Time, where does it go? Time since my last blog post? 45 days. Time since we moved from Sydney to Taylors Arm? 1729 days. Time since Coronavirus travel and social distancing restrictions were first imposed in Australia? 171 days. At time of writing.
These past few months I’ve been haunted by a dream I had and wrote a short story about in 2013 when we were living in inner-city Sydney. It was called “if you don’t risk anything – Reprise”. I introduced it thusly…
This dream… worked hard to convince me what it had to tell was inspiring rather than annoying. Three times I extricated myself from its grip. Three times it dragged me back. Over Sunday morning coffee, I told the G.O. “I had the worst dream last night. It felt awfuI. It wouldn’t let me go”. As I recounted the dream, I felt my gut wrenching over again. I asked “Why would I dream something like that? God forbid it ever happens. What chance would we have?”… as realisation dawned… As I was writing the story, I relived the feelings and thoughts of the dream whereby the G.O., me and our dog (who was my real dog until about 10 years ago) had to flee our home, stopping only to say goodbye to my aunt and uncle. I woke up at that point and had to make up the rest… What would you do, where would you go, and how, if you had to flee?”
The G.O. and I with what might either have been a sixth sense of something looming or reading the writing on the global wall had for years half-joked that our plan was to be safely ensconced at Taylors Arm in the event of a catastrophe, and about my modest doomsday prepper inclinations. Notably the wine cupboard.
Well, here we are. Anticipating disaster wasn’t our primary motivation to treechange to a downshifter lifestyle but one of many good reasons. We arrived in fine time to get settled, and didn’t have to bribe anyone to smuggle us across a river.
Impossible to convey in words or pictures the quiet peace here. There is a daily ration of ABC local radio and music playlists, an occasional tinkle of a wind chime but preferred is the pastoral soundtrack of the movement of breezy trees, busy bees, birdsong, chook activities, distant cows and intermittently the sounds of the village… people whose names and faces we know. It’s easy to feel secure and relaxed in these surroundings.
After almost 5 years, we’re getting on with the “dream of living simply and creatively” I envisioned in my gravatar blurb when I created the blog in 2011. That our slow life groove had become second nature handily coincided with the advent of Covid restrictions and a looming recession simply affirmed our decision to choose wisely and modestly invest in nesting… and the intention: this place this home, is where, what, how and who we want to be.
Mind you, arriving at second nature took some doing. It’s been a learning curve to get better at managing our time, energy and financial resources. My garden planning & growing, plant propagating, seed saving, compost creating, sourdough bread baking, preserve making, food preparing, supply & logistics coordinating, officialdom wrangling, lifestyle directing… self is far different to the one who arrived here armed mostly with far too many aspirations and ideas. Not so much of a shift for the G.O. for whom the work of d.i.y. living: project implementing, water-firewood-soil-chicken-building-yard management; fixing-mending-maintaining; freebie materials sourcing; picture hanging… comes naturally. However, less naturally for both of us came the most important skills we’ve acquired; the arts of slowing down and discerning what is necessary or not, what can wait or not, what is worthwhile or not, what feels good or not, and how much is enough.
And that’s enough said. Let’s go through the photo archives and see what’s been happening since last we corresponded…
Well, here we are. The village.
The G.O. created 8 new simple wicking beds by cutting in half 4 plastic water barrels given to us by a neighbour. He made a water reservoir at the bottom using ag line, small rocks and a permeable liner of fly screen. We filled them with layers of rough compost, leaves, sugar cane mulch and newspaper aka lasagne or no dig garden.
I have never cooked so much in my life… as during #covid #winter2020
We spent a few days providing doggy day care while her charge settled in for #thebestneighbourever who is dog sitting. Diesel and Pepper are so alike, even we got them confused at a glance.
Nesting. I did mention picture hanging is part of the G.O.’s brief…
“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” ~ Biz Stone