Crazy Wild Weather

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“From where we stand the rain seems random. If we could stand somewhere else, we would see the order in it.”
~ Tony Hillerman

 

It’s crazy wet in the Northern Rivers right now. It has rained, and rained and rained, and more rain is coming.

Yesterday we moved the cows and baby calves from the river paddock to higher ground.

Not long after sunrise the internet went down. A few hours later the power went out.

Then the phone went. The creek had already come up the banks overnight. A friend had come to visit the night before and we were glad she didn’t stay – because her low van would not have made it over the flooded crossing.

But eventually we knew we wouldn’t either if we left it much longer. And I have doctors’ appointments and other important things next week that I can’t afford to miss by being stranded.

So we packed the truck and headed for the city.

This morning I’m sitting in a dry cosy city house with a working phone, power and internet.

The dogs are forlorn. And we’ll be in town for a few days at least.

But there’s an upside. Fast internet, and good coffee just up the road. So we’ll settle Nurse Bert on the couch for a nap, and take Cafe Dog for a quick latte and a bite.

Then I’m coming home to answer my mountain of emails and to get ready for Witch Camp, the fabulous own-pace online course which starts this weekend (or whenever you’re ready!)

Lots of love to all of you, Nicole xx

 

Home at My Farm

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“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”Albert Einstein

 

I’m home, at our beautiful farm. The dogs and I have just gone for a ramble to check on the cows, and to see if we could spy the platypus down in the river.

There are branches down everywhere after the tail end of Tropical Cyclone Marcia, and the house is musty and damp after so much rain. But today the sky is full of sunshine, my windows are flung wide, and everything is slowly drying out again.

It’s hard to explain how full my heart feels when I’m here. How the green hills cradle me, and the cry of the black cockatoos comforts me, and the endless birdsong soothes me and strips away my worries.

I’ll make a pot of tea now, and sit down at the kitchen table to do some writing before breakfast. This morning we’re going down to the shed to hunt up some petrified wood from the tonnes of rocks and crystals I have in storage there. And then writing again after lunch.

Not much more perfect than a writing day, crystal time, and then late this afternoon a walk on the beach and fish and chips for dinner!

Hooray for being home. 🙂

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That Strange Wise Universe

“All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this.
~ Miyamoto Musashi

 

Sometimes things don’t go to plan.

We’ve had a lot of rain here at the farm. Lots actually. Think floods.

Last Saturday, after having been flooded in overnight, the causeway dropped and Ben decided we’d make a run for it and head to the city for a few days. I didn’t want to go. I have a workshop coming up. And other deadlines to meet. I had so much work to do, and sitting at home in the rain working on my computer in front of the fire sounded like bliss to me. Also, to be completely honest, I felt like crap. Spending a few days in my pyjamas, holed up while it bucketed down outside, sounded fine by me.

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There was only one problem. Stupid amounts of rain were predicted and I was worried about running out of Lyme drugs, and accessing a post office to send off my memoir to a competition that was about to close.

We needed to make a decision.

 

So we hastily threw a few things in bags and jumped in the car with the dogs in tow. A couple of hours later there was more heavy rain, the causeway came back up, but we were now safely on the other side. Our plan was to fill my prescriptions, finish my memoir changes and get them in the post, and come back late Sunday or early Monday morning.

In Brisbane my computer died an hour after I plugged it in. You know, the horrible blue screen of death? That one.

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Meanwhile the rain kept coming down.

I couldn’t make the computer behave!

Suddenly our quick trip looked like needing an extension.

As a result this week has not turned out to look anything like I had planned.

But…

On Sunday when I realised that I would need to buy a new computer, the one I wanted was on special – for that day only. (Which also once again validates my personal mantra Everything I want is always on special! Read more about helpful affirmations here: My Embarrassing Affirmation Confession)

Our good friend Tony, who also happens to be a computer wizard, suddenly had a work cancellation which meant he could perform CPR on my old laptop and breathe life into my new one. A process I thought should take an hour or two, but which actually took days. Who knew these things could be so complicated?

While I was in that Universe-imposed twilight zone of no emails, blogs, twitter, skype, facebook or any other form of digital communication I was able to re-read and re-edit my memoir the old-fashioned way, with pencil and paper. I finished my draft, made the changes on a borrowed computer, printed it off and sent it on its way. I’m sure I did a much better job of it with so few distractions.

What to do after that? Computer still not working, and new Lyme drugs making me feel less than one hundred percent. I napped my way through most of the next few days.

Result?

My memoir is done, I am well rested and feeling sooooo much better, and my new computer, finally, is ready for business.

