Can you remember June? Let me see … I will need to look back because already we have made it to August. August, how?
Perhaps it is the summer. Yes, the summer does that doesn’t it. It sneaks up with its long nights, warmth and stuff to be a part of. Summer, when everyone smiles and the conversations in the street, the shop or school gate linger just a little longer. The world is awake.
When I left you last month I very much had birds on my mind. Everyone seemed to want to tell me a story about a bird (their bird) and its significance in their life right now. And, as it happens there was a bird that was singing to me. Or perhaps singing isn’t the right word, I’ll come back to this later.
First let me share with you that we bought a house. A house! YES. And the house is on the same street as ours. Ha. True. We will be moving down the road – literally. I know it seems like a big old permanent we’re never coming home type decision. We have in the past year come to the decision that right now this is home.
And friends buying here is actually cheaper than renting. A LOT. The government wants people to own a home when they retire … so what do they do? They legislate. Yes, policy that supports buying over renting! I know shock-bloody-horror when you’re from Australia. You see the tax break on interest (and interest is at a teeny 2.1 percent fixed for 10 years) is granted on your primary home. NOT on second, third ya da ya da investment property. (Want more … pay more tax! Yes, I am a bleedy leftie/socialist) There are a host of other reasons why it makes sense financially but mostly it felt right and timely so we did it! We bought a house and yes we are extremely privileged to be in the position to do it. I’m grateful.
We will move in pretty much on our two year anniversary of arriving in The Netherlands. Gosh can you remember that day? Here is the post I posted on instagram when we arrived after months of travelling (the text verbatim is below). Oh man! So much hope in my little pockets.
‘Along the way I’ve daydreamed in villages and mountains, been lost in languages and wild oceans, had some cool buzz’s and by digging in I found freedom. Plans have been made and some goals set for this next chapter of our lives. The whole way 👆🏼these guys have taken an interest in everything Dutch, number plates, language and cyclists mainly 🚴🇳🇱. They’ve been completely with us on this wildly wonderful ride. Has this changed us? No, we’re the same people…just more protective of what’s important to who we are and what matters most. Today we arrived in Holland with big smiles and full hearts, ready to nest and plant some roots. We don’t get the keys to our house until tomorrow so here we are, camped 20kms away. How does it feel? So deliciously and peacefully right. Why here? We’ll be townies but also able to wander and cycle between the woods and farmland. Our village (city) has a market twice a week and we can live without a car 🚲🚝. Amsterdam excitement just a 20 min train trip when we need it (and I will). The kids will have the freedom to cycle independently and languages to learn. Friends & family will stopover and stay as they come and go on travel adventures. It’s more closely aligned to the values and priorities we want in our daily lives. There’ll be challenges, there always are. August is for settling in, paperwork, exploring and teaching Jimmy to ride his bike (boy do I need some maintenance after 4 mths travