Friday, 28 September 2012

Spring Awakening

While walking home yesterday afternoon I had an amazing experience. Although the sky had gone cloudy, the air was warm and the wind was blowing with a force that made walking a little more exciting. It was an afternoon charged with an electricity and my heart felt full.

I am often in a happy state of mind when I get to walk, because I feel like I notice things more. That I get to look around me and appreciate the wonder of the world, and I am constantly struck with how incredible this world we live in is.

As I walked a paramedic ambulance wizzed passed me, sirens ablaze and I instinctively worried, and sent out a message of hope for whomever the vehicle was intended.

The ambulance was parked a couple of blocks up, right outside the church. A few people were standing by, looking ready to help if required. As I came closer and slowed down to see if I could help a lady near by asked, "is it true? Is she really having a baby?"

It was true! This was not a misfortune, but the coming of a new life!

Spring was in action!

Continuing my walk home I could only feel more love for life, opening my arms wide to embrace it. There were dark clouds, but through them the sun shone, casting a warm glow over everything. Everything became illuminated in this light, it was the type of light where the world becomes golden. As if the spirits of the place had lit up! I thought this had to be a good sign for the future of this little person being born.

(There was a tree with weeping branches and I wanted to get right in close to it, surrounded by its leaves. This is what I saw from inside.) 

Details, normally precious in themselves, became even more special.

Smells were stronger, as the wind tossed them about.

Recently I suffered the loss of a close friend of mine. Experiencing the arrival of life after experiencing a death was a beautiful reminder of the cycle of things. While there is death, there is also life, and after death, life doesn't cease to be, in fact it keeps coming.

Life is hopeful - as is the coming of spring.

Monday, 24 September 2012

An exciting arrival!

The other day, Anna, a close and talented friend of mine finished and sent on down this glorious blanket. She knew of my love for all things crocheted, and she also knew that we desperately looking for another blanket (because our apartment has terrible insulation and it gets very cold in here!) She started when she came to see us in the new place and it has now arrived a couple of months later. :)

Anna's creation. It arrived at our door in a mysterious package. Isn't it beautiful? 

And it fits in quite well with this blankie. I picked this one up from an op-shop in the most glorious town called Takaka, on the north of New Zealand's South Island. Had been looking for one for ages, but they're usually so expensive. This one was $4, and then the lady reduced it to $2 for me because she was just a lovely person!

Although it's nearing the end of the cold months, the blanket is still being used very often (last night especially was quite cold!) and we're also having lots of fun admiring it in the house. A much loved new addition.

Thank-you Anna! Xxx.

Starting Out

Hello All,
here's a story that just got bigger and bigger. :)

At the start of this year I made a big change, I moved from my long time home, Canberra, to the much bigger and full on world of Melbourne. This change challenged and surprised me in many ways that I had not expected. Canberra is a small city, and although growing up I never disliked the place (as many of my friends and peers did) by the time I left I felt more than ready to get out and explore. I often say that Canberra is a great place to grow up. It's big enough to keep young people entertained and yet small enough to give them the feeling of moving onto bigger (and possibly better) things when they leave. Maybe if you lived in a big city, you'd need to move to another area, and this would be enough because cities are so huge that one section is vastly different to another! But for me it would be 647 kilometres of distance...

This was my first place in Melbourne!

I feel that a part of gaining independence (and I can't say I've fully gotten there yet) is the sense of feeling that you've moved away from your parents. That, at least to an extent, you are making your own way and doing either; what they have never done; or something from your own efforts. I love my parents dearly, and leaving them was hard.
Besides relatively small periods of time staying with my dad during the holidays, I had only ever lived with them. Even more bizarre was the idea that my parents had never lived together without me before. They got together when I was 3 years old. Would the dynamic change completely? How would they cope with just two people? Would they drive each other crazy? At one stage my mum worried/joked to me that she would have no one to gang up on my step-dad with! [Well, of course, they are coping just fine! Haha!]
So it was a sad thing to be doing, leaving my home, but it was also really positive, because I was going to do something extremely satisfying. I was going to start a degree that I was passionate about, and I was going to prove to myself that I could make my own way. As I said before, it also felt like time for me to be moving on. Canberra started to feel stifling, although a part of that may have been that I had just spent a year doing nothing except work.

I wonder if leaving is much easier for children than it is for parents. I know that for my mum there were conflicting feelings of pride and sadness. While it too was difficult for me, it also felt like a natural progression, which I think made it easier. What I don't know (because I am nowhere near close enough to being a mother) is if, although hard, having your child leave also feels somewhat like a natural progression.


I moved here. I accomplished that. I started uni. I had basically no friends. But that was okay because I fell in love, and so spent my time with him or at school. Slowly I made friends, first some, then more. I was surprised at how long it took. Everyone seemed to know people outside of school and so friendships hardly ever extended outside of the classroom. This didn't bother me too much though because I knew it would eventually get better. It was only until the end of first semester that people really seemed to open up. Something about the unity in stress.

One of my biggest problems though was (and still is) the concrete, it's everywhere! Isn't it funny, I thought I had grown up in a city, but it wasn't until moving to a city that I realised that I hadn't. This changed how I saw myself too; I had always thought I was a 'city person'.

When I was little we had lived in a country town and while I loved it there at the time, when I was older I was pleased that we had moved. Cities contained the possibility of diversity, a more thriving artistic community, and less mono-culture. They were also less conservative and provided a better education (although I suspect that these last two conceptions are more in relation to Canberra). Now I'm not saying that I thought these ideas were the hard truth. In fact, if we get into it, I can't say I believe in any absolute truths. But staying on this level: they were only loose, general thoughts on why I found cities better.

Sure, I love all the excitement that cities hold. I do love being able to go out, the coffee culture, the variety and creative expression of people, and the vibrant communities and community events. (I just cottoned onto an amazing community radio station, who are heavily involved in local communities!) For now, I do need to be here, and it does feel ultimately right. My degree is here too. I think I need to fully let my party spirit go out and have fun, and let it all out, embrace it... for now. But I say this knowing that that's not me forever. In general I enjoy nights in, and small amounts of good company. Maybe as I get older this feeling will only increase.

But back to concrete, it's what pains me. The natural world is not encouraged (I believe that that is a topic for another blog post though!) You see in Canberra - you look up anywhere and there are always the mountains (It's Australia, so hills really) surrounding you, covered in bush. From my home, and from the homes of most of my friends it's only a 15 minute walk into a reserve. True cities have an ever-extending feel to their horizons. At times it's as if being trapped in an artificial bubble of pollution, mess and chaos.

For me being in nature is a spiritual thing, and a connection that is essential for functioning as a person and a member of this world.
I had thought this was something that could still be maintained in a city, but I no longer feel this. Maybe sometime later I shall tell you my thoughts on modern cities and sustainability.

This feeling of entrapment and desperation is what lead me to strive and find a way to reconnect with the world around me. I started writing this wanting to show and tell of my new plants and the start of my vegetable garden, but the story behind it got too large! I guess it will have to be a follow up post!

I have many theories about what I believe in and many things that I am still working out. I became a vegetarian when I decided that my actions were not corresponding to my ideals and that I would not feel right until they did. The other day I realised for the first time that I knew who I was, not completely because I don't think anybody really can, but basically I did. This came as a relief and a surprise, as I had (like so many teenagers) spent the last few years tormenting myself with my lack of self-identity. Maybe it has come from moving out of home, it probably played a part in it, but what it made me realise was that I need to again bring my actions to reflect my passions and ideals. And so these plants were my first action with this in mind.

Go forth and prosper little guys!