*pictures will follow*
I arrived at Nicks property at Dignams Creek. And I might have found my home here.. Let me tell you why:
The first thing I noticed though was the immense amount of birds around! Isnt it amazing how reptilians grew feathers and wings and turned to the sky to defy the force of gravity that had held them for million of years?! Ill do that one day!
So many beautiful songs are surrounding us every day, so many beautiful coloured wings gracefully roaring around. Especially the call of the Lewin honeyeater blew my mind. I sang with them: ‘ I’m in heaven, I’m in heaven’ and I couldn’t stop smiling. Shardae and me were ready for long days of hard work improving the already beautiful lush gardens around, but Nick had other plans. Everytime we wanted to do something he insisted on some chill time, a cup of tea, hanging in the hammock under the choko, enjoying the beautiful grey and pink galahs coming to quench their thirst every afternoon around five, while we played and sang. The first morning us three and neighbor Nick (there are five guys on this road, four of them called Nick and Garth calling himself not-Nick, his nickname so to say ;)), we all went to the coast for a dive; Nick diving for abalony and Nick spearfishing with his new speargun. Shardae and I snorkeled the waters and had fun trying to make a fire without matches and lack of good kindling. When the boys got out of the water we decided to go home though and prepare the first of many feasts to come on the open fire outside. Boy, did we feast. Every meal was more amazing than the last, taking our time to enjoy it together, thanking mother earth for providing us with such abundance. Accompanied by homebrewed beers and the occasional homegrown weed joint, we feasted on homebred, grown, nurtured and slaughtered chooks. I killed two roosters with an axe, a nice clean chop ‘off with his head!’, a good life and a quick death without pain. The chook went into the witches hat to bleed out, before dipping it shortly in a hot water bath to make it easier to pluck the bird. Note to self: don’t kill them when malting, it’s a bit hard to pluck the new growth of feathers. Killing the roosters was not only appreciated at night roasted on the fire (nice and crispy after rubbing the skin with salt and oil or honey), but also the next morning when we got to sleep in a bit more 😉 Rooster testikels for breakfast, I would highly recommend, they are delicious! Sounds aweful doesn’t it? And that coming from a longtime vegetarian. My biggest reason though always was that I didn’t want to support this horrible industry where most meat comes from. Animals are treated very very very bad and the industry is the main reason for all the problems concerning climate change. I’m slowly changing my mind though and am now convinced that animals are a necessary part of any sustainable homestead, weeding and fertilizing the soil, building healthy top soil, even moving earth to maken leveled contours and of course providing products like meat, eggs, milk, skin etc. Thanks guys! Nicks place is full of foodpens and chooktractors, in a system where the chooks do all the work and we just have to feed them and move them around. And the place is incredibly lush and vital, everything looks so alive and healthy! Fresh food pumping out of the soil everywhere! A very good example of the good life 😀
Besides the eggs and meat from the chooks, we also feasted on pork from pigs Nick and Nick raised themselves. I got to shoot one with a .22 rifle, while they were all having breakfast. It was a perfect shot in the head between the eyes and ears. It was a bit The other pigs didn’t even look up from their feed while we dragged the bleeding pig out of the pen. Again, we gave it a hot bath before clearing the skin and pulling out the guts. We let it hang overnight to bleed and dry out before very amateuristically cutting it up in pieces and feasting on it the next days.
