I’m still away on holidays, sitting in our apartment that overlooks Maroochydore beach. I can’t see a thing because the sun hasn’t come up yet, but I can hear the waves kissing the shore and the whine of the occasional car as it passes by on the road underneath us. I can’t see out the window yet, but I know, even at 4:30 a.m., there are joggers and cyclists hitting the pavements. Soon the more sedate walkers will appear (I fall into that category), the ocean kayakers will be dragging their kayaks into the ocean, the cafe staff will be setting up for the day, and in a couple of hours, when the waves start curling, the surfers will appear. The sun rises at 5:30 a.m. at this time of year, and by 9 a.m. it is already getting hot. Summer comes early on the Sunshine Coast.
I don’t think I have ever had the opportunity to get to know a place that is not my home like I have here, simply because I have complete freedom to do whatever it is that I want to do. All of this alone time is intensely enjoyable and nourishing on a deep level, something I am well aware not everyone needs or appreciates. To have my only responsibility be to take my mother to her course in the morning and pick her back up in the afternoon generates an enormous amount of space and connection. So, what have I been doing?
Most days, I have been introducing myself to this place, hanging out, getting to know all of her nooks and crannies, and basically falling in love wherever I go. I have watched sunrises, gone on early morning beach walks, followed rainforest trails, hugged trees and spent entire days in hinterland towns, unhurriedly investigating shops, parks, forests and creeks. I’ve gotten lost and found more times than I can count and driven through three humdinger afternoon storms. Mum and I have transcendental conversations over meals on our balcony – my mother, a Sagittarian Scorpio, likes things deep and meaningful – the elephant shit rather than the bird shit, as she said to me the other day :). What else is worth talking about other than spirit, connection, growth and living our best lives?
Yesterday I spent the day in a little hinterland town called Maleny. I had been looking forward to meeting Maleny all week; I’ve heard such good things about her, you see :). The Sunshine Coast hinterland has to be seen to be believed. It rises up off the coastal flatlands onto a plateau, its height creating not only vast and intoxicating views, but also generating an otherworldly feel, like maybe you have slipped into a different dimension. OMG I love this place so much :). Anyway, I arrive in Maleny, and of course, I am thoroughly charmed and seduced by it. I mean, this town has three bookshops! Organic cafes, a healthfood shop co-operative where I could buy handmade homeopathic medicines among many other things, great op-shops and just a gorgeous, laid back bohemian vibe.
So, as is my wont, I am poking along, looking in all the shops, fondling books and generally enjoying myself. I walk into a shop, and the woman serving me straight away noticed my two sacred geometry tattoos, one on each ankle; then looking me over, she tells me that in fact, she likes the whole look of me :). We start chatting and I tell her that I am from the Coffs Harbour area and visiting Maleny for the first time. Oh! she says, great, I need to ask you a question then. I’m going to Nambucca Heads on the weekend. My eyebrows lift – that’s a beach-side town in my little valley, about 8 hours drive from here. Yes, she continued, I have a family reunion to attend at Taylors Arm, and I was wondering how far it is from Nambucca, and which town I should go to first. Now I am really gobsmacked, because as you may know, gentle reader, Taylors Arm is the tiny little village where I live. Bullshit! I exclaim involuntarily (I blame my Aries rising for my potty mouth, do not discuss). That’s where I live! She laughed. Great! We must be meant to be friends then! She stuck out her hand: My name is Kyla. And then she sold me a gorgeous goddess dress that was so divine I could not resist it and sent me off back into the street, feeling like the deep connection I had to this place had just been confirmed by the Universe.
Have you ever gone to a place and had a strong, unexpected connection to it?
This interview in The Guardian with Elizabeth Gilbert: Chasing Perfection is the enemy of all good things.
I loved it all, but especially this part:
You say in Big Magic you were a fearful child. Are you braver now?
I was born a really fearful kid, really anxious, supersensitive. Other words you could use would be “a pain in the ass”. I grew up with a mother who was really strong. It was an interesting collision of these two characters. My mother’s biggest fear was raising daughters who wouldn’t be able to take care of themselves. She knew bad things happened to women who waited for other people to do stuff for them.
We did have this pretty serious battle of wills when I was younger. A psychologist might take issue with her tactics – she certainly wasn’t about embracing vulnerability, talking out my feelings. It was: “Too bad, you have to do this.” More like a coach.
