Every morning I watch the seagulls fly over the canal from the deck of my new home, a houseboat in the centre of Amsterdam. They are experts at catching an updraft, familiar with every twist and turn of the waterways, expending energy only when needed. Unlike the seagulls though, I am bewildered by my new surroundings. I feel like a fledgling pulsing between fascination and a desperate need to return to the nest. Moving countries can do that to you, especially if you’ve spent the last 6 years living in the Australian wilderness with only forest for company. When I was young, I dreamt I could fly too. I soared high above mountains and through valleys. I wasn’t a bird in my dreams. I was me, flying. It felt completely natural and it was exhilarating. I haven’t experienced anything quite like it since. It coincided with a childhood exploring the woods surrounding my home, boundless and free of self-doubt.
Dear Hearts, while I wait for a departure date to drop into my lap, I’ve been musing about some last lingering doubts and about Nature, my harshest and wisest teacher. ‘Why am I leaving this!” I’ve been asking myself this question nearly every morning for weeks now as I sit, often uncomfortably, in the uncertainty of not knowing where to from here. A trigger for all of the lingering doubts about our decision to leave to come back and torment me. It’s winter here in Australia, and along with Autumn, it’s my favourite time of year. Full of cold nights with the fire on, blue sky days and lovely walks safe in the knowledge that all of the the creatures that can kill me are sleeping! There’s a gentleness to the wilderness now that allows me to exhale after the intensity of summer. To fully relax into myself and into nature.
After a month in The Netherlands reconnecting with family and old friends, tonight I’m leaving on a jet plane for home. I’ve said many goodbyes over the past 25 years but this time I’m feeling particularly melancholic. To have a life in more than one place is a gift for which I am very grateful but at times like this, I feel torn. Being here always takes me on a journey through past lives and a rollercoaster of emotions. Amsterdam in particular is where my heart feels most at home. It’s the city where I fell in love, truly felt comfortable in my own skin and learned to be a mother. Maybe it’s a symptom of growing older and understanding the impermanence of life that I’m struggling more and more with letting go and with the feeling that I still have unfinished business. Often the heart just knows what the mind struggles to understand.
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 …
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.