Another feast was the banana icecream we made everyday, because it was just so good, yummie J frozen bananas and figs or persimmons straight in the blender, drizzled with honey which turned into caramel because of the cold, and topped with some muscat liquor. Yoghurt, lemon juice, cocaonibs or other goodies to be added to taste 😉 So good!!! And superhealthy 😀
Okay, so we did do a little bit of work as well. At one point I was pruning Nicks fruit trees, Shardae was reparing the trailer and Nick was building a beehive, we were such a perfect family, it truly was heaven. We were there just a couple days, but it felt like we were there for weeks and we completely belonged. We had to go though. I arranged with Peter Gow, another teacher from the course to make some money painting his house, which he wanted to sell to go and buy a bigger property to build a permaculture sanctuary. That’s a good cause I wanted to work for and I was in need of some money, perfect! Peter was working during the days and I worked hard, listening to audiobooks and music while painting. We played guitar together at nights or watched the river cottage show which was filmed just around the corner, starring lots of local heroes I had met through Peter, through the crossing and on the farmers market. Peter showed me the local beach, passing hundreds of kangaroos, tracking down kangaroo tracks on the beach, finding aboriginal relics in the bush and failing to find pipis in the sand. We did go night fishing one day though, with the most beautiful sunset accompanying us, everybody was talking about it the next days! My first experience beachfishing we caught a salmon and two sharks within half an hour, unbelievable! The shovelnose shark I killed turned out to be pregnant with two babies though… I always thought sharks layed eggs, but apparently these didn’t. The babies were alive and I set them free back in the sea, not sure whether they would survive This was it, I turned vegetarian again for a couple of days. Too much killing for me. Great though to kill everything I eat myself, it really gives me perspective and understanding what it takes. No mindless meat consumption. I have turned from being vegetarian into an ethical omnivore: I only eat meat when I think it is ethically justifiable. I reckon there could me a market for catching and eating meat like rabbits, which are a feral pest in Australia.
Incorporating animals in your system is something I missed talking about in my permaculture course, but am learning a lot about now. One of the gurus on this subject is Alan Savory (just like Joel Salatin) with his holistic management approach, which really appeals to me. I wont tell you about the details, unless you’re interested, but be inspired to look them up!
I talked about this and many other things with my new permaculture friends John Champagne, Robyn Rosenfeldt and Nico (a WWOOFer from Argentina) who took me along on a little roadtrip to Wollogong to visit a permaculture convergence at Silk Farm. It was good to see this little hub of busy people doing great things like Permablitzes, designing and building school gardens and community gardens, running worm farm businesses in the city etc. We talked a lot about social permaculture, where is the right hybrid balance between the capitalist world and our permaculture way of living, involving community development, decision making, and how to spread the word to the world! We talked about the Chikukwa project in Africa (http://www.thechikukwaproject.com/), which is an absolutely incredible permaculture project in Zimbabwe, where African villagers managed to turn their lives around. Where once the people of the Chikukwa villages suffered hunger, malnutrition and high rates of disease, this community has turned its fortunes around using permaculture farming techniques. Complementing these strategies for food security, they have built their community strength through locally controlled and initiated programs for permaculture training, conflict resolution, women’s empowerment, primary education and HIV management. Now they have a surplus of food and the people in these villages are healthy and proud of their achievements. Their degraded landscape has been turned into a lush paradise. A very inspiring story.
Another very inspiring story I stumbled upon is what’s going on in Bhutan, I cant believe I never heared of it before! The country is not only absolutely stunningly located in the Himalayas between Tibet and India, but its politics are a prime example for the world! The country didn’t just promise to stay carbon neutral for eternity, but is it actually carbon negative, that’s amazing, we can learn from that. Also it offers free education and healthcare to its citizens. The sale of tobacco products is banned and the country imposed forest and wildlife care through their constitution. It is a democracy and the king officially declared their gross national happiness to be more important than economic growth, when he realised that mere economic success did not necessarily translate into a content and happy society. Watch this TEDtalk by their beautiful prime minister and get inspired J: https://youtu.be/7Lc_dlVrg5M.
We stayed at Aaron’s place with his lovely wife Sue. Sue and Robyn are both super strong but beautifully warm independent but caring women, I was happy to spend some time with. These kind of women are rare to find and I appreciate their beings a lot. It boosts me on my development of who I want to be: just the perfect balance between femininity and masculinity. May we always be fragile and innocent, delicate and sweet, may your beauty shine like the jewel in the lotus.
