Before April is over….

kookiesBefore April is over, I wanted to drop by and say hello to my blogging friends.

threeWhat a month it has been! Brilliant news, cooling temperatures with the changing season, gardening projects….April has always been one of my favourite months of the year, a time when my muse drops by and sets my fingers to the keyboard, yet this month I have been so busy, (both in mind and body!) and, well, I miss my blogging friends, my quiet time sitting at my desk, catching up with your world.preeningToday, I am heading out to help with a project at our factory, but there is another project that I have been working on, one very dear to my heart, a gift for my very special daughter, so here is a snippet, with more to be revealed later….projectI have been taking a few photos each day, not as many as usual, but some I thought I would quickly share, before April is over, taken over the last few days.grevsMajor happenings are taking place in the garden too, but more on that later, I have to rush now….miner….as much as I would love to stay and chat some more…..

Wishing you all peace, love and happiness, and sending hugs from my presently chaotic, but very happy world. :)

mags

 

Posted in autumn, daughter, enchanting, friends, gardening, In My World | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

I must be old enough.

???????????????????????????????My four children mean the world to me. That’s one of the most consistent things I have noticed among my blogging friends too, we all adore our “babies”. They grow up to adulthood, remaining our babies, but they never fully understanding the depth and strength of the love we have in our hearts for them. They don’t realise the lengths we would go to either, to make sure they are happy. If there is anything we can do for them, we are there. No questions asked. We would move mountains for the children we love so dearly.

Over the years of my parenthood, I have occasionally attempted to explain to my offspring exactly how I feel about them, always failing to do so successfully, and ending by telling them that when they have a child of their own, then they will understand. That’s when they will feel how my love for them feels.

I often hear of parents, when their children reach a certain age, pressuring their children with questions of when, exactly, will they be made a grandparent. I have never subscribed to this form of questioning. To my way of thinking, it hints slightly toward emotional blackmail. I want, with every ounce of mother-love in me, for my grandchildren to come along when their parents are ready for their arrival. Not when I am ready.

Before my first child was conceived, I had a little spirit child visiting me. I heard his laughter, and could smell the sweet scent of baby in my home. I knew this dear little soul had chosen me to be his mother, and when he was only a few months old, and I heard his laughter, the same laughter I had heard “before”, it confirmed for me what my heart already knew.

During the busyness of life in the ensuing years, as I have happily worn the label of Mum of Four, my instincts have, many, many times, fallen by the way-side. I haven’t stayed in tune as much with my intuition. It has only been in more recent years, as my children have grown, that I have begun again to trust those instincts, remembering the little “hunches”, heeding the words and sounds that arrive in my mind, unannounced, (like the beautiful laughter of my first child,) and noticing, and really paying attention, to the images of what is to come.

For some time now, when asked if I have any grandchildren, my standing response has been, “I’m too young to be a grandmother”, and I believe with all my heart that my statement is the truth. Only when my children decide for themselves to have a child of their own, will I be old enough.

But a few months ago, something happened. An image, which I can only liken to the laughter I once heard over thirty years ago, appeared in my mind. Two little girls, twins, with curly blond hair.

One day in particular, when walking around some land with two of my children, where one of them intends building a home of their own, I looked at a large tree, with a solid branch extending out of one side, and saw, in my minds-eye, an image of my grandchildren, laughing, and playing on a swing, which had been attached to the tree branch.

That same day, my husband was at home, gardening. And he was puzzled. He felt that there was a child with him, helping in the garden. And when he told me he didn’t know who it was, that he didn’t know of any children in the spirit world, without hesitation I told him that it was our grandchild. And he understood. It felt right.

And we suspected that there is more than one little spirit child, making their choices. A new generation is being planned.

That all happened last year. Nothing further eventuated, until a few weeks ago. As I sat at my sewing machine, meditating, as I do whilst sewing, (I don’t know how else to describe the wanderings of my mind as I sew!) I began to plan what I would make for the baby, for Christmas….meaning this Christmas….could it be….???

….and a few days later, during an emotional announcement, I had occasion to tell my child to prepare their heart for the most overwhelming, unconditional love that they could ever in their lifetime expect to feel, when they see their own child, for the first time, in November.

So, I guess I must now be old enough. :)

It’s still early days. An ultra-sound, tomorrow, will give the estimated due date of the little walnut sized being, who has chosen us, our family, my child, to live through a lifetime with. It will also establish whether there is just one, or two little walnuts developing.

With complete certainty, I can tell you that this little baby (or babies) is/are loved, unconditionally, completely, already. Other grandma, much younger than me, is thrilled to bits at the news as well, as are all the great, and great-great grandparents! Aunties and uncles are beaming, cousins are excited. This baby will be born into one great big bubble of love.

This baby has chosen their parents well. :)

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Update ~ I wrote the above yesterday. The ultrasound has confirmed one baby, with a due date of November 23rd.

More to follow….much more. <3

 

 

 

Posted in A Sense of Spirit, blessings, Changes, gratitude, happiness | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

The Camino : A Journey of the Spirit.