Of course, the farm is still flooded in. We might get home tomorrow. Or we might not. Helpful neighbours phone us a few times a day with weather updates. No point going home if we get all the way there only to find that we can’t get over the flooded creek that leads to our front door. We’ve had almost a year’s worth of rain in the past few days, and it’s still raining! We’re safe here in the city, our cows are safe back at the farm, and there’s nothing else to be done.

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I’m okay with whatever happens. This week has worked out just fine, with no help from me.

Life’s like that, isn’t it? You can plan all you want, but often the Universe has a way of making your plans ridiculously irrelevant and replacing them with something far more magical and synchronous.

Are you holding on too tight right now? Maybe it’s time to let the Universe have a little elbow room.

Much love to you, Nicole xx

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We Has The Depression

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“Into each life some rain must fall.”
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Bert: Rain, rain, rain. I’m sick of all this rain. It’s horrible being stuck inside a house in the city.  Why can’t we go home to the farm? What if all my tennis balls float away? I can’t bear it. I has the Depression.

Harry: I’ll ask Mum.  Maybe it’s not raining any more. Maybe we can go home.

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Harry: Can we go yet?  Can we go home?  Can we? Can we? Is it still raining? My brother needs his farm.

Me: Maybe, but there’s more raining coming.  We might have to go home and get a few things, and then come back to the city again so we don’t get flooded in.

2013-02-26 11.56.57Harry: Oh no. I has the Depression too…

Flooded in!

Mother Nature has been wet, windy and wild at our little farm. We are safe and well but flooded in. Trees down everywhere and no power. But we have candles and a radio, books and a gas stove so all in all we are okay. And my iphone is fully charged!

Plenty of time for sleeping, meditation and lazing about. I’ll be sending much love, light and healing to you over the airwaves.
Where ever you are, be safe and know that you are loved. ❤ xx

The images below are the flooded causeway that provides access to our farm, Bert checking out the flood and one of the roads on our farm that is now a pretty waterfall.

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Drought, Poetry and Roses

Image by Nick Moir

Today’s post is inspired by a flower – a single rose blooming in my garden. Bless that rose, and all she means to me…

A few years ago we weathered eight years of the most horrendous drought. Our farm in the Lockyer Valley was baked brown, and it seemed surreal to be without water up there, and then to come back to Brisbane (an hour’s drive, door to door) where the pop-up sprinklers in the neighbours’ lawns spilled gallons of water into the gutters each night and everyone took twenty minute showers.

It took a few years before it affected Brisbane, but soon water restrictions became a way of life. As the drought took hold, the restrictions became harsher. At the farm, in town, gardens withered, trees died, wildlife dissapeared.

It was one of the hardest and most dispiriting times of our lives.  Friends walked off properties held by their families for generations, depression and suicides were rife in our farming community. There was no water to be had.  No feed to be had.  They were desperate times.

The moisture, the very life of the land, was sucked away, and all we were left with was dust.

This poem describes one hot, miserable summer morning at our farm:

DROUGHT BIRDS

Dawn breaks grave quiet

There is no chorus,

no cicada buzz or insect hum.

The sky is empty but for sun.

The dying here is silent,

swaddled in summer’s thick blanket

of heat and dust.

Drought birds perch in spindly-limbed trees

their white coats stained rust

chests puffed to give a futile impression

of longevity.

They gasp shallow rents

of earth-baked air,

song long forgotten in their misery.

Hard to gulp down,

this breath which desiccates the living

from the inside out.

Slowly bodies become hollow fragile things,

skin a ragged quilt of lice

and dirty feathers.

Drought birds.

They cling to the memory of wing.

If you reached out and touched one

it would crumble to nothing in your fingers

and blow away on the wind.

Drought birds litter empty waterholes

carcasses light as a dream.

Everything changes. Eventually the rains came. And with them, one small miracle.

Our Brisbane house was built in 1937. Down each side of the house they planted roses. Some of the original plants had survived all those years.  But the drought killed them off, one by one, these old darlings.

Or so I thought.  After a summer of soaking rain, one gnarled old stump shot up a single strong water shoot.  Within a fortnight it bloomed – one magnificent red rose.

Now, whenever this old rose blooms, I am back there in the hardest of times, and simultaeneously I am reminded of hope.  Everything changes, and life has a bitter-sweet beauty I would not trade for all the ease in the world.

Of course since then, we’ve had floods.  And once again the Lockyer Valley took a beating. I wrote about it here – Musings on Melancholy – my own little ‘Lost In Translation’ Moment. In the end we sold our farm and moved away. It was the right thing to do. I’m sure you’ll understand. Now we are nestled in gentle coastal country that is always green, always lush. It has rejuvenated us in a way that only nature can.

Seasons come and go, inspire poetry, life moves on, roses bloom, hope springs eternal. ♥