Back in Moruya, I worked a couple more days at Peters and after the house finished I returned to Nick’s place, I had fallen in love and wanted to spend more time there. Living on a property like this in the bush surrounded by green forests and abundant wildlife, without a mortgage, a house build by your own hands from natural materials, gardens full of the highest quality of food you can wish for, electricity coming from the sun and the most delicious water from the mountain spring, all incorporated in a system you have ample work on, it is inspiring to have the opportunity to actually experience this lifestyle and realize that it is a choice, an option, I can live like this too! I don’t need to go to a 40-hour job or live in a city, I need very little income to have the most enjoyable and abundant life, only doing things I really enjoy doing, spending lots of time in the hammock, in front off the fire, in the ocean, in the mountains, playing tabletennis and slacklining, playing music, feasting with friends etc. I can honoustly say Im doing fantastic, better than ever when anybody asks me how Im going. Im smiling more than ever and feel so much warmth inside. So happy to be alive every morning and grateful for the opportunity to spend another perfect day on this amazing planet!
The jobs around the place like taking care of the animals, moving them around, sowing seeds, building food tunnels, pruning fruit trees, building a cellar, harvesting wood for the fire are all a lot of fun, we do it stressfree and in slowmotion while singing songs and noticing the wildlife around. I just love doing the round around the garden feeding and moving the chooks, thanking them for their hard work, taking a bite here and there of the abundant food growing around the place, seeing everything growing and florishing, watching the first flowers to open up and receive the rays of the sun, slowly to transform into an explosion of color and scent.
Money comes in through a variety of enjoyable jobs like building beehives, trimming horses feet, selling eggs and some firewood etc. I would absolutely love to spend at least a year here to see all the seasons and thinking this my dreams seem to be coming true! Nick offered to employ me building beehives for him, yohoo! I love working with wood and these beehives are absolutely gorgeous, check m out: https://www.beekeepingnaturally.com.au/buy-kenyan-topbar-beehives-australia/
I need three months of specified work in specified areas to be able to apply for my second year visa and the immigration office just confirmed that building beehives will count! Yihaa. Lets start building 😀 So Im working on this job, I enjoy helping around the property, kickstarting projects like planting heaps of flowers and ornamenting the place, playing with the chooks and bees and still there is time for many adventures! We spend our hammock and fire time to think about how to get this message out there, to tell the world how beautiful rich abundant and enjoyable life can be and we started making youtube videos on the things we do. They’ll be coming out soon!
We’re a bit slow on our projects though because there are many and we spend a lot of time going on little adventures 🙂 Adventures change people’s lives, by giving inspiration and building confidence, creativity and a reconnection with nature. And Im an addict 🙂
One of the adventures we went on was a little horsebacktrip with Nick’s friend Tracye. With these beautiful horses and a beautiful woman, we just walked out of her backyard to ride a couple of hours around the bush. It felt so good to be back on a horse again, I had been thinking about it a lot lately and still dream about a longer horsebacktrip, possibly Mongolia ;), but anywhere will do :p They are such incredible animals and such a great sense to feel all their muscles moving underneath you, never completely in control, but trying to be in harmony with the beauty; confident and gentle. So beautiful. Anybody who can arrange horses to go on a trip, let me know, I’m in! 😀
Im starting to feel very much at home around Gulagah mountain. There is something very special about this area. Everybody I meet is wonderful, warm and kind. Strong and capable. And everybody is so happy to be alive, enjoying all the beauties this world has to offer. There seems to be a lot of awakening happening here. I feel so at home and welcome.
