Writing

Next minute a shooting star shot across the night sky. It interrupted a sea of stars so numerous that it looked like a salt- shaker had spilled across the dark inkiness of the night. Make a wish, they say, but what to wish for? Wishes are like shooting stars, fleeting and misnamed. While a shooting star isn’t a star it’s perhaps just a chunk of rock, then again it could’ve been part of a planet, or an asteroid that had traversed the galaxy for 6 billion years… That shooting star had quite a history!

While I wrote about the day,  David sat by the fire occasionally poking it with a stick. It had been lit earlier in the night with a pink lighter that had been gifted early in the trip by other campers, who seemed pleased by the clip on koala given to them in thanks. The lighter had lit many a fire on this trip, but this fire had a special majesty. Away from all signs of civilization it was a beacon that in a way protected and formed a home in the vast space of the wide valley. A primordial thing warming, life giving and protective.

If only a fire could warn of the future, I think looking back. The peace and calm of that night in a valley called death, where the only thought on my mind was telling the story of the day and where we would travel the next. The luxury of choice and a world to explore. Out of interest we had been travelling for 2 weeks at this stage. Putting up the tent was automatic and simple, the rhythm of the days a pleasant routine.  The only worry finding a camp spot and which direction to head next. At the time it did not feel life changing. It was part of a simple plan for my life. The plan, which like the fire warming the night, within a year would be ashes. Looking back now this simple night holds a space that is extraordinary.

I can’t remember the first time I was entranced by fire. It had been a feature of my childhood that made my parents worry I would turn into a fire-bug. Mesmerized by the flames of the bonfire or the spinning Catherine wheel sparks on Fire Cracker night. The smoke and smell of my father burning off rubbish and the almost religious experience of burning candles, dripping wax, molding that warm wax into shapes.

It was brilliant to be able to take a year off to travel. An amazing privilege that we worked hard for. Sometimes, despite the hard times and trauma I’ve experienced in my life, I think “aren’t I lucky”. Like fire there are many elements needed to bring that life into being that eclipse simple luck though. A fire needs clear ground- (opportunity), it needs fuel (work) and it needs a spark (imagination). Until finally the fuel is used up and the fire dwindles to embers that only need more fuel and a breath of wind to bring it back to life.

Thinking back to that night, I’m glad I knew nothing of what was to come. For if I did, I would probably still be out there wandering the desert…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Love the most important person in your life

Today is Valentine’s Day, and depending on how you feel about it, it is a great way to tell your partner how much you care or a great way to decry commercialism or it can make you feel sad and lonely about being single.

I want to put forward another idea- I would like this to be a day where you can celebrate and show love to the most important person in your life.

YOU!

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So many people are in a toxic hurtful relationship with themselves, especially with their bodies. They “HATE” this or that about themselves, they wish they looked like someone else and they have nasty toxic thoughts about themselves. (Yes toxic as negative thinking can play a role in physical health and definately has a role in mental health).

It seems that loving ourselves is the hardest of all things to love. However most people will readily love someone else despite the fact they may have a pot belly, back hair, uneven breasts or cellulite etc…

How do you do that? Well for me it was a process of telling myself I was gorgeous and showing love towards my body.  It wasn’t easy- it took years to be honest. But some of the things I did is to dress up and take myself out on dates, get pedicures, massages, buy myself a nice outfit, rub lotion onto my body and treat showering and bathing as a treat instead of a chore. After a while I did start loving my thighs, despite the fact they are huge because they are strong, powerful and shapely. I loved my huge bum because it feels so awesome. I started loving my legs which I always called trees because of their curves. I’m even slowly starting to love my belly despite the fact I want it to be smaller. Yes you can still love your body even if you want to make healthy changes to it.

My recommendations-Touch your body! Yes do it. Rub lotion in slowly and feel how amazing your body feels! Get pampering massages from professsionals (I would highly recommend a ha kuna massage). Stand in front of a mirror naked and tell yourself all the things you LOVE about your body. Let the negative thought that come to you wash away in the shower and hold onto those love thoughts. If you want to improve things in some small way develop a fitness routine doing things you love- for me it is cycling and recently swimming).

Less than 1% of the world has what society considers a “perfect” body. You don’t hold your partners up to those ideals so why subject yourself to them.

As that corny Whitney Houston song (Written by Michael Masser / Linda Creed) says:

“The greatest love of all

Is easy to achieve

Learning to love yourself

It is the greatest love of all”

Much love to you all on this Valentines Day

XOX Cherry

Just go and swim

Today I took my first swimming class since I was a child.

As an Australian where swimming is almost a religion, I was always sad that I couldn’t really swim. I can do basic breaststroke and backstroke but the infamous Aussie Crawl (Freestyle) was always too hard. 

Like most kids here I went to lessons at school, but 20 kids in a class was not enough. I really needed one-on-one attention to get me past that fear of putting my head in the water.  Too many ocean dunkings and a near drowning had left me with a fear of putting my head under the water. 

As I got older I swam less and less, until my lack of confidence and dislike for how I looked in a swimsuit stopped me from going in. I went years without a dip in the ocean! Living in a place with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and a public swimming pool only ever less than a km away, this was utter madness. 

One day I was at the beach for a picnic. I had recently started to come to terms with my body and the smell of the ocean was heady… The sound of the waves lapping made it irresistible and despite not having a swimsuit on me I went in, in shorts and a t-shirt and it was DIVINE!!!

Since then I try not to go too long without a dip in the ocean. Which brings me back to today’s lesson. It was a workshop full of people who to me were fit and could swim well. But I didn’t let that daunt me and in I went. It took a couple of goes before I relaxed but I loved it. I loved being able to see the seaweed and the little fish swimming below me. Such utter peace and calm. 
ImagePanorama of Clovelly Beach by Dave Tozer

This summer beach swims will become a regular thing as well as more lessons, till I get to the stage where I will be able to proudly say that I am a swimmer! 

Is there something you have always wanted to do but always thought you couldn’t? If so go and do it. Ask someone for help if you need to, but like I did- just go and swim! 🙂

XC