October 30, 2013

42 and 43 Weeks of Gratitude

52 Weeks of More gratitude. More hope. More love. 

Serenity and peace in the small town of Mullumbimby.  My sister and I took a quick trip to visit friends on the coast and spend a night in a peaceful abode in nature.

Mullumbimby continues to grow on me each time I visit. It's a beautiful town, but given the choice I've often opted to head to the coast around Byron Bay. Slowly this is changing. I'm noticing the energy and beauty of the surrounding hills and space around Mullumbimby and dig the feeling of the place.   Heck, there aren't that many places where you have a Day Spa right in the middle of town that feels like your far away in a tropical rainforest. The massage was bliss. If you're in the area I suggest you spend a few hours relaxing at The Kiva Spa.

And on to the peaceful abode. Simon and his wife, Susan (who was away in Bali) have a beautiful property with self contained accommodation next to the main house. Simon was welcoming and warm, the place, beautiful and serene and exquisitely decorated.

Simon shared his intentions of the space as a retreat for people to reconnect with themselves and the earth; his love of the natural world; the garden he has spent hours planting and caring for; the kookaburra's and his work as an astrologer.

We drank cups of tea on the verandah, read, ate and crawled into bed. The sound and smell of rain was my companion as I drifted off to sleep.

Before we left Simon shared an image he'd sensed when he first met me. I'm not going to share the exact details (sorry folks!) but it linked in with the incredibly strong feeling I'd had the night before pottering around the kitchen. A feeling of being incredibly grounded and a sense of coming home to myself.

A weekend of people, places and experiences I am very grateful for.

52 Weeks of Grateful linking up with Kylie at Octavia and Vicky

October 25, 2013

40 and 41 Weeks of Gratitude

52 Weeks of More gratitude. More hope. More love. 

Step inside the Happy Cabin. It's warm, cosy and a place where magic happens. October arrived and it really has been a magical month. Queensland at this time of year is divine. Days are warm and nights are balmy, jasmine is in the air and there's a relaxed vibe on the streets.

October is also my birthday month.   I'm not really a let's make a big fuss over me kind of girl and happy to celebrate in low key style - some good food with good company. Saying this I do also like a party and this year I got the best of both- low key celebrations and a party (that wasn't mine).

Birthday celebrations started on the night before my birthday. A Greek banquet dinner with my mum and sister at a restaurant that has a good reputation and feels more like you're in Melbourne than the Coast. If you've ever eaten good Greek food or been fed by a Greek family you'll know that they don't skimp on quantity or quality.  Feast highlights were melt in your mouth whole lemon snapper, Saganaki cheese, slow cooked lamb and a perfectly simple Greek salad with a whole piece of the creamiest fetta cheese placed on top.

Saturday, the day of my birthday, was a traditional family birthday celebration, a few presents and a cake with a single candle to make a wish. Oh happy days and nights. That evening a friend was having an 'Around the World' themed party, so I got to dress up, dance, eat and laugh but didn't have the fuss or pressure of it being my party!

The party was in full swing by the time we arrived. People and music spilled out into the yard. A yard that resembles a jungle of sorts, wild and untamed. Inside the big, old Queenslander was a place of warmth and life being lived right here right now!- happy party goers, a veggie feast, live music and a room full of crazy costumes. An around the world globe leotard worn with silver and black stripped tights was my personal favourite. Though by the early hours of the morning the leotard seemed tame as costumes were swapped and two tall gents squeezed themselves into genie costumes complete with sequinned crop tops and transparent harem pants. One chose to wear matching blue underwear, the other chose to wear no underwear, and instead improvised with underwear of sorts..a saucepan lid held tightly in place with rope. I'll let you imagine how that worked.

I danced and laughed,  drank a cup of bedtime tea (an unusual choice in the middle of a party!), danced some more before falling asleep as the party continued around me.

It was a beautiful birthday, thanks to my gorgeous family and friends. Thank you for making my heart swell with such joy, love and gratitude x

52 Weeks of Grateful linking up with Kylie at Octavia and Vicky
P.s. Kylie I'm sending you lots of love. 

October 09, 2013

39 Weeks of Gratitude (Spring at Wild Mountains)

52 Weeks of More gratitude. More hope. More love. 

"I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery - air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, "This is what it is to be happy." Sylvia Plath

I arrived at Wild Mountains, near Rathdowney, QLD late Friday night just as the sun was setting behind the mountains, got out of the car and took a deep breathe in and exhaled slowly. I felt the magic of the place instantly. 

I was on a volunteer weekend joining a crew of about 20 others working on a range of tasks that contribute to this amazing environmental education and conservation centre. 

The weekend was one of the best weekends I've had all years, and was the first time since moving to Qld I felt like I'd found a place and people I connected with. 

So much to be grateful for...

communal living and a kitchen with everything you could want
the joy of the simple and meditative task of weeding to prepare for planting
shared laughter, inspiring folk and good conversation 
fresh, simple, vegetarian fare
plucking edible flowers from the garden for a green lunchtime salad
curry pumpkin soup with pepita and sunflower seeds
noticing the abundance of life and beauty in a tiny space when you are really present in the moment
the crisp night air
spotting a tiny red breasted bird (a Robin perhaps) fluttering from branch to branch
the smell of earth on my hands
the star filled night and a shooting star
that sleepy feeling you get when you spend a day outdoors, getting your hands dirty 
waking up to the breathtaking view, fresh air and the song of birds
going to bed in the the complete darkness of the countryside
feeling the calm of nature seeping into my soul.

I can't wait to return.

52 Weeks of Grateful linking up with Octavia and Vicky.