The next two weeks I got the opportunity to go on another couple of great adventures. First thing we did was climb Gulagah mountain, Nick and me. We stopped in Tilba to kill to chooks for friends of Nicks and went on to climb the mountain and spend the night at the tors: beautiful big rock formations. The mountain is very sacred for the aboriginals around and supposed to host a lot of female energy. Maybe that’s what Im feeling, the warmth of a mother womb, caressing and nurturing the area. Anyways, we stepped into this big timewarp. I was barefooted and we seemed to have been walking in slowmotion, easing our way up while enjoying every step. When we got there the clock told us we spend about 20 minutes on a hike which was supposed to be two hours. We checked the times with Nicks friends who dropped us of at the start. Very strange.. We did a little ceremony asking the spirits to let us enter and watched the sun set from the tors. The rainbow serpent tor, the wedding tor, the honeymoon tor, the mother tor, the healing tor, we payed our respects to all of them. We spend the night at the saddle and watched the sunrise over the mountain. Such a special night. After the sunrise we walked up to the summit. The energy of the mountain is absolutely incredible and I understand why it is such an important one. And so beautiful to experience it with such a wonderful person as Nick. Very awakened and aware, eyes wide open and brightly shining with love, we lift each other to the next level, hoping to contaminate everybody with our happiness 😉 We talk about the words we use in a lot of detail. Like: we don’t say ‘no worries’ as most Ozzies do, because it’s a double negative, we say ‘ my pleasure’; we respond with ‘fantastic mate’ when people ask how we’re going etc. etc. Words are so important! Nick and I have been picking Gaia cards, tarot cards the last days and it is incredible what they tell us. We picked the same card six time in a row, out of a pack of 50, that seems almost impossible! And the card tells us to relax and enjoy, to let go of fixed and rigid ideas, to take time out to just be. So that’s what we do 😉 It will revitalize you and give you a newfound sense of purpose and inspiration. Relaxation slows down your thoughts and opens your heart. And it sure does and feels good!
I picked a card for my dad as well one day, guiding me in this difficult relationship. Because I am so so attached to him and miss him so much every day, I keep crying when I think of him, but at the same time somehow I cant find myself flying back to Holland to be with him either.. And the card I picked was spot on, damn. This is what it said:
“Whether you realise it or not, you have become to emotionally attached or dependent on someone or something. Or, you have allowed or inadvertently caused someone to get too emotionally attached to you. What at first seemed like a healthy friendship or interest, now seems to be taking over your life or is creating too much co-dependence. For your sake and the sake of others you must do whatever it takes to break free from this negative emotional attachment. Initially this may cause some resentment and even a sense of panic, but the end result will be worth it. When you manage to emotionally detach yourself from this issue you will have learnt a valuable lesson and this will serve you well in the future.”
Isn’t it magical? Reading this I completely panicked, I don’t want to let go. But at the same time I realize I have to, it is better for the both us. And the more I thought about it the more I realized what this letting go meant. Im not letting go of my dad at all, but im letting go of the co-dependence (what a beautiful way to describe our relationship by the way) and let only room for love. The next day I had some sort of epiphany where I understood what I needed to do, and I felt a rush of warmth and love and happiness filling my body, as if God itself was passing through. I started to cry. From happiness. It was bizar and beautiful. I had a beautiful conversation with my dad shortly after, trying to explain all of this to him and I felt a big sigh of relieve through my body and mind. I have let go now. Finally the pull from behind has released its strain, I can go forward now. And what do you know? The next two cards I pick where the ‘Ocean of eternal love’, two in a row again, incredible! It tells me ‘something is resolved and healed through love’, the struggle is over, I am so full of love now, it is time to use the knowledge and experience I have gained to move forward, for the good of all. The forever changing seasons of eternity turned heir invisible wheel and a new cycle begins! One infused with my love and all the experience and wisdom I have gained through life to date. It is time 😀 And where better than to start the new cycle in such a magical area than where I am right now?
