What Spring means to me, so far.

I love the seasons, the way nature cycles through each mood every year. More than any other time in recent memory I have felt the undeniable influence of the seasons this year – is this perhaps because I live and work out in nature now? Or maybe it goes deeper than that…to a cellular level, after all we are mostly made up of water so we can’t deny the effect of the earth’s spinning axis. I think it has a fair bit to do with my fragility too – this past year has weakened my defences and wore down my armour, in effect leaving me exposed to the “elements”. Indeed I have titled the most recent winter “the winter that broke me”…in a good way I now realise (breakdown or breakthrough…? more on that later).

Ironically I’m writing this post about spring on the last weekend of winter, but once again Mother Nature has proven she doesn’t keep track of the calendar! It’s been a slow but steady descent into spring, or should that be ascent out of winter perhaps? Some years spring seem to arrive unannounced at the front door, demanding not to be ignored. This year though, she has seeped gently into my days as the days have warmed and lengthened, she has whispered into my heart with the delightful tune of the grey thrush each morning.

I feel it in every cell of my body.  New energy abounds.
The promise, the potential about to be unleashed as another cycle begins in the world.
While winter was cold, long, harsh and dark it has left me more grateful for the dawn of a new [spring] day.

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Spring is blossom and bees, the tree buds breaking through, their dormancy almost over.

She smells of wattle and jonquils, of early morning baking sessions and freshly clipped grass.

Spring is crisp mornings with bluebird days and warmth on my back in the afternoon. It is lying in bed on days off listening to the birds sing their lungs out, heralding a new day.
It is hiking through new bush trails on weekends with birdsong for company.

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Spring is bursts of colour on an otherwise monotone landscape – the vibrant yellows and pinks and purples. It is sweet floral arrangements dotting the house and infusing the rooms with their aroma.

 

 

The new season means harvesting more fresh greens from the garden and farmers’ market, quick meals with plenty of flavour and crunch are the order of the day.
It is the white-cotton tails of rabbits, bobbing everywhere!
Watching while the herb patch gets demolished by possums and/or sheep, but admiring the forgotten winter greens tenacity…to go to seed!

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Spring is walking barefoot in the backyard once again, stepping carefully to avoid the stinging nettles….

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It means drying the washing in one day (rather than three). It is packing away the extra blanket, and the sleeping bag from my bed. I fully accept that I’ll probably be pulling them back out of the cupboard in a week’s time, but thankfully there’s less pressure on the dwindling woodpile and less mud on the boots. It is opening the doors during the afternoon, letting the sunlight in and de-cluttering my house.

It is swapping hot chocolates for smoothies. It is shifting the reading from the couch to the verandah in the sun.

Spring brings promise of more – the kids born last month on those frosty nights now bound endlessly out in the paddocks, hungry to explore and seemingly growing up in the blink of an eye. The rest of the goats naturally feel the cycles of nature too, and with the longer days are grazing the paddocks with new vigour which always means more milk (more cheese!).

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So far spring has been about tying up loose ends, finishing winter projects – my hot water bottle cover, knitting a scarf, a shawl and those numerous books I’ve started.

September is also finals season for Aussie football, so I’ll be cheering the Sydney Swans deep into the month. It is also birthday season, so surely there will be catch-ups and celebrations and cake.

 

What does spring mean to you??

September:

 

 

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\\Last goodbyes

//New backyards

 

 

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\\Final stitches, sending parcels

//New projects

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\\Coffee dates

//Birthday love

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\\Blue skies, pretty clouds

//Heavy Melbourne rain drops on new blossom

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//Pedicures

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//Morning walks

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//Farm feasts with friends

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Of course there’s things I don’t photograph…like un-packing boxes, doing washing, painful physio sessions and lazy Sunday sleep-ins.

Thank you September, for bringing with you the sunshine and flowers and new beginnings of spring.

Until next year.

28 years in the making….

I’m not much of a birthday fuss person. No big celebrations for milestones or designer gifts needed – just a day with some fine food and good company. Last weekend was my birthday – not a significant number – but it was a weekend filled with exactly what I could have wished for, and more!

It started on the Friday – school was out! To celebrate the occasion, the lovely farm where I am currently WWOOFing, had a weekend trip planned to “The Island”.
We [WWOOFers] hastily wheelbarrowed out all the mulch to get our day’s work done…

Jumped into the car and journeyed across some picturesque South Gippsland hills to The Island.

Pitched our tent at the beach house (the rest of the beds were taken).

Discovered a secret path from the backyard to the beach….

And this magical view was the reward for our day’s hard work!

We all wined and dined wonderfully – made even more splendid because I watched my footy team win; just a week later, the reward for them was to be their second premiership in seven years.
I climbed happily into my sleeping bag that night, realising that twenty eight years ago [to the day] my darling parents were getting prepared to welcome their daughter into the world a few hours later…I slept like a baby to the sound of waves and swaying banksia trees.

The next morning was better than you can imagine – first a trip to the local farmer’s market (on historic Churchill Island) to stock up on all things fresh and fabulous. Then a coffee with paper reading for an hour or so. And a little bit of strange animal spotting…

Beautiful scruffy Scottish Longhorn cattle
Lunch, birthday style – all I asked for was eggs, and a side of croissant!
Of course there was birthday cake, thanks to my lovely WWOOF friend Miriam (chocolate and beetroot).
With the sun out, I could no longer ignore the beach at my doorstep.

The water was cold…toes in was far enough for me!

Sun on legs, book in hand….I could happily spend the rest of my days here. But there was more important things to prepare for in the evening; PENGUINS!!
Yes, I was being thoroughly spoilt for my birthday – being sent along for a tour of the lovely fairy penguins that call The Island home (and have even displaced some humans from houses built on their habitat – how cool is that!!).


As darkness descended, the little fury things ventured carefully out of the waves and up the cliffs to their homes. Cute doesn’t begin to describe this “parade” that they do every single night of the year; I only wished I’d bought some more winter layers….

Later that night storms were brewing. I woke to thunderstorms at 5am, hoping the tent was waterproof!
Indeed mother nature was letting up know how quickly the world can change that morning – the sun was gone, the temperature was wintery again…perfect for a beach stroll up to Cowes for coffee. And more paper/magazine reading in a very cute cafe.

With heavy hearts we packed up a wet tent and left The Island to drive home.
Stopping along the way in Yarragon for a bite to eat and to browse the shops; lingering in the sun, savouring the relaxed sunday vibe just a little bit longer…
Home to unpack.

Late afternoon as the heavy clouds lifted I pulled on my shoes and went for a jog.

Who wouldn’t when this is your view….

All that for a weekend that I had originally thought would be quiet and uneventful.
It left me thinking, what a beautiful country we live in. And how blessed am I?
Thanks to Phil and Cathie here on the berry farm, and fellow WOOFer Miriam. And everyone who sent birthday wishes – I really couldn’t have asked for a more splendid time.

Here’s to 28 years and to savouring every moment that comes our way.

xxoo

Start somewhere….

In our busy, busy world we all need a place for reflection – for dreaming and ultimately restoring ourselves. For some people it could be a daily 10-k run, or time out listening to some fave tunes or even needlework.
For me it has always been associated with reconnecting with nature and food. Everything related to fresh, wholesome food – from planting the seeds to harvesting to creating a feast, it all serves to reinvigorate and restore my Spirit.

And so you have come to my little sphere of Paradise – where I can materialize visions, collate ideas and dreams into some soulFOOD.