of Sarah’s from Sydney, gave me the most endearing smile when she saw me snapping away.  She had flown from Sydney to attend the Toowoomba Wedding.

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Some more pictures of the friends and family connecting and participating at the wedding.

Feeling blessed to know such beautiful souls. Love knows no boundaries, and gives to each that gives it truly – the universe.

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A prayer for marriage from the Baha’i Writings

O my Lord! O my Lord! These two bright orbs are wedded in Thy love, conjoined in servitude to Thy Holy Threshold, united in ministering to thy Cause. Make Thou this marriage to be as threading lights of Thine abounding grace, O my Lord, the All-Merciful, and luminous rays of Thy bestowals, O Thou the Beneficent, the Ever-Giving, that there may branch out from this great tree boughs that will grow green and flourishing through the gifts that rain down from Thy clouds of grace.

Verily, Thou art the Generous. Verily, Thou art the Compassionate, the All-Merciful.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá

 

A big thank you to Sarah and Shannon and their family and friends for sharing this special day with us and for permission to share some of the images.  These and other photographs are my wedding gift to Shannon and Sarah (nearly finished editing and collating them).

5 years on from Yasi

It’s coming up to the 5th Anniversary of Cyclone Yasi.

This was our cyclone night.

 

But you know it’s not what I choose to remember. . . for me it will always be the community spirit afterwards.

I was compelled to photograph and video this recovery process – both in nature and community, and compiled it into a book, which is now also an ebook.

I spent time as a guest blogger for ABC Open, and learnt what it is to write and tell stories from the community, for the community – an experience I will never forget.
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More about   After Yasi EBOOK 

Five years on from Cyclone Yasi, and I am about to launch a kickstarter for a book of poetry Magic Fish Dreaming for children and family celebrating the very area the cyclone made a huge impact on, the Cassowary Coast.

Two of my children are in senior school, one is going into second year.

We all live in Brisbane now, and are really starting to feel like part of the Brisbane community. My husband is still a science teacher but at a different highschool.

We ask after our friends in Tully, but many are down here as students now, and many have moved away.

The one thing that will always unite us is the shared experience of the night and the recovery process and the unspoken realisation that you must always actively care for your family, before, during and after such events.

Sadly some of the families and couples we knew, and many businesses in the local area, did not stay together, but nevertheless those involved have found strength to move on with their lives and rebuild.

May they find peace and happiness, and for all those who were able to give others strength and keep your family, farms and businesses together, good on you.

Although it is true nobody died as a direct result of the cyclone, the untold story of anyone going through a natural disaster is the social and economic impact made on their lives afterwards by such events.  Australia is very blessed to have many charity and emergency services as well as funds from governments put towards this recovery process.

Such events challenge people to consider what the real priorities in their life are, and for some, like one dear friend I know currently doing a lot of work in the Philippines, they rise to another level of courage and strength to empower others.

I will always remember the Cassowary Coastal community, its peoples, and natural environment with the greatest affection and happiness.

 

 

You can purchase the ebook of After Yasi  HERE

or HERE

For the hard cover book   HARD COVER  and PDF

For the soft cover SOFT COVER