It is related that one day they came upon Majnun sifting the dust, and his tears flowing down. They said, "What doest thou?" He said, "I seek for Layli." They cried, "Alas for thee! Layli is of pure spirit, and thou seekest her in the dust!" He said, "I seek her everywhere; haply somewhere I shall find her."
(Baha'u'llah, The Seven Valleys, p. 6)

Who is Layli and why do we seek her?

What is a Seeking Layli Event?

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Barren trees fit for the fire?????

As may be readily observed, each tree yieldeth a certain fruit, and a barren tree is but fit for fire.

Well some people might call the Pencil Pine a barren tree. It's fruit is not edible, it never grows very tall, doesn't offer much shade and to conventional eyes may be rather drab.
But it's a tough little character, growing in high mountain boggy areas where it is often the only thing taller than a sedge and thus plays an important role in the local environment. And to some of us it is perfectly beautiful in its natural montane setting surrounded by the browns and greys of the high plateau. Slow growing and long lived, if you plant one now you may have to wait a thousand years to see it fully mature.
It's actually not a pine. Try or for a proper description.
or have a look at the photo at

Better yet, why not join us on Sunday 31st August at 12 noon for our next Seeking Layli devotional picnic? We're heading for Pine Lake (as shown in the above photo) to see if any trace of the Beauty can be found amongst the Pencil Pines. Meet at the car-park as usual.

Pine Lake lies just beside the A5 Lakes Highway on the right hand side as you head from Deloraine to Miena. Google show it here,-148.750798&sspn=140.427919,239.414062&doflg=ptk&ie=UTF8&ll=-41.741923,146.706362&spn=0.009142,0.014613&t=h&z=16

and gives these directions from Launceston,-41.741262,146.706294&saddr=Launceston&daddr=Lake+Hwy+%40-41.741262,+146.706294&sll=-41.742515,146.70471&sspn=0.009142,0.014613&dirflg=h&doflg=ptk&ie=UTF8&z=10
though some people might find it easier to just go through Deloraine on Highways all the way.

The walk at Pine Lake is billed as one of the sixty great short walks of Tasmania. See

It is an environmentally sensitive area and one is asked not to leave the track so we may have to find another spot for our picnic. We will decide on the day.

And please believe this. It will be chilly, probably cold, and possibly very, very cold indeed. If you don't believe me have a look at the frozen lake"

Hope to see you there. Lifts can be arranged if necessary.

The cold of winter ..... the new life of spring.

O My friend, listen with heart and soul to the songs of the spirit, and treasure them as thine own eyes. For the heavenly wisdoms, like the clouds of spring, will not rain down on the earth of men's hearts forever; and though the grace of the All-Bounteous One is never stilled and never ceasing, yet to each time and era a portion is allotted and a bounty set apart, this in a given measure. "And no one thing is there, but with Us are its storehouses; and We send it not down but in settled measure." The cloud of the Loved One's mercy raineth only on the garden of the spirit, and bestoweth this bounty only in the season of spring. The other seasons have no share in this greatest grace, and barren lands no portion of this favor.
(the embedded quotation is from the Qu'ran) )

We billed this trip as seeking Layli in the depths of winter but the abiding memory is of the early signs of spring. In the manicured section of the Reserve the daffodils and other invasive weeds were in bloom and in the more natural parts other signs of spring were evident. Here we see the dead and eaten foliage of previous years being replaced by new growth.

Our picnic site was rather more civilised than is our custom complete with barbecues and toilets. It felt rather strange really.

But a short walk reaffirmed that even in the heart of a city (well a decent sized town at least) God's handiwork is still more wonderful than anything we humans have produced. Though, as Baha'u'llah pointed out even our works are really His works. "Through the mere revelation of the word 'Fashioner,' issuing forth from His lips and proclaiming His attribute to mankind, such power is released as can generate, through successive ages, all the manifold arts which the hands of man can produce." (Baha'u'llah)

The 'rock fissure' which is the advertised feature of Punchbowl is indeed a charming mini-gorge.

And from the top of the Gorge, well, Launceston could hardly be seen .
At every moment he [the traveller] beholdeth a wondrous world, a new creation, and goeth from astonishment to astonishment, and is lost in awe at the works of the Lord of Oneness.

And that was how it was, slow progress because every tree, practically every blade of grass had some wonder and beauty to delay us. Try these:

Another pleasant day.