My Favourite Morning Job

“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?” That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.” 
~  Hermann Hesse

 

Here on the farm my favourite morning job is checking our water points. I slip on my gumboots (still usually dressed in my pyjamas!) and then go for a little walk to check the cattle troughs. They all fill by themselves with float valves except one up in the orchard, that we only need if the cattle are there.

If the cattle are grazing in the orchard I will take the heavy farm hose and top up the trough for them before the heat of the day comes. While it fills I talk to the cows and watch the birds doing their early morning circuits. Our skies are always busy just after dawn.

 

I’ll flick the hose around the vegetable gardens and note anything that needs picking. And yes, a few stray strawberries or sweet little tomatoes usually find their way into my mouth.

Back down at the house again my last stop is the birdbaths. I fill them up, and the one on our front deck has new flowers placed in it from whatever I have gathered from my morning walk.

It’s a peaceful start to my day that never fails to put me in a good mood.

I’m wishing you a peaceful day and happiness too, much love, Nicole  xx

 

Morning Rituals To Greet The Day

2012-07-16 06.07.45

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”
~ Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

 

It’s cold this morning. Four am meditation finished, the house still silent with sleep. Last night’s fire rendered down to ash.

I push the back door of our little farmhouse open and am hit with a blast of air metallic with frost. The night sky is lit with stars. Far away at the neighbours I hear the faint song of a rooster as he senses that sunrise is just behind the lip of the hills that surround us.

Filling my arms with the heavy weight of ironbark splits I push back through the door and kneel by the fireplace. Hands already numb with cold fumble twigs and crumpled paper on top of the bed of ash. It smoulders and catches before I can find a match. I feed the logs onto the flames and swing the door of the combustion stove shut. My hair is scented with woodsmoke now and I sit for a moment to watch the gathering dawn outside my window as the sky above the orchard turns from black to silver.

The fireplace creaks and clatters as the metal expands. Fingers of red and orange lick at the old dry timber and the fire roars to life.

I fill the kettle with water that tastes of clean earth and rain. While it heats I light a stick of incense, and hear the first sleepy stirrings of the dogs stretching and yawning themselves awake.

Outside in the silvery light a pair of wallabies graze on the grass beneath the lemon tree. Soon I hear their soft thuds as they bound down the side of the house, making for the river flats.

Today, five days after our retreat ended, it is time to come back out into the world again. Restored. Refreshed. Ready.

I pour water over tea leaves. I turn on my computer and sit at the kitchen table waiting for the tea to draw and the room to warm. Birds begin to sing their morning songs.

The dogs are awake now. They push past me and stand with their noses pressed against the door, waiting to be let outside. Their tags wag furiously and I feel their joy.

It’s a new day, bright with possibility.

Good morning! I’m sending much love to you. May you find a little solitude for yourself too today. <3 Nicole xoxo

Sleepy Morning

2014-11-25 18.34.13

“I like it when it rains hard. It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence but not empty.”
~ Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

 

I woke to the sound of rain.

It was soft at first, a comforting patter of drops on the old iron roof.

It made me want to snuggle back under the covers, but meditation is so long a practice in me now that I eased my body up and crept quietly from the bedroom.

As I sat in the cool, dark pre-dawn of my tiny lounge, the light rain became hard.

The sound of the rain on the roof obliterated all else. It made its own kind of music, easy to get lost in.

When the sun approached the dark crescent of our world she stole the rain away.

Now the air is scented with earth and damp foliage. The sky is heavy with low cloud. And the last raindrops are being shaken from the leaves and branches. They fall in tiny tunes on the tin.

I shall make a pot of tea.

While the house slumbers I will write.

I love the quietness of these solitary beginnings. Just me, the birds, the clouds and the rain-soaked paddocks.

Up comes the sun.

Good Morning. I wish for you, and for myself, a day of deepening peace.

And to you, my friends on the other side of the world, sweet slumbers and soothing dreams.

Bless xx

2012-12-12 07.15.49

Up Early With Ganesha

2014-09-13 06.04.12

“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.”
~ Meister Eckhart

This morning, as ever, I was up early. I took my mala beads, my singing bowl, and my prayer shawl and snuck out onto the veranda to meditate and greet the dawn. Today I sat with Ganesha. Buddha, by his side. A possum banged its way along my roof as he came home from a night of marauding. Owls called to me from the trees. I played to them with my bowl, long chimes that rang out into the darkness.

2012-01-01 00.00.28

Eventually, I sat in silence, cross-legged on the daybed, facing out towards the dawn. I prayed this mala for the last time before it shall know the students it represents – one for each crystal bead. For the past month I have prayed this mala in meditation twice a day, for two hours. Each bead for me has been a student. This is Dana, I say as my fingers find her bead. This is Tracy. This is Phil. I hold them in my thoughts. I pray for them. I connect to them and check in on them – see how they are doing. Send them healing. It’s a Tibetan tool I use, but the techniques are purely what was shown to me by my Aboriginal Aunties. My spiritual life is a melting pot of philosophies and practices.

2014-09-13 06.02.57

Now it is morning. Fragranced with jasmine and magnolia from my garden. I shall shower and dress, have breakfast with my husband, retrieve my last crystals from where they have been charging under the Hoop Pine, pack the ute and head to Sangsurya to begin our retreat. It’s a beautiful day for it. A gentle dawn. Bright sky. Birds singing. Not all of you shall be there, but I will be holding all of you in my heart.

Bless xx

2012-08-20 15.52.26