Coming Home

“Now, on this road trip, my mind seemed to uncrinkle, to breathe, to present to itself a cure for a disease it had not, until now, known it had.”
― Elizabeth Berg, The Year of Pleasures

 

I’ve been in the city so long this last stay. It was necessary. Bert needed surgery. Then Harry. I needed doctors, and treatment. Somehow the few days I had planned for became so many more than that.

But finally, last night, we came home.

We set out from the city in the early evening, to miss peak hour traffic.

The roads were quiet. We turned the radio off. The dogs snuggled into each other in the back seat and went to sleep.

When we left the city behind the sky became luminous with stars, and beneath us the tyres hummed along the asphalt clocking up the miles to our farm’s front gates. Flanked by forests and fields we drove through the darkness. With every mile I felt my body soften and relax a little more.

As we turned off the main highway onto the winding backroads of home we rolled down the windows and the chilly autumn air rushed in. The dogs stirred sleepily, ears alert, noses twitching.

There it was. The familiar scent of damp soil and sweet grass. A hint of cow. Occasionally a sharp stench of eucalypt-scented koala piss.

The night hung heavy and still above us. The trees closed their canopy over the narrow road. Almost home.

A large tawny frogmouth stood sentinel at our front gate, staring at us a moment before she beat her wings noisily as she lifted off and soared away.

We clattered up the long drive, our headlights making everything unfamiliar in their uneven light. Tired as we were, we all lit up with excitement.

We were home.

I could hear the cows calling from down by the river. The night was filled with the sound of koalas and possums and frogs. Sweet music to my homesick ears.

The house was silent and cold for only a moment. We all rushed in, turning on lights, putting down bags, turning back covers, making noise where there had been none.

But soon enough we were tucked up in bed, lights out, house dark again, everyone happy and ready for sleep.

So good to be home!

Milky Way over Byron Bay Farm - Image by Sirflife Australia

Milky Way over Byron Bay Farm – Image by Surflife Australia

Using All The Best Things!

“Start living now. Stop saving the good china for that special occasion. Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes. Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God.”Mary Manin Morrissey

While I was at university I went to a babysitting job. The family owned and ran the canteen at my college, and worked long hours. They were incredibly proud of their new brick home, and invited me in as if I had arrived at Buckingham Palace.

Over the white shag-pile carpet lay thick plastic runners. Plastic slipcovers encased every piece of furniture in the lounge. It was the height of summer so I was offered a seat on a towel, placed on top of the plastic-covered and uncomfortable sofa. I drank my cold drink from a plastic cup and ate my cake off a chipped old plate, while admiring the china cabinet full of beautiful glassware and a pretty dinner service. It felt like a home no-one lived in. Or a home that they were care-taking for someone else.

All the ‘good’ things – the china, the furniture, the carpet – were being saved for a special occasion.

I wonder if they ever got used at all?

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One thing I learned a long time ago is that life is short, and often unpredictable. Beautiful things are meant to be used, rather than languishing at the back of a cupboard or covered over.

If you have an expensive bottle of perfume, give yourself the pleasure of using it while it is still fresh.

Drink your tea from that beautiful cup.

Wear that gorgeous necklace of your Nan’s.

Be careful with precious things, but use them anyway. It is a natural law that some things will break or be damaged over time. That’s okay too. Don’t let fear stop you enjoying these things.

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Serve dinner on the good plates, or create a reason to bring the special things out more often than just at Christmas or Thanksgiving. My grandmother used to bring out all the good china, silverware and glassware when we went there for dinner on a Saturday night. She’d decorate the dinner table with a lace tablecloth and blooms from the garden, light candles, and make the table look like the Queen herself was coming to dinner. Even though it was only us. And sometimes, because we were little, we were in our pyjamas…

Buy yourself flowers for no reason other than the glorious experience of being alive and able to appreciate beauty.

Let yourself live, surrounded by the things that give you pleasure and that make you happy.

Conversely, if it stresses you out to use the good china for fear you might break it – maybe sell it or give it away, and find yourself something you feel comfortable to use every day. Go find the perfect coffee mug, the pretty plates and bowls that can go straight in the dishwasher, the couch you can sink into at the end of the day.

Choose quality over quantity.

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One of my favourite forms of recycling is buying from second-hand and thrift shops, garage sales and antique centres. It’s amazing what kinds of treasures you might find and give a new lease of life. Clothes, books, furniture, homewares, trinkets and jewels…

This week, ask yourself if you are truly using and appreciating what you have. If not now, when?

You deserve to live in your life now. Don’t save things for that mystical unnamed time in the future. Memories are made in the moment, and that’s where life is lived too. That mystical future moment might never come.