"The Camino"

“The Camino”

Since the year began, I have already, unintentionally, developed a few new habits. Although I read every day, always having a book of some description on standby, to pick up and read a few pages whilst eating lunch, or before going to sleep, this year, reading has become as natural to me as drinking a glass of water.

Every day this year also, I have written a few lines in my own personal journal. Nothing earth-shattering, just a word or two about my day. This particular habit I began in January last year, although I didn’t carry it through the entire year. Not until the last three months, that is, and this year, my daily notes have easily become a habit.

Robin, over at Breezes at Dawn, has spoken recently about Morning Pages. This morning, I tried it. I didn’t follow all the rules, but I did try out the concept.

I should start at the beginning of what eventuated though, leading to my urge to write first thing in the day. Last night, at around 11:30 pm, I finished reading “The Camino”, a book written by Shirley MacLaine. In the book, she describes her own personal thoughts as she walked the 780 kilometres (500 miles) of the Santiago de Compostela Camino, though the north of Spain.

Anyone who is familiar with the writings of Shirley MacLaine will know them, at times, to be rather controversial. This is a lady who says it like it is. She has traveled her own spiritual journey for many years, and through many previous lifetimes, as she continues to learn. When I read another book of hers, “Out on a Limb”, when it was first released in the 1980’s, I was ready for her. Shirley MacLaine wrote the knowledge I had been searching for for a lifetime. The world, however, balked at her candidness, she was ridiculed.

"Out on a Limb"

“Out on a Limb”

Reading “The Camino”, I felt certain that I would be prepared for anything she wrote about, but I wasn’t. I won’t spoil the book for anyone by describing the section that disturbed me though, if you feel so inclined, please do read it yourself, it is quite a wonderful book. But when I awoke this morning, before speaking to anyone, before allowing anyone to invade my thought space, I wrote.

On Goodreads, I rated the book four out of five stars, then continued by writing a review. This was my first book review, and it didn’t hurt a bit, in fact, I have written two more reviews at Goodreads today, and have decided to continue this habit (yet another newly formed habit for 2015) with each book as I finish reading it.

I think it helped, writing early in the day. I needed to flush the disturbing section of the book from my mind, and by putting those written words out into the Universe, I believe it has removed the thoughts sufficiently for me to move on to my next book, a light-hearted novel. :)

Later, perhaps in a few weeks or months, once some time has passed, I will contemplate “The Camino” again. It is certainly a journey which I would love to (physically) take myself on one day. For now though, time will allow my mind to come to terms with some of the aspects of the story, and I will decide whether what has been written is a truth I am comfortable with. For now, I’m not.

If you are a member of Goodreads, add me as a friend there. If you are a reader and haven’t joined the site, I can recommend it as a site in which you can keep track of the books you have read, are reading, and wish to read in the future.

Here is the review I wrote ~

Years ago, I read “Out on a Limb” by Shirley MacLaine, so knew to expect the unexpected from her.

The first three quarters of the book describe how she heard about the Camino, the journey itself, the people she met along the way, past life regressions she experienced during her quiet times….so far, very interesting, and I enjoyed following her walking travels through the sacred trail.

The last few chapters rattled me. This was where I reached “the unexpected”, (which, of course, I should have expected!) I can only imagine that my own soul’s journey through time was not yet ready to hear the things that Shirley MacLaine wrote about. This is not a criticism of the book, just how it felt to me. The story is written with complete honesty, and I like that. If an author, any author at all, is going to write an autobiographical account of any period of their life, I would expect nothing less, therefore, if what I read in the latter section of the book had not upset my equilibrium, my rating would be five stars. It definitely took me out of my comfort zone!

I would only recommend this book to a person who is open to hearing of possibilities other than those traditionally accepted, as per the bible. And having a mind wide open would help as well. It is evident that Shirley MacLaine realizes there may be some readers who find what they read disturbing, as warnings are strategically placed at the beginning of two such sections. I read past the first warning sign unscathed…but even though I felt my mind open to new theories, it will take some time to digest the possibility of the second concept presented.

 

Posted in A Sense of Spirit, Morning Pages, reading, spirituality | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

A Manifesto.

Manifesto for a simple life

 

The definition of a manifesto is “a public declaration of intentions”…..

I found this manifesto just a few days ago, and these words, along with so many others I have been reading lately, jumped off the page at me.

This is my own personal manifesto for 2015. I won’t be over thinking the possibilities, the words were discovered for me, and when you know withing your heart and soul that something is right, no questions need be asked, no debate entered into ~ so here they are.

Due to “eating less”, I have not eaten anything since breakfast time, and my stomach is growling, so I will now “move more” to the kitchen, for a quick snack, after which I will continue moving, you know, chores to be done….but I have been giving my word for this year a huge amount of feeling, and will share thoughts and words that have led me to the choice soon…..

