Night Time At My Farm

“The sky grew darker, painted blue on blue, one stroke at a time, into deeper and deeper shades of night.” 
Haruki Murakami

After a short holiday we arrived back at our little farm in the Byron Hills yesterday. It was so good to be home, so good to be in our own space, to find our dogs happy and content, to see our friend who housesat for us tanned and relaxed and well.

I’d thought I would tumble into bed early, but as all the lights turned out and night wrapped itself around us I found that I was wide awake. Leaving everyone sleeping I snuck outside and sat on the steps, looking up at the dark bowl of the sky above my head.

The air was alive with the call of frogs and crickets, the chitter of bats, the grunts of koalas, the flap of owl-wing. The soft night was tinged with chill, and fragrant with spring blossoms and that honest smell of cows and damp earth. The sky was bright with stars.

The trees breathed in rhythm with me. The world turned. And gently, gently something within me clicked back into place again. I was home!

I finally put my weary body back to bed, sliding between the cool clean sheets in the darkened room. I woke this morning not remembering having fallen asleep, but having slept deeply and well.

There is such comfort to be had in embracing the fullness of my life.
Today I’m wishing that heart-fulness for you too.
All my love, Nicole ❤ xoxo

 

 

Things that make my heart glad!

“Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.” 
~ Samuel Johnson, The Idler; Poems

 

The New Year is almost here! As part of my sacred promise to live a heart-centred year in 2014, I am aiming to make sure I fill my days with more of the simple things that make my heart glad.

Here’s my list, below.

1. The ever-changing light here at our farm: a brilliant blaze of sunrise, that quirky green haze before the afternoon storm, the dove-grey gloom of dusk. Taking a moment to stand barefoot on the ground and drink in my surroundings is good medicine for my soul.

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2. A cup of tea – on my own, with my husband, or with friends. Tea is such a comforting brew, and there are so many flavours to choose from. There’s always one to suit my mood.

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3. Fresh flowers. These ones are from weeds and vegetables in my garden that have gone to seed. No matter, they still give me joy. There is loveliness everywhere once you start to look.

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4. The beach. Summer or winter, morning or evening or any time in between. Swims in the briny sea, lungfuls of good clean air, the tang of salt on the breeze, sun on my skin, sand between my toes.

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5. Meditation. I swear meditation has saved my life. I fall into its arms twice each day and it never fails to soothe me, restore me and connect me.

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6. Writing, and reading books. One of the great loves of my existence. To be able to sit at home, or at a favourite cafe, and let words tumble onto the page is a form of magic for me. So is reading a book and being transported to a whole new world for a while.2012-05-17 07.34.52

 

7. Fairies. Being able to sit quietly in nature and see who’s there, or talking with Sokli, my most favourite fairy of them all – that always makes my heart glad.

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8. Hanging out at the farm. Down by the river, watching the platypus. Cooking up treats in the kitchen. Communing with the cows. Exploring with Harry and Bert. Dancing in my gumboots. Listening to the birds. Searching for the noisy koalas. Chasing away the wallabies from my vegetable garden. Picking oranges in the orchard. It’s the little ordinary things that bring  a smile to my face. Truly, living here makes me feel so blessed.

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Life is a precious gift. This coming year I am going to fill it with the ordinary miracles of being alive. How about you? What things will you open your heart to in 2014? What makes your own heart glad?

Much love to you, Nicole xx

Simple pleasures

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“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”  ~ John Burroughs

Are you suffering from Broken Robot Syndrome?  If so, I have some ideas to help you heal, and to reconnect with yourself and the world around you.

Life doesn’t have to be complicated to be satisfying.  In fact, most of the things that I enjoy cost little or nothing. Down here at my farm I don’t need to look far to indulge in some of life’s simple pleasures. A glass of fresh orange juice from fruit grown in our orchard, or a simple salad with ingredients straight from the garden.

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A long hot bath after I’m tired and muddy from a ramble through the paddocks.

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Fresh flowers – from a friend’s garden or my own – in jars, old vases and teapots around the house.  These ones are actually weeds and vegetables gone to seed…

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Lying in bed on Sunday morning, leafing through one of my seed catalogues, dreaming about what I will plant for the next season’s harvest.

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The feel of soft green grass beneath my feet as I sit on a lawn chair under a leafy tree, throwing the ball for the dogs to chase.

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Sitting on the veranda having cups of tea with friends.

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Time with a needlepoint project. (Have you signed up for my 2013 Creative Challenge yet?)

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Listening to a favourite CD as I do the washing up.

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A really good coffee and time for writing. Okay, I admit that empty plate did have a fantastic Chausson aux Pommes on it from one of my favourite French Patisseries at one stage…

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Watching the new calf frolicking.

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The main ingredients for simple pleasures are these: Slowing down, Awareness and Appreciation.  You might be surrounded by things that could give you pleasure but you won’t notice them if you’re always working, worrying, constantly updating your status on facebook, tweeting, texting, surfing the web, or ear glued to the phone.

Today and in the week ahead I invite you to take a deep breathe, slow down, unplug and pay attention to the world around you. What nurtures you?  What feeds your soul? What can you do to bring these simple pleasures back into your life.

Feel free to leave your ideas for simple pleasures below, where it can inspire and nurture others here in our community too.  Wishing you some simple pleasures today, Nicole xx