Sitting In The Dark With A Stranger


“We feel most alive when we are closest to death.” 
~ Nenia Campbell

I’m in Adelaide right now, staying on my own while I write and work and attend a conference. After dining with friends last night I went back to my hotel and, on a whim, decided to go and check out the outside pool and spa area even though the night was cool and not much good for swimming.

The area was in darkness, but the buildings around us were lit up and pretty and the night sky’s stars twinkled above me. It was so peaceful, there on the roof, and so I sat down in the closest chair to enjoy a few moments of solitude and connection.

‘It makes you feel small and big all at once, doesn’t it?’ said a voice quietly beside me.

I looked around to see an older man sitting in the shadows a small distance away.

‘Yes,’ I answered. Then I apologised for interrupting his peace, for I was sure that I had. I stood up and excused myself, wishing him a good night and was almost back at the door which led to the lifts when I found myself returning to the pool, my legs walking me there all by themselves so it felt.

‘I’m sorry to interrupt again,’ I said, ‘but I just wanted to check that you’re okay. Are you okay?’

‘No, not really,’ he said. ‘Actually…’ and then he paused for a long time before clearing his throat, ‘I’m not really sure how I feel.’

I sat in the seat beside him, both of us looking out at the night sky and the pretty lights. ‘Do you want to talk about it?’ I asked.

He sat there for a long time, the silence thick between us.

‘I went to the doctor today,’ he said, finally. ‘I’m from the country, about six hours drive from here and I came down to town to get my results. They’re not good.’

The silence between us changed, linking us somehow in that quiet space.

‘I knew they wouldn’t be good,’ he said. ‘But I didn’t think they’d be as bad as they are. He said I had maybe two good months left. Maybe less, and then everything would turn to shit and then I’d be gone within another month, tops. If I was lucky. He was a nice young bloke, that doctor. Kind, and I could tell he was talking straight with me, and sort of cushioning the blow a bit…’ He breathed out, a long heavy sigh. ‘But it’s a lot to take in, and sitting in my room I felt suddenly like I couldn’t breathe unless I could see the sky. So I came out here to sit and think about it a bit and try to take it in. And then you turned up.’

‘I’m sorry,’ I said. ‘It must have been a shock.’ We sat there a while longer and then I reached across and took his hand. He clung to mine tightly, his hand warm and dry in mine, and suddenly we didn’t need words at all.

We sat there for an hour, just holding hands and then he said to me, ‘You’re shaking with cold. Come on, let’s go to the bar and I’ll buy you something to warm you up.’

So we sat downstairs in the almost empty bar until midnight, him nursing a fine cognac and me sipping peppermint tea, and I talked to him about dying, and about getting his affairs in order and how he could best manage what was ahead of him, given that he was an older man estranged from his only son, and with his wife passed on from a car accident nearly twenty years ago.

We talked honestly and openly and I shared all I could and on the back of a bar napkin we made him a plan. Then I gave him my phone number, hugged him and went to say goodbye.

He hugged me again, fiercely, and then he pulled me closer and whispered, ‘I was praying tonight to a God I haven’t believed in since Maggie died, and then you turned up. Thank you. I swear you were sent by the Angels, love. Bless you.’

We parted with tears in our eyes and then I went back upstairs to my lonely hotel room, threw the curtains wide so I could see that pretty night sky and I sat in the dark with a full and aching heart from the beauty and savagery and majestic synchronicity of life, and I cried.

The Sweet Smell of Night


“‎Pleasure is wild and sweet. She likes purple flowers. She loves the sun and the wind and the night sky. She carries a silver bowl full of liquid moonlight. She has a cat named Midnight with stars on his paws. Many people mistrust Pleasure, and even more misunderstand her. For a long time I could barely stand to be in …the same room with her…” 
~ J. Ruth Gendler

I couldn’t sleep last night.

It was hot, and I was feverish. I tossed and turned for a while and then left my bed and crept outside to the back verandah.

The house was silent, and the night was deep. There was barely a hint of cool, and not a lick of moisture to be had. But that night air was sweet with the smell of summer grasses and the calm exhalations of the forest and mountain behind us.