Have you ever chosen a manifesto?

~~~~~~~

Posted in A Sense of Spirit, concepts, inspiration, new, new beginnings, reading | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

After a Twenty-Two Year Wait ~ Photos of a Pheasant Coucal.

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Summer-time black feathers.

“I saw the most magnificent bird on our land!”

I couldn’t wait to tell my eldest sister, who I knew to be a bird lover, about the most incredible sight I had seen. But it wasn’t just the sight of the bird that had me intrigued. The way it took off from the ground, with a massive flap, flap, flap, whilst running, using its wide expanse of outspread wings to become airborne, was completely different to how other, smaller varieties of birds took off from the ground.

“It was absolutely massive!” I exclaimed, “but with the face of a dove. The tail feathers alone must have been eighteen inches long. And the bird was predominately brown, of all colours. There was some mottling around its tail, but I didn’t get a good look at all the details. I can’t wait to see it again, it really was a sight to see, like no other bird I have ever seen before.”

My sister rolled her eyes. “Really, Jo, you do exaggerate….what did this miracle bird really look like?”

A magnificent Pheasant Coucal.

A magnificent Pheasant Coucal.

As far as my sister was concerned, I always exaggerated. If I said I was freezing cold, boiling hot, or couldn’t wait to visit mum, Anne regarded the statement to be an exaggeration. (If you were freezing cold you would be solid and unable to speak; if you were boiling hot you would be dead; and you will have to wait to see mum, but why the rush?) To my sister, I was the Queen of Exaggeration. In my eyes, Anne was a painful stickler for details.

But I knew this bird was big, and brown. It also had a pretty dove-like face. I had never in my life seen such an elaborate take-off either, thinking that all birds simply went flap, whooshka….up into the sky! This one didn’t.

Twenty-two years have passed by since that day, of my first sighting of what I now know to be a Pheasant Coucal. The next one to sight the bird back then was my husband  (who hadn’t doubted my description for a minute!) We searched bird identification books, asked the locals, tried to see the bird again, all during which time my sister occasionally thought to question whether I had seen this Feathered Colossus again, using the most sarcastic tone she could muster.

Preening those gorgeous feathers.

Preening those gorgeous feathers.

After my husband had sighted it as well though, she had to accept that maybe, just maybe, Kid Sister really had seen an unusual, and unusually large bird.

During the years between building our house on our land and now, we have sighted the Coucal’s many times, but we hear them more often than see them. They are a very shy bird, nest in the long grass right down the bottom of our yard along the fence line, between us and the farm-house behind us, but we know they are there when we hear their cries, echoing through the garden. It’s a low-pitched sound, a constant “coo-coo-coo”, vibrating through the yard and around the valley. The sound is as magical as the sight of them.

Occasionally, I spot a Coucal, usually way down the back yard (we have one acre of land), or taking off in their laborious way, disappearing into the trees.  Unfortunately, due to their inability to fly easily, we often see them on the main road leading to our village, victims of the cars moving faster than the coucals can fly across the road. They also walk a lot, another hazard for these beautiful creatures.

Enjoying the rain....

Enjoying the rain….

Pheasant Coucals are members of the cuckoo family, although unlike cuckoos, who invade the ready-made nests of magpies and currawongs, Coucal’s lay their eggs, usually three to five in number, in the long grass, caring for them themselves. And according to my book, “Guide to Australian Birds”, Pheasant Coucal’s are about fifty-five to sixty-eight centimeters in length. Conversion ~ twenty-two to twenty-seven inches long.

Large long-tailed cuckoo with body black (summer) or brown (winter and juvenile) and rufous barred wings and tail. Usually seen running across roads or perched (particularly on wet days) on fence posts or dead trees near long grass; when flushed flies heavily with laboured wing-beats. ~ The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds.

coucal 4

…more preening…

For so many years, which now seems like forever, I have tried, unsuccessfully, to take a photo of a Pheasant Coucal. Although their presence is felt, they remain hidden.

Earlier this week though, my daughter took breakfast outside, to be enjoyed in the cool morning air, just before a few spots of rain hit the ground. Before coming back indoors, I heard her calling to me, in a low, quiet, yet urgent voice. I grabbed my camera; I knew by her tone this must be important.

There, sitting in clear view, right on top of the shed, in all its glory, sat a Pheasant Coucal!

It didn’t stay there long enough for me to take a photo, (typical!) and flew down to a low tree in the garden. I sneaked around to the side of the tree, camera poised, but must have disturbed it, as it flew up into the branches of the pecan nut tree, which it seemed to decide was a safe place for its morning bath.

Shaking those pretty tail feathers.

Shaking those pretty tail feathers.

I took refuge from the now-steady rain, standing in the shed, happily clicking away at one of my mysterious, seldom seen, Coucals. It posed and preened, whilst I held my breath and quietly clicked. What a joyful few minutes it was.

I would like to think that Anne looked down on me from heaven, watching me with my camera that morning, in my (unexaggerated!) moment of glory.

Maybe she even arranged for the Coucal to be there for me….who knows? It’s a lovely thought, and a brilliant beginning to 2015.

Magnificent, even in black and white.

Magnificent, even in black and white.

 

 

Posted in A Sense of Spirit, Australia, blessings, gratitude, photography, sisters, summer, unbreakable bonds | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments