Right now.

Right now I’m amazed we can move from this

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To this

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In less than half an hour! Phew.
Negotiating a stau, kilometres of traffic jam on the French Swiss border region in 40 + c heat panting out the windows and aiming to stay friendly we sweated down to Vevey looking for a swim and a camp spot. The sharp silhouette of alpine pictures and immense lake of Geneve is so enticing but where the heck can you find a free place to swim! Many beaches are privatised unfortunately for us who want something a bit quieter. Lucky turn down a lane we find a sweet rocky beach with only… 100 others. It’s a dream!
It’s taking a lot of courage on this our fifth official day in our van. We where held up for weeks with mechanical misfortunes, luckily while still at my parents so we could get a rich time of connection with them and Cedar could accompany Opa on the farming adventures. But hallelujah for journeys beginning since I last posted in excitement! Lots of dear friends and family we’ve seen, cherries eaten, wandered up and down wobbled and cried and re calibrated.

Hooray for water. Hooray for adventures. Alls well that ends well. Now for a dip in that clear clean water.

Where are you? Warm or cold? Winter or summer?

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Out my window

Out my window. Glimpses from our journey in Europe.
Sometimes it’s picture book surreal and other it’s autobahn efficient or industrial. Come along for the (slow) ride.
It’s great (such a relief, scary and thrilling) to be moving once more. Our mechanical hurdles in Germany overcome we now head into southern Switzerland. We arrived from Germany 3 days ago to stunning snow capped mountains, it’s all melted off now I think. This week is a heat wave with 30 Celsius plus every day. Up front in the van it says 43! It’s hot for around here.  It’s painfully hot to be driving in this old mobile with all the windows down. Keep cool people. We ran into a stau ( kilometres of traffic jam) soon after this”)

Lakeside Vevey here we come! We’re heading to the Montreux Jazz festival. We heard its good busking for Jesse and the children and I can chill out by the lake. Hopefully it’s as good as it sounds because we left a natural paradise in the mountains to come down! The first day and night was Terrible! Too hot too tired too busy too grumpy nowhere to camp not coping  I want to go home! But after a few hours sleep in a hot train side, car park (glamorous) the next day was better. There is a side to this journey that is absolutely crap and incredibly challenging. The idea is that it’s outweighed by goodness, time together, adventure, inspiring connections and natural beauty. It usually is, but I’m still getting the hang of it only a week into the ride. 

 All signage has just gone from German to French, HELP! With three ( oops four languages! my swiss friend corrects me. ) national languages Switzerland is an incredibly diverse ethnic country. My family all live in the Swiss German cantons but I wish I had a better grasp of French alongside my German.  At any time I can hear a handful of languages in the city which thrills me after living in a small rural community for some years now. People watching is so fun. 

Stinkin hot right now but oh so pretty in the rolling hills! Yodeleeehee….

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Summer is in full glory the golden crops are being harvested, hay is being made and flowers abound!

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We wonder a lot at the size of these beautiful old houses. Was it because large families lived together. Or simply when you spend so many cold months indoors you need more space or some other…. I understand there is a lot of indoor storage space for food etc, and often the animal stalls for winter are under the same roofline. I’ve been lucky to explore a couple of these type of houses. As a child we visited friends of my mamas in the Bern hills and I remember the guest room next to the animal stalls. The pungent smell coming through the walls it seemed, never mind the drying sausages hanging in the bathroom….  I’m hoping to visit these kind farmers again on this trip, they are some of the few elders still living an incredible nearly self sufficient traditional farming life. I’m imagining the pot of warm fresh milk will still be there on the back of the wood stove!

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Notes in italic added a few days later. 

I’m interested if anyone knows if it should be Ouside my window, or is Out my window passable English? 

My English is going out the window! In our family we is speaking richtig gut Denglish, deutsch/English. 

Berlin Mauerpark flea market

Berlin
Mauerpark Flea markets Sundays from about 8-4pm
Well some unexpected fun jaunts have come from our unplanned 6 week long stay near Berlin with my folks here. One being Mauerpark flea market!
With 300 plus stalls, give this market lots of time!
I went a couple of times with Jesse when he was busking, and lucky me, once all alone!
I found it too busy for kids to enjoy after 11am and must confess I preferred fossicking on my own. Old things, lots of lovely dusty old things with only a few new made stalls. Some savvy Turkish dealers with rows of estate boxes to rummage, be ready to bargain. It took me a couple of visits to build my courage but it was worth the reductions! I wish I had a container to fill and bring home!!
Streets of second hand clothing stalls! So fun!
I found some fabulous cotton vintage dresses and a button accordian, Polish ceramic ware and olive wood bread boards.
In the midst is a walled, sandy eating courtyard where you can quietly retreat for a bio (organic) sausage with sauerkraut and a bun. Don’t be overwhelmed by the 15 choices of mustard! Or get a pizza or a delicious mixed plate from the Turkish ladies. Yummy!
There’s a big green (old location of the Berlin Wall, hence the name Mauer/wall park) running alongside with buskers of varying talent and lots of people seem to picnic there.
I ended up getting a cab back to The main station (Hauptbahnhof) for 8 € instead of navigating the connecting trams on the way home.
Have fun if you go I’d like to hear about your treasures!
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the well

 I wrote these words some time ago as I reflected on the question ” for what purpose do I blog”.  I was wanting to rekindle this place of expression and found myself connecting this story.  
Once upon a time a windswept and painterly girl fell into a great hole of solitary sadness and weeping. Though many tried loyally to throw her a rope her suddenly clumsy hands could not hold the fibre for long enough to climb. It seemed slippery as a silken strand of silver lining. She tried to weave herself a shawl to fly on, a basket to sail away in, a raft of stitches and baked up a magical cake. But alas, she was doomed to stay in the midnight shadow for many days and many nights with broken body and bound heart.

