After Rest Comes Rejuvenation

“In a cool solitude of trees
Where leaves and birds a music spin,
Mind that was weary is at ease,
New rhythms in the soul begin.” 
~ William Kean Seymour

 

Are you taking some time for yourself this week?

As part of my be-gentle-with-myself healing process I spent the late afternoon in the garden yesterday, watching my dogs frolic, watering my vegetables and fruit trees, and inhaling the delectable fragrance of newly mown lawn.

Of course I couldn’t go anywhere without young Rufous following me. That dog is curious about everything!!!

When the air cooled and the sun began to dip behind the mountain we came inside, cooked dinner and curled up on the couch by the fire before an early night.

All that outside time made for a deep sleep!

Here are a few snaps of my soul medicine session.
Much love, Nicole xx

 

Autumn Garden

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“Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn–that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness–that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.”
~ Jane Austen

 

It’s a cool, damp morning here at the farm.

And oh so pretty!

Come walk with me, in my Autumn garden…

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Watching The Afternoon Fade to Grey

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“On this road
where nobody else travels
autumn nightfall.”
~ Matsuo Bashō

 

Late yesterday afternoon I wandered through the back garden, and then up the hill toward the old orchard behind our house.

My word for the year is ‘home’ and I truly allowed myself to feel into that space yesterday.

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Close to the house a basil plant has self-seeded from last year’s bumper crop. It has flourished with neglect while I have been away and then unwell. It made me so happy to see its broad soft leaves and vigorous growth.

The guava is laden too, and perfumes the air with a heady fragrance that reminds me somehow of passionfruit. I’m looking forward to making some jam and perhaps a chutney with the fruit. I ate one straight off the tree, warmed by the sun and perfect. It was a luxury for the senses.

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The sky turned from bright blue to pale, degree by degree.

The air cooled.

Birds called to one another and sang their evening songs.

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Harry and Bert, exhausted from their mad games and running around, sat on the freshly mown lawn waiting to accompany me back to the house.

They were both so happy to have played and to have kept me company. Nurse Bert seems pleased that I am finally out of bed and well enough to venture out again, although he has been incredibly patient with me.

He couldn’t wipe the goofy smile off his face!

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And so the night slid softly across the sky, the sun set behind the hills, and the first stars winked out.

I filled myself up on it all, and it was good.

What a magical place to call home!

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Meet Our Latest Edition – Calvin the Calf!

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“The apple does not fall far from the tree.” ~ Proverb

 

Here’s our cheeky heifer Daisy Mae with her young bull calf – her first ever baby! We’ve named him Calvin, after Joelle’s suggestion.

When Daisy Mae was a young ‘un she’d crawl under the fence, romp through my vegetable garden, and play with my dogs, Harry and Bert, as though she too were a mad pup. She developed quite a taste for my herbs and flowers, and I was forever chasing her out of the house yard.

Now her son is just the same. He’s only four days old, and already we’ve chased him out of the yard more than twenty times. Right now he’s still so little that he can easily wiggle under the fence wires. He never seems to mind that he’s in trouble. To him it’s one big game.

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He has been devouring my parsley and garlic chives, and is particularly partial to petunias. Naughty Calvin!

But he’s so cute we can’t stay mad at him long. 🙂

Our dogs just love it when Calvin comes to visit. Let’s just hope he doesn’t eat all of my herbs before he is too big to squeeze under the fence.

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All Things Green In My Garden

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“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.” 
~ Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

 

Yesterday I arrived home at my farm to find the gardens green and lush, and everything budding or already in flower. The air was sweetly fragranced with magnolia, lemon blossom and jasmine.

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I ate as many snowpeas and fresh peas as I put into my basket, and picked bunches of the delicate flowers from the coriander that has gone to seed.

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Harry kept me company as we wandered down to the front paddock, and over to check on the new calves who are fat and happy.

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Then I made a cup of tea and watched the late afternoon sun slanting through the trees. So good to be home!

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A Break In And A Hullabaloo

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“Rule number one of farm life is that the cows get out or in to the wrong paddock at the most inconvenient time! You should know that by now, Nicole. Go put your boots on.” ~ Ben Phillips

 

There was a heck of a commotion outside our house gate this morning. Just as I was sitting down to write a very different blog post to this one. A mob of angry cow mothers were calling their recalcitrant young ‘uns who had slipped under the fence in the dead of night and who were busy feasting on my parsley, sweet peas and strawberry plants.

We’ve just finished mustering the seven naughty calves back out the side gate. It took over an hour because they kept scattering in all directions.

I mustered on foot, in pyjamas and boots.

Now I’m cold and muddy and I need a shower pronto!

But the babes are back with their mums and order is restored.

Time for a coffee date with Ben and Cafe Dog. 🙂

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Here Comes The Sun

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“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness — just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breathe it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

Usually I’m quiet on the blog because Lyme Disease has me laid out and I’m in no shape to write.