In adolescence, I got bored of being that person who kept trying to prove her weakness and fragility. What a weird battle: to be trying to defend your weakest point! It came to a point where I thought, I don’t want to die on that hill. I owe my mother only everything and nothing more than that.
She could be describing the relationship between me and my daughter. Oh the relief! Great interview, and I am definitely looking forward to reading her new book. It’s up next on my to read list, that’s for sure.
Gosh I’ve loved the trees and the forests on this trip away. Wherever I’ve gone I make sure to seek out the creeks, park-lands and trees. I always love them, always have, even to the extent that I thought I wanted to be a National Park ranger when I was younger – before I realised that I just want to hug them and admire them and be in their presence <3. Not everything you love has to become your job, I have belatedly realised!
This week, while I was away, my son was invited to speak on ABC statewide radio, along with his Principal Sarah Landers and technology/music teacher, Terry Simpson. It was all arranged without me being there, even ;). The radio presenter was doing a show on teaching computer coding in schools, which basically means teaching kids the language of computers so that they can build websites, games and programs instead of just being technology consumers. Our school does that, and Nick was chosen to be interviewed because of his good understanding of computers. I couldn’t listen to it because that particular program doesn’t stream online, but my second Dad recorded it and emailed it to me – clever huh? Nick was great – way less nervous than I would have been in his place! So proud 🙂
- How to find my way around, on my own, in an unfamiliar place. It involves getting lost a lot, apparently :).
- We have all been learning – mum and I, and the family members we have left at home – how to do without each other. My menfolk are okay without me, although it’s definitely more work for the Bear (as well as Pop and the children’s Godfather) but my little girl was a bit sad. We have used facetime to keep in contact, and I told her that she could call me any time she wished (knowing that I had to be be in reach of wifi for it to work on my ipad). She hasn’t abused this privilege at all, and it has been very reassuring for her to see my face every day. I know it’s been reassuring for me as well. Also, you know, absence not only makes the heart grow fonder, but it builds resilience and gratitude as well.
- This week I have had a sudden obsession with Goddess archetypes, spending some hours researching them. I love archetypes, you see – identifying and working with archetypes is one of my talents. Archetypes are what I love about astrology, numerology, homeopathy and ayurvedic doshas, basically because they are a source of guidance and insight. I am always seeking to know myself and others better. Briefly:
Persephone: Mystic, healer, writer, seer, sensitive, empathic, guide to the Underworld – needs lots of time alone. She is required to acknowledge and visit her own underworld: this is how she will come to maturity. She will experience great suffering until she faces and transcends her own darkness.
Aphrodite: civilised, charming, sensual, passionate, drawn to relationships, love and loving rather than marriage or mothering, loves the arts and everything that belongs in that world. You may see her as muse for a creative and charismatic man, hostess, in interior design, modelling, fashion, show business and the like.
Hestia: Independent, autonomous, focused on the spiritual world, impersonal and detached energy, flourishes in a spiritual community, does not need a man to complete her. Keeper of the hearth.
Hecate: Goddess of magic, witchcraft and the cross roads. Independent, untouched by passion, feels strongly about her causes and principles, especially for victimised women, the homeless and the abandoned.
Athena: Goddess of wise counsel and war. Identifies with men, appreciates rational thinking, will and intellect. Avoids emotional/sexual entanglements with men, but enjoys working with them. Thrives in business, academia, science, military and political arenas.
Demeter: Goddess of agriculture, wheat and bread, fertility. Nurturing, relationship-oriented, maternal, dependable, unconcerned with status, likes to be needed. Instinct to care for the helpless and needy. Matriarchal consciousness – Earth Mother.
Hera: Wife and family matriarch. She values marriage, especially to a powerful husband, which gives her status and power. Completion of self through marriage. In the ideal of this archetype, Hera represents the sacred marriage, the union of masculine and feminine within herself.
Artemis: Goddess of nature and the hunt. She is practical, adventurous and prefers solitude. Self sufficient, feminist, environmental activist, learns from nature – requires periodical retreat into nature to recharge her batteries.
We contain all of these archetypes, although we will favour 2 or 3, depending upon what stage of life we are in. This is only the briefest summary – to find out more, go here. Which archetypes do you identify with?
And that is it for this week my friends – apologies for the late publishing of this post – circumstances conspired against me! I am home now, welcomed lovingly and thoroughly by my family, and looking forward to being re-domesticated again :). Blessings <3.