Throw in a major life change or two and my new blog sat.......waiting.......my priorities lay with my family, making sure all was ok.........you sometimes have to decide which things are most important and let other things slide for awhile..............my priority is my family.........and now I return......now the time seems right.......or so I thought when I began writing this post in November last year.....
In September 2014 we packed up our car and horse float, loaded with 2 goats, 2 dogs, 2 cats, a cockatiel and 3 hermit crabs and began our journey 1,831 kilometers south west to Mildura, Victoria to begin a new chapter of our lives. My husband was to begin a new job in Mildura (Sunraysia country, land of the Latje Latje people) and we had found a place to rent, just across the river that would take all of our family pets. A difficult time to move two teenage daughters who feel the Manning Valley is home, their enthusiasm ebbs and flows. We would be closer to family in Echuca and Melbourne.....the main attraction along with the promise of better health for both of our girls in the warm and dry climate of Sunraysia country....
We had spent weeks before this preparing our house for sale, cleaning, sanding, painting etc, with much needed help from some amazing friends, before we headed south. With an exciting adventure ahead of us, parting from our beloved home, friends (many of whom had become family) and life in the beautiful Manning Valley (Mid North Coast NSW) wasn't easy. We laughed and cried as we navigated our way through the stresses of moving house and said goodbye.
Our magical home...
Our creative space...
The beginning of our journey...
We arrive at our rental exhausted and overwhelmed......
A house on stilts that rocks from side to side every time someone moves!!!
The beautiful bush surrounding our temporary home. Quiet and peaceful.
A paddock for our goats Luke and Fabian.....a priority on our rental list.....
Our closest neighbours....
Inka and Raani discover the river....and we discover that Raani does like water....he apparently just didn't like the beach and waves!
We found ourselves in unfamiliar territory................so very different from the place we call home............from subtropical to desert............from mountains, oceans and green valleys to flat dry country filled with grape vines and orange orchards........where are the trees?........Lots of new challenges and lots of exciting things to discover.
Above and Below
Discovering desert country...Perry Sand Hills NSW.......just a short drive from our rental!
The Mighty Murray River (above and below)
Kings Billabong Reserve
A little bit of home as we find Greenpatch Organic Seeds at the local organic shop!
Since beginning to write this post much has happened.......my two beautiful girls have gone back to school. Jess to begin her VCE and Molly to complete year 10 before entering her VCE years. I miss them and treasure the time we spent whilst they were homeschooling.......(we learnt so much more than I expected and much more than the curriculum outlined.....all three of us).
I sustained a knee injury in March resulting in surgery and then a complication with a blood clot....the stairs on the rental were painful and exhausting.....life feels tough.
At Easter our dear old cat Kiara died following a battle with cancer...........
Midnight keeps a watchful eye on Kiara.....her last few weeks were happy and filled with love....
In May a new job for me, in a local preschool (the early childhood field......my other passion).......exciting and challenging at the same time whilst navigating exhaustion from the knee injury and resulting complication.................Again I found that handwork, sewing, knitting and felting provided me with relief from pain, a sort of meditation, as did my recovery cats after I had spinal surgery.
In July.......another house move as we find a place to call home in Red Cliffs, Victoria..................again exciting but the move was exhausting.
Our new home.....of course there are trees. "To be poor and be without trees, is to be the most starved human being in the world. To be poor and to have trees, is to be completely rich in ways that money can never buy." (Uncle Aovar: The Faithful Gardener - Clarissa Pinkola Estes). The house garden is wonderful, lots of trees, an oasis in a dry land. We have much planting to do in the paddocks though, once filled with grape vines, they lay bare, ready for us to fill.
Re-establishing creative spaces....slowly getting there...
Then the loss of my Dad on the 2nd Sept.........heartache and somehow the world has changed beyond my capacity to put into words..... So here I am 18th October 2015, ill, exhausted and depleted of creative energy. I know that life will move on and as the seasons come and go and the pain will ease. What I need to do now is to make sure that I find time for my felting, writing and music, time with family and friends and time to just be.......and then I will re-energize............
In memory of my Dad
Laurance Richard Collins (Laurie)
14th August 1934 - 2nd September 2015
Mum and Dad's Wedding 1956
October 2014 with Mum.........Echuca, Victoria
When I feel alone I look into the stars at night
and feel I am in the presence of those
I have loved and are not with us any more
When the breeze touches my face
I feel their wings fanning me with wisdom
and I take comfort in this awareness
Have faith the one you love is
now on their special journey;
Take courage and strength from those around you
And when times seem hard to bear,
look into the stars at night
feel the gentle breeze and take
Comfort the one you have loved
is not only in your heart and in
your memories, but all around you.