All posts tagged: peace

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 …

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 …

(What’s so funny ’bout) peace, love and understanding

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.