give hope to refugees – world refugee day 2017

 

I was waiting for a take away cappuccino. The cafe is on the water, the view is ridiculous. I had a little lemon polenta cake in an environmentally friendly cardboard box in one hand and my iPhone in the other.

I could tell the man next to me wanted to talk. ‘A homeless person could run in here, grab two of those meals (off the pass) and have a bloody good feed’. We’re a long way from any homeless people here…

‘I was in the city the other day, there’s so many homeless and we should be helping our own, stop this refugee nonsense with all the terrorism going on’ (um…we’ve been fairly insulated from terrorist acts so far, down under. and yes it’s the day after world refugee day – way to give hope to refugees!)

me: ‘How do you tell genuine refugees from terrorists? They need our help just as much as our own homeless.’

‘No, we just need to stop letting anyone in.’

me: (nice!) ‘Well…have you seen the images of what they’re escaping in Syria for example? We’re so lucky here, we have to help!’

coffee ready, conversation over, photograph view on way out…

still swirling in my head – you saw so many homeless, we should help our own first, and so what are you doing to help? did you speak to any, did you give them a bottle of water, a piece of fruit, did you ask if they have family somewhere, or a place in a shelter to sleep in that night?

a group of women meet at my house regularly and for 3 years now we’ve been knitting scarves and beanies which we pass on to local homelessness support organisations, and shelters…when I’m tucked up in bed on these cold winter nights I hope we’ve helped just a little xx

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de-cluttering of sorts

The little one, who has impressive counselling qualifications, did a workshop on what comes next with me. This involved taping flash cards to the big glass doors between the kitchen and the world, and then spending a minute or two thinking about the word written on each. Ideas waterfalled under those first cards…but you’re left very tired and with more questions. It’s not meant to sort things out straight away.

We did this because ‘I feel you’re a bit lost at the moment’…

Aren’t we all? And aren’t we always?

I’d like to stop this post there. But I’d also like to tell you that I’m spending today decluttering my inbox, while listening to the two-up game being called at the pub a couple of blocks from here. The ringkeeper is loud…without even going to look I can see the crowd spilling out on to the surrounding streets from every doorway. Anzac Day – we pray at memorials at dawn, watch marches on tv all day until the football comes on, and/or we get drunk. And we remember them. Lest we forget.

tree change or sea change?!?

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Looks like a painting doesn’t it? Australian colonial bush…

That’s the view I woke up to last weekend. We spent three days two hours up the road, in the vineyards, and woke to that view and the sounds of birds I didn’t recognise. Those bird calls must have woken me as a child but I don’t remember…perhaps I had no interest then.

The cottage is in a little valley of peace. I walked, breathed slowly, and just was. Time moved very slowly. The hill out front, beyond the vines, close enough that you could make out specific trees. So many varieties. Kangaroos and wallabies in the paddock behind – statues, so nearly camouflagued as the tree stumps and rocks they posed beside.

At night we cooked outside, sang, danced, and gazed at the stars.

We took long drives during the day, on windy dirt tracks, past farms we can’t afford.  A strange encounter with a Hare Krisna devotee. Yes, in the middle of nowhere he stood in the middle of one of those dirt roads and flagged us down. We were invited to a lunch celebrating Krisna’s wife Radha’s birthday. Thanks but we had vineyards to visit, books to read (no internet/phone reception!), country air to breathe without conversation…

I think I want to live there. At least part time.

animals as therapy

I am so grateful that there isn’t a tree somewhere that I feel compelled to tie a teddy to. I drove past one today. I drove that colonial bush track to the beach. Escaping my house, my life again, just for a few days. My road to bliss is someone else’s slippery slope to hell.

So I did give pause to think about them, child and grieving parent, but in my own world I’m seeing smiles. Two long, weekend days in the office behind me – two fifths of a course done, and feeling blessed to have met and spent time with the participants. A wealth of Buddhist knowledge floating in the air as I work.

And more joy? I saw an echnida as I started the track! That was a first. Safely navigated the crossing at speed, I’m not sure why I assumed they moved slower than that.  Then, I had just arrived at the beach when the young ones called out ‘WHALES’. Second time in my life, second time in two weeks, whales off the balcony. Whale playtime! One behind another mother and child breached over and over and over. An olympic butterfly race from one headland to the other and I had the best seat in the stands. Magic.

saturday, best day ever

 

Had a great coffee with the two girls, in Newtown, today. Just across the road from Stacks of Wax. Maxed out on wax after the caffeine. My car is so small that we only just fit three of us, and all the candles, on the way home. Wedding prep list – illumination CHECK.

We’re all at an age that there’s so much joy in time spent together. Smiles and so much laughter today.

First thing was breakfast closer to home. Ice whipped our legs while we queued for a table. Apparently the eggs benedict was ‘best ever’ and worth the wait and the shivering…

Then, the last dress fitting. I don’t know how to describe the love felt in that shop. What a wonderful job that young man has – creating such beautiful taffeta things, making countless women so happy.

We did the tiniest bit more shopping between bridal wear and candles, along with a mad dash through rain and an abundance of giggling.

Tonight, with the heater struggling to take the frost off us, and the cats a pair of curly curls in amongst us…we ate schnitzel and cabbage together, watched the rugby and talked about the holiday to come.

Probably a whole day of ‘best ever’. Saturday.

 

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