Make life a beautiful journey. Don’t keep your dreams and cherished possessions locked away in the cupboard. Live, and surround yourself with what soothes and uplifts you. The everyday deserves beauty and magic as much as a special occasion.

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Loving myself lopsided…

“The play is done – the curtain drops,

Slow falling to the prompter’s bell;

A moment yet the actor stops,

And looks around, to say farewell.

It is an irksome word and task;

And, when he’s laughed, and had his say,

He shows, as he removes his mask,

A face that’s anything but gay.”

~ William Makepeace Thackeray

I’m having trouble with my face.

It started quite a while ago, perhaps fifteen years, and was so trifling that only my mother noticed. “Oh,” she said as I was going off to have some professional photographs taken for a work assignment. “You know you have a funny eye? You look uneven when you smile.  Don’t put that side of your face toward the camera.”

Thanks for the heads-up, Mum.  As it was, when the pictures came back she remarked that I was squinty.

It’s become worse over time, and now I know what it is.  It’s not natural ugliness or an inherited facial flaw.  I have Bell’s Palsy, courtesy of Lyme Disease attacking my cranial nerve.

When I smile, only one side of my face responds.

2013-03-14 15.52.22I tell myself it makes me look whimsical. And the upside is that one side of my face is quite free of smiley eye-wrinkles and laugh lines. Which side of my face should I put to the camera now, Ma?  The smiley side? The smooth and ageless side?

Actually, I think it’s time to face the world head on.

I’ve decided that I’m beautiful just the way I am.  If I get droopier, at least I know I’m smiling on the inside. It’s almost like a botox experiment without the botox!

If I let fashion magazines and our society’s obsession with youth and perfection define me, I’d be out with the trash. But I have something much more powerful that that – I’m grateful for my body, and I love that it has hung in here with me. I’m comfortable in my skin and I hope that in my self-acceptance I can encourage you to begin to feel the same.

Just in case you are uncertain as to my smiley status, here’s another pic, modified with the help of my index finger to get that pesky under-performing cheek into position.

2013-03-14 15.53.45I have a message for you:

Beauty begins in the heart.  Beauty is kindness and compassion in action. It’s wearing your passion and living your values. It’s being authentic and REAL. Beauty is YOU just as you are, being yourself and accepting that Self with love.

Quit judging yourself. Don’t hide from the world, wanting to be something other than who you are. Know that you are perfect in your imperfection, that your body and your life will continue to evolve and change, and all of that will be reflected on your face, but more importantly in your heart.

In the end, when we remember someone, it’s the time we spent together and the way they made us feel that is important.  So dress up in your best smile, share your love, practice kindness and do all you can to embrace your life with joy. 

I love you! Bless ♥ xx

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Win a Healing Necklace, Made Especially For You!

This is the final week of my blog supporter love-up, and I’ve saved the best ’til last.

So far the beautiful Anita has won the every.day.presence book by Simone De Haas.

This week Tammy of onelittlestranger wins a crystal just for her, chosen and channelled by me. Congratulations, Tammy! I shall be delving through my magical cupboard to find just the right stone for you. ❤

I am so very grateful for all of the support and connection that you have shown me and my blog thus far.  I had no idea when I wrote my very first (rather lame) post that things would snowball the way they have. But my intention from the beginning with Cauldrons and Cupcakes has been to uplift, to support, to inspire and encourage – and to share my life so that I demystify the supposed ‘strangeness’ of having metaphysical abilities.

The spiritual journey is also a healing journey, and so my last offering to you in this big month of celebration is this – a custom-made healing necklace, hand crafted by me, and incorporating crystals and stones that are attuned to your own vibration so that you can experience positive shift, healing and growth in some significant physical, emotional or spiritual area of your life.

Here are some examples of necklaces I’ve made thus far:

❤ Fee’s necklace:

❤ Sophie’s Strand

❤ The Three Sisters’ Stones

When I make your necklace I meditate upon you first, to ask what you most need.  I choose the beads and crystals, and as I string the necklace I say a prayer and affirmation over each bead, no matter how tiny.  Finally, when the beads are strung, I hold the necklace in my hands and say a prayer of Blessing and do a further meditation for you, then I place the necklace in my crystal grid for twenty four hours to charge it up for you. There is love in every single bead, and they are truly powerful pieces.

All you need to do to be in the draw is to leave a comment below.  It doesn’t matter where in the world you live – if you are meant to win, you shall, and I shall happily send your necklace on to you.  Wishing you luck, and peace in your heart. ❤ Nicole xx