On this trip I have felt so many new emotions I never felt before and they keep getting better and better and I keep getting happier and happier and more balanced and stronger and I have more and more love to share and light to shine. It’s amazing! Im manic J I’m sending it out to you every night, I hope your door is open to receive it 😀
The gulagah mountain was a nice warm-up for us to get ready for the three day light to light walk we would enjoy with neighbor Nick and friend Matt for the River Rock café I wrote about earlier. We filled our backpacks and walked from Boyd lighthouse to Greencape lighthouse, camping and fishing along the way. It was a beautiful hike through ever changes landscapes and microclimates. Nick and Nick jumped in at what we thought was Leatherjacket bay, which we later renamed false leatherjacket bay when we found the real one :p Nick speared some fish and Nick caught a couple abalony, so tasty! (After having tried to cook them different ways at home without bashing them first I learned the bashing is really necessary though :p). Amaizng hunters J I de-gutted them and we carried them to our camp for the night. It was at Moworray point. We had planned to walk further that day but this place was just to good to pass. A beautifully protected pristine bay with a clearing on the top, where we build a fire and enjoyed a feast (after I had run down an jumped in the water of course, enjoying the sunset behind the mountains in the north.. wow!)! Before leaving we had all agreed to travel light and don’t take too much stuff. Hahahahaha.. you should have seen what everybody pulled out of their packs! We had a full ten course meal spread out over more than three hours cooking and eating besides the fire. There was corn with soy sauce, spuds with olive oil(that’s what they call potatoes here :p), pumpkin and blue cheese, homemade chili sauce, abalony with ginger, chili, garlic, lemon and parsley, fresh supersalad from the gardens, fish cooked on the ashes or in foil etc etc. To finish off with chai tea, honey and Lindt chili chocolate. Glamping for real! 😀
The next morning when we woke up to this beautiful bay fishermen were on the beach hawling in their net of fish, which they had rowed around the bay. Nick and I went down and had a talk with the superfirendly fishermen, who gave us a salmon, a whiting and a taylor to enjoy for breakfast, amazing! Goooooood morning Moworray point 😀 The next day we hiked along the beautiful coast when we saw a ground parrot rising up from the grass. They are very rare and we very excited to have spotted the bright green coloured bird, yoohoo! Further along the track Nick suddenly realized that he had left the car keys of the car we left behind at Green cape, our end destination, in the glove box of the car we left behind at Boyd tower, the starting point. Whahaha hilarious! From the start Nick had had trouble understanding what the deal was with which car would be left where. And he had even told other Nick he left the keys in the glove department to which Nick responded: Oh yeah, all right. Hihihi oopsie, we were in trouble. Nick and I managed to hitch a ride, well actually four rides back to the first car to get the key and drove the car to our next camping destination, where we would meet with Matt and Nick again. Everything happens for a reason and we had quite a little adventure, meeting amazing people on our trip. We just made it to Buttangabee and were drying off the cold water in the warm sun after a skinny dip on the secluded beach when Matt and Nick arrived, perfect timing 😉 Buttangabee was amazing. It was so incredibly abundant in food, the aboriginals would have lived like kings there. Abaloney everywhere and lots of fish to spear, we feasted again. This time we had the brilliant idea to put the shells of the first round of abalony on the next round, letting them steam inside their shells, yummieeeee 😀 At the camp we just had to keep an eye on the possums trying to feast with us.
The advantage of the car exchange trick Nick pulled on us, was that we got to walk the last leg of the journey without our packs. I just brought a pack carrying some water and snacks and the guys were free. The day was beautiful, the weather had been great along the trip and this last day we kept walking through many different kinds of landscape, beautiful! Untill we made it to Green Cape, a lighthouse at the tip with grand views along the coast, up till disaster bay where a major shipwreck had taken place in 1886. We rested a bit in the grass just two meters from the car when neighbor Nick realized he had lost his key of this car somewhere on the track. Hahahaha I was pissing my pants at this moment, it was all too hilarious. It must have fallen out of his pocket somewhere. We searched the grass until Nick pulled the key from behind Nick’s ear! Magic 😀 Nick had indeed dropped the key in the grass right there and Nick had picked it up to pull a little trick on him. So funny J Anyways, we made it, the light to light journey had come to an end, high five to the guys, it had been great!
