All posts tagged: freedom

Of things unknown and longed for still

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.

What does not bend, breaks

Now that we’ve set a departure date, I’ve been reflecting a lot on how much living in this wild place, often alone, has changed me. In particular, and inspired by a grove of bamboo that I’ve only just learned to love, how much stronger I’ve become. Backwoods living has tested my strength physically and emotionally and I’ve discovered a depth of resourcefulness I never knew I had. I am proud of my strong arms and that I’m no longer afraid when I hear wild dogs howling at the moon or when I wake up to the smell of bushfires in the forest at night. What’s absent now though is the stubborn, white knuckled and rigid view of strength I came here with. A softer more intelligent strength has taken its place. A strength that is not afraid of bowing humbly before adversity knowing just like the bamboo, it will bend and not break. I lost a lot of metaphorical stems along the way though before I realised my un natural view of strength no longer …

Why am I leaving this!

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.

Living the dream

I’ve been trying to write this post since March, the five year anniversary of our move from the city to the bush. I could say that life got in the way, that I was too busy but that would only be partly true. The real truth is that I’ve been procrastinating, making excuses because I knew writing it would be hard. Hard because after 5 years of ‘living the dream’ we’ve decided to follow our hearts back to the city. How do you celebrate something and leave it at the same time without feeling like somehow you’ve failed? I realised as much as wanted to, I couldn’t let this milestone pass because an anniversary is more than a celebration of the start of something it is also an opportunity to take stock of where you are now and how far you’ve come. To reflect on all of the things you didn’t know then but do now. That day back in the beginning, I burst into tears as the removal truck made it’s way up our …

These are the good old days

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.

Where ever you go you take yourself with you

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 …