Today I woke up to the smell of smoke, not unusual for this time of year, but today it was close enough to see the flumes lapping over the ridge line 5 kms away. Our valley usually floods at this time of year and the local saying is that someone only has to pee upstream and we’re under. In this age of climate change, it seems not even Bellingen is drought proof. Earlier this week we moved to level 3 water restrictions and at this rate, with no rain forecast, we’ll be at level 4 very soon, the first time in nearly 30 years. Despite her resilience, it’s clear nature does not have an endless supply of resources and when the balance is out, she’s vulnerable just like us.
Lately I’ve felt very grateful for the isolation of my hilltop perch far removed from the chaos of global affairs. Has the world really become an uncertain, turbulent and unharmonious place to be right now? The lyrics of Elvis Costello’s “what’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding” couldn’t be more relevant. As is my bent, I started thinking about what we can learn from nature and her wisdoms to help us make sense of it all.
I was keenly anticipating the super moon this week, excited to bath in her once in a lifetime luminescence. Even from our hillside perch overlooking the east coast, she remained mostly hidden behind a veil of cloud, showing us only fleeting glimpses. I read that this Taurus super moon was a time to reflect on what really matters and to assess whether we are living in alignment with our true values and purpose. A perfect opportunity to connect deeply with our authentic selves. Like most journeys of personal growth and recalibration, this moon was a slow reveal, gathering in momentum and culminating in a sublime showing when the conditions were right. This is not unlike my journey of transformation since arriving in the country. Sometimes propelled along by a desperate need to make sense of challenging circumstances but mostly in response to a growing desire to reconnect with my higher self and true purpose. In the process of managing life, multitasking and trying to prove myself, I lost touch with what really ignited my spirit and what …
At 12.21am this morning the sun shone directly on the equator and for a brief moment, night and day were in equal balance, well nearly anyway. In my experience, balance is an illusive and ephemeral concept, strived for but never quite attained. But every now and again, like today, it feels like I’m in the sweet spot and all is well with the world. This morning I woke to a perfect Spring day, sunny, 23 degrees with a slight breeze, yum! Its such a beautiful time of year on the farm. Everything is in bloom, the garlic is perking up after slow steady growth during winter, juicy turmeric and ginger is harvested and the kitchen garden is prepared and ready for new seedlings. In the past I barely noticed these in between moments of alchemy. I had my eye firmly on the horizon. As soon as the mystery evaporated from whatever I was doing, it was time to move on. Anything in between felt mundane, mediocre, of no interest. Life on the land can be one …
Lately I’ve felt that familiar anxious feeling, the one that comes each year with the onset of spring. To hurry up and get on top of things before summer hits and you’re under siege again. The cicadas are back, baby ants are hatching and spiders are busy making their webs with increased vigour. The natural world is stirring from its winter hibernation. My home, like the forests and river valley that surround me, has its own tiny ecosystem with its own seasonal ebbs and flows. I’ve come to realise that the arrival of these little creatures is a reminder to surrender to the things I can’t control. To accept that by choosing to live within nature I must adapt to my surroundings and not the other way around. I am the introduced species here after all. I’m resisting the urge to fight this invasion because like most things in life, its about balance, finding that elusive sweet spot.
This week I’ve been thinking a lot about thinking. I’ve spent years studying and working where what I could do with my mind was all that mattered. Thinking was what I did, my brain was good at it! But it took an off the cuff comment to make me really reflect on how reliant I’d become on my mind to do all of the heavy lifting. ‘Amanda you think too much’. So of course this kicked my mind into overdrive.
No better time than the first day of spring to write my first blog post right? Solar eclipse in Virgo, YES! Couldn’t be a more auspicious time to begin anew and trust the wisdom of the universe. But, I’ve spent all day procrastinating, fiddling with my wordpress theme and other acts of self sabotage, driven entirely by my fear of jumping into the great unknown of the blogosphere. I’ve moved countries and changed jobs, I moved HERE with much less angst but I’m finding this leap of faith particularly difficult. I’ve come to realise some of the most difficult hurdles are the ones we need to overcome in our own minds.
Welcome to my hillside perch. In 2012, our family of three made a run for it and escaped the rush of city life in search of a slower and more nourishing life on the land. I was born in the bush, came of age in the city but always felt the pull of the country. To be back in the wild, a place where our daughter could experience the freedoms that I knew as child. So here we are by a river in a lush little valley on the East Coast of NSW. And after finally coming up for air, I’ve decided to write about our unique tree change journey and what I’ve learned about myself along the way.