Some nights the stars seemed closer and she could almost see the moon. Some days the sun did seem to rise just for her once more. Those days she captured what she could of life’s gifts and in golden ink scribed them into her magical tome with ink illustrations, and these pages and pictures became a scaffold of good memories to rise her up. A sturdy reminder that her life had beauty and light and gifts and company, a place to reach out shyly to the world with her gifts of word, colour and pictures.
The hole she was in, seemed to floor itself up under her and rose her until she could once more see the ground beneath her souls. One plank at a time a new frame is made. Sometimes she sits on the edge of the well of dark sorrow and sometimes she floats amongst it’s thick insidious air, and when she finally returns she will gasp for air and lay upon the blossom strewn grass giving thanks that these days pass.

 Roselinde 

For the Traveller

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For the Traveller

Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.

New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.

When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:

How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
You needed
To illuminate
Your way.

When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.

May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.

~ John O’Donohue ~

The beginning

This purchase heralds the beginning of our next adventure. Fiat Ducato home sweet home!

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We left Bellingen one month ago (gracefully and with the help of many friends, thankyou) and many tales have unfolded to get us here.
Today waking up and looking out at our new/old very old van posing against the old, very old barns i realise its sinking in. I am here, I really am here, in the warmth of my German parents home preparing to tour Europe for the next months. It sure is memory making time. I endeavour to keep myself creatively inspired and wordsmithing over this time. I hope you enjoy the journey with us! May we all travel our lives with ease, good humour and the courage to meet what comes.
Roselinde

The walk

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I am drawn out with the soft grey dawn, awakening bird songs lure me into the day. The wind softly guides me up the ridge line walk. I am cocooned in layers of wool like paperbark and I soon enter a walking meditation, every rhythmic step the goal of my experience.
Each footfall quiet and attentive.
my awareness extends, to touch bird melodies and leaf whispers, though I think I am quiet, a walkaby at 50 metres scampers away through the rasping grass.
my soft steps continue the meandering morning path. Pale light and muted colours.
There are fewer melodies up here now. I am dreamily passing blood woods and casuarinas, the old ones, bladed grasses and fallen limbs.
I’m leaving the rumble and play of the creek noises and entering a quieter hillock. I’m present to the sensations of my walking body, swaying limbs as branches and sound chasing.

Until I find myself thinking about journalling my experiences and story.
A chuckle for myself.

This morn I’ve risen chirpy like a wee yellow breasted wren. Nothing will dim my song. My quiet escape fills me with glee.

The landspace subtly shifts and now I have a view over the ridge to the cascading forest across the valley. Each bunch of grey/orange/blue/greenery swaying its own direction. Spun and waltzed by this buffeting wind. Ah this wind! it lifts me high into its embrace,
my face turns and smiles into it like a happy farm dog on the tray of a ute.
Joyous in the face of windy thrills.
my senses open once more and slowly i step along. Observing all the sheoak saplings culled by the last burn off.
I note some of the soft leaved branches will help our fire start this drizzly day. I step over the exposed roots of a large blood wood giving honour as one of the sentinels of the woods. There aren’t many left up here.
Ahh my heart sours, a treasure of fairy pink by my foot print. A solitary pink fairy orchid offers me rain drops from her petals. I delicately catch them and pray with this tiny gift of bush magic. We commune until I am beckoned on, where a forming balga spear has immature flower heads adorning the top foot or so. It is smooth and strong and a wondrous display of natures contrasts. The slender pointy leaves forming a protective cushion below.
I read recently, look under the green growth on wet days, there one can find a cache of dry tinder. I note this also for my fire efforts.
It’s only on my return I notice the balgas grow on the higher ground and I’ve unwittingly left their domain. I’m too hungry to turn back.
I feel drawn on until I can view the little mountain adorned by turtle head rock. Its clear I’m not to wander there this day. The wind tugs and swirls around me. I am expansive and generous in my exchange.
Up here I notice the diverse bird song again, the open woodland carpeted with grasses and granite beds. The balgas grow more prolifically.
I wish I could translate their tunes and calls, but I am not yet a devoted bird nerd.
The day has brightened and my mood with it. This spontaneous solitude nourishing and adding to my collection of stories. I run.
My body fairly hovers downhill pausing only for tinder collecting and slurping rain drops from sheoak fronds as i pass their domain. I run my mouth along a bundle of new growth and catch a small mouthful of plant gathered sky juice.
I return with my happy heart anticipating the smokey perfume and family shawl I shall wear this day.

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