A high overcast blanketed the stars so all there was was the darkness, me and the quiet shrill and hum of the night creatures. Eventually, even they fell silent and then the night belonged to me.

Queen of the Night by Josephine Wall

I breathed the earth in until my body grew so still and peaceful that nothing mattered anymore. I was cradled by the night, and by the earth, and by the silence.

And then I returned to bed and slept deeply until first light.

This morning I will walk along the beach with my feet in the water and my shoulders in the sun before the heat of the day scorches everything with her hot breath.

It doesn’t matter. I still have the night and her sweet comfort in every cell of my body and I am still at peace.

Wishing for you some time in nature this weekend too,

All my love, Nicole ❤ xx

Doorway to the Stars by Josephine Wall

Have You Seen The Night Sky Lately?

“Before we invented civilization our ancestors lived mainly in the open out under the sky. Before we devised artificial lights and atmospheric pollution and modern forms of nocturnal entertainment we watched the stars. There were practical calendar reasons of course but there was more to it than that. Even today the most jaded city dweller can be unexpectedly moved upon encountering a clear night sky studded with thousands of twinkling stars. When it happens to me after all these years it still takes my breath away.” 
~ Carl Sagan

We’re on retreat right now, and one of the many activities we do are channelling nights where I bring my guides and energetic friends through to speak to the group.

There are always plenty of interesting new perspectives and new information and I thought I’d share one of them here this morning.

Silith shared with us the importance of moonlight and starlight for the human body. We are all aware of the need for sunlight and how this creates Vitamin D. Now Silith has reminded us that once upon a time humans had regular time under a night sky too, and that we have evolved needing these energies which are particularly important for our hormone production, mental health and eye health. Both moonlight and starlight are essential to our wellbeing.

How long has it been since you stood under a night sky?

Sending much love to you,  Nicole  xx

 

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

That Big Ol’ Sky

“If you follow the ancient maps written on the stars, no person will ever understand you. So if you could read these maps, would you follow them? And forever be misunderstood? Or would you close your eyes tightly and pretend to be like everyone else?”
~ C. JoyBell C.

 

About a quarter to four this morning I opened the door of my little farmhouse and stepped out into the soft dark night.

It’s been so hot these past few days, and I was hoping for breath of cool – somewhere quiet and comfortable to do my morning meditation.

Oh, the beauty of the sky at four am. Framed by the old trees that cradle the farmhouse, the night sky was a bowl of stars, familiar as the scene in the bottom of a childhood memory.

My meditation forgotten I sat in wonder, looking up at the ancient bright sky.

After a moment or two I was aware that the sky was shimmering, lit from within somehow with bursts of light.

Twirling around slowly on the damp lawn, my eyes skyward, I came to face the direction of the sea, which is obscured by trees and a mountain. Still, I know the sea’s direction. It is a place where we make an almost daily pilgrimage just now.

My eyes grew wide. A colossal storm was taking place out over the ocean. I could make out the pillars of cloud containing this mad fury which lit those clouds every shade of pink, amber and blue. There was no sound. Just a light show whose echoes pulled on the fabric of the rest of the night sky, shooting ribbons of light along its weave.

The sight of it simultaneously filled me with awe and left me feeling small and entirely insignificant in the scheme of things. I was a voyeur, gazing on the sky’s most private moments. And I thought to myself how incredible that this thing of beauty was playing out above our heads while the world lay sleeping.

It was only later, in my meditation, that I came to appreciate the gift I’d been given. As a psychic I live in a world where I see frequent glimpses of what plays out as others are sleeping, their eyes shut to the truth and beauty of each fragile echoing moment. There is a grace that allows this to be so.

There is such a peace in my soul right now. I feel that I finally understand my place in the Universe.

Dawn’s broken. My meditation is done, and my blog is written. I am now off to make a cup of tea and to pour over old cookbooks and handwritten recipes on scraps of paper. I feel the need to cook something to offer up to you all.

Much love to you!

Nicole xx

Image by Captain Kimo

Image by Captain Kimo