I’m happy to report that my absence over the past few days had nothing to do with Lyme and everything  do with Mother Nature. After a hefty amount of rain I ended up flooded in, with no power and a flat battery on my phone. To add to the feeling of being a homesteader the hot water system developed an airlock, so no hot water either.

This is what my world has looked like. And the inside of our little farmhouse was equally gloomy.

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A few days ago my husband packed the ute, took Harry and drove to Brisbane and then travelled on to the farm of an old friend. So Bert and I were home alone.

What to do in a cold, dark house?

We napped. And napped. And napped some more.

Meanwhile a whippy six-foot tree snake took refuge on our front veranda, out of the rain. He was long and slender, with a deep olive body and a bright yellow belly.

At the back door our large resident male carpet snake stretched out on the still-warm concrete, and settled in for the duration.

I was grateful to have a side door so that I could still slip out to our bathroom, which is in the back corner of the veranda.

Then late yesterday afternoon, a few hours before Ben was due back, the rain stopped and the snakes departed. An hour later the power came back on. Forgetting that the hot water wasn’t working I turned on the hot tap in the kitchen and it spluttered and gurgled and then burst into life.

By the time Ben and Harry got home everything was back to normal. They’d missed the entire adventure!

This morning the sky is the most exquisite blue. The sun is shining, and our world  is green and lush.

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The air is clear and clean. It smells so earthy and good that I want to eat it with a spoon.

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The plants are growing like triffids, and flowers are everywhere.

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After being cooped up for so long dogs are ready for an adventure, and I won’t be needing that garden hose any time soon.

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Harry’s feeling healthy and happy and is ready for a game. So I’m keeping things short this morning.

Playtime in the sun is much more important today!

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My Day’s Best Medicine

Image from BourilDesign.net

Image from BourilDesign.net

“Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.”
~ George Gordon Byron

 

There is one thing Lyme has taught me that is well worth sharing. Some of the best medicine isn’t prescribed by a doctor.

Here’s some of my favourite medicine.

The smell of pine trees and sunshine.

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2014-12-07 09.22.40-2The promise of rain on the wind.

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2014-05-16 10.33.18Nurse Bert, the ever faithful hound, keeping me company even when it would be more fun to be outside chasing cows or going on farm exploration adventures with Harry.

2014-01-27 20.23.30Good books, sun-bright mornings, the smell of the ocean, music, wind in the trees, friendship, kindness, meditation, the softness of nightfall, cups of tea, moonlight, laughter, afternoon naps, love.

All of these things help heal me.

Maybe they will work magic for you too.

Thinking of you and sending love, Nicole xx

l

PS: Here’s a lovely song about letting things be the way they are, from the inimitable Tim Minchin.

A sneak peak at Day One…

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“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
~ Mother Teresa

“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
~ Ruth Reichl

 

The picture at the top of this post is a rather large crystal mandala, made by the participants of our retreat as part of an activity on day one.

The intention within this grid is to send healing to the group, to humanity, and to our Great Mother – the planet we call home.

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There are many shells and crystals within the mandala, as well as a number of woven wool friendship bracelets. At the retreat’s end, when we take down the mandala, everyone will take away one of those friendship bracelets full of that good grid energy – as a little reminder of our friendship, community and time together, and of the support available to us through this group.

I also enjoyed some time wandering through the extensive gardens here at Sangsurya at the beginning and end of the day, taking some time in nature for peacefulness and reconnection.

I’ll finish this quick update with a few pictures:

Unpacking the ute up at the hall, with views out over the silvery ocean. Such a magical way to start my day.

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The swimming pool at dusk.

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Some beautiful bromeliads.

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A magical, green fringed pathway.

2014-11-29 19.21.48 You might not be able to join us on retreat this year, but there is something nourishing you can do for yourself, and it’s free.

My good friend Holly Bretschneider is running a 3-for-33 Gratitude Challenge, where you can list three things for which you’re grateful, every day between now and the New Year, to put you into a wonderful, expansive and allowing mindset for 2015.

If you’d like to join in, go here for more details:

3-for-33 Gratitude Challenge

Thinking of you all, and sending love,

Nicole

xx

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Flowers with your Green Smoothie?

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“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”
~ Iris Murdoch

 

Each morning when I venture out to the garden to pick a few herbs or some kale for my breakfast smoothie, I rejoice in the flowers which grow in the tumbling wilderness that is my vegetable garden.

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I have always grown flowers alongside my herbs and vegetables. Flowers attract bees, they cleverly lure away pests, and most importantly, they bring me joy.

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When did a food garden need to be so business-like that there was no room for whimsy, colour or self-expression?

Besides, fairies like flowers too.

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I finally tore myself away from flower appreciation long enough to pick a few leaves for breakfast.

This morning’s green smoothie?

Kale, pear, apple, broccoli and coconut. Delicious!

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