We tumbled from the one adventure in the next. We arrived home at night, unpacked and repacked the next morning to head of west to the Gongi retreat (https://www.facebook.com/RetreatsatGongwana/), where Nick and me would help his friends Sol and Shanti erect their tipi and collect some firewood. Sol and Shanti have a beautiful retreat in the bush containing amongst others a hot bath, a sweat lodge, outdoor kitchen, hippie van, and tipi. The old tipi had collapsed (luckily not with anyone inside) and needed re-erection. New poles and painted canvas together with our perfect measuring and erection skills resulted in this beautiful golden tipi with the full moon shining through the smoke flaps right into it, amazing! That was a great place to sleep 🙂 We lit the fire inside, played music and sang before heading in to the sweat lodge, wow, amazing! Walking down to the river (singing Allison Krauses song ‘ down to the river to pray’) jumping in the cold water, screaming ‘Im alive!!!’ from the top of my lungs, getting back in and doing it again 🙂 before heading to the hot tub and feasting on more delicious goodness cooked on the open fire under the light of the full moon and the stars… Not enough words to describe this excitement 😀 I would highly recommend this place if you’re ever in the neighbourhood 😀 Magic is real, I believe my life to be a fairytale and manage to live like an angel, a bird, a mermaid and a bush fairy with flowers in my hair, adventures and beautiful dreams coming true. The opportunities in life are amazing and all opening up to me 😀 And you can do it! Listen to your heart, follow it, do what feels right and avoid what feels wrong, send out love and kindness, go on adventures (however big or little far or close), open up to the world, smile at it and it will smile back at you. I will do my best to support everyone i meet on this journey, for i wish everyone to feel the way i do: ultimate happiness and love every day again.. Live the life, feel the presence, the divine, be in love.
As Eckhardt Tolle states it in his book ‘A new earth’ we ‘defy the gravitational pull of materialism and awaken to a widespread flowering. […] Don’t search for the light, be the light! […] You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge.’
We focus on a positive revolution (read Edward de Bono’s book about that!), where we cut out all the negativity and focus on the good; not taking things too seriously at the same time though. Live in the moment you are in right now right here. Occasionally reflecting on the past is healthy, just as giving some thought to your future is wise, but be present as much as possible. You are here, right now. Appreciate it and thrive. Relax, for it will slow down your thoughts and open your heart. Relaxation is fuel for the soul that will have a positive flow-on effect for your entire being. Your wellbeing is of paramount importance, so do not take it for granted. Without it, nothing else really matters. Send out positive vibes, do the right thing and show the world. No fighting, no activism, no negativity in any sort or form. Love and contribute to a better world.
You see a street full of garbage. So you drop your coffeecup too, what difference does it make? Or you decide not to be part of this waste and keep your cup until you can discard of it properly. Or.. you keep your cup AND pick up a couple of others. Now you are contributing to a better world. What about a contribution diary? Superhero deeds :D, like helping someone in the streets, wishing someone a beautiful day, holding the door or rescuing an injured bird. Or feeding the homeless, making a donation, sharing your abundance, picking up a hitchhiker, teaching something, stopping environmental pollution, caring for the sick, preventing crime. You are giving a good example to others and you’re training yourself. You are encouraging a constructive attitude in others and devaluing negativity and passivity.
There is a useful place for negativity in changing values: in providing shaping pressures; in curbing excesses; in removing defects in order to improve an idea; and in forming the conscience of society. But the constructive and creative energies have to be there in order to get the steady, step by step progress that is the basis of the positive revolution. I want to be part of that revolution!
Focusing on the positive gives a great sense of joy and achievement. But I dont take it too seriously at the same time, I have let go of fixed and rigid ideas and opened up to the many opportunities life has to offer. I don’t expect myself to be a saint. That is nonsense. I start out by being a saint one minute each day, and some days I’ll be a saint for two minutes, that is improvement. If it feels good, I move forward. Maybe its even better not too even try to achieve this, just ‘be’ and follow your heart.
I smile at the world and it smiles back at me. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much, unable to wipe it of anymore. And its contagious, spiralling up with every smile i get back 😀 give it a shot 😉
I still want to travel, but for now I have found my place here. I feel like I can really boost my heart here. It’s a great basecamp. A beautiful part of the world. Thank you universe, for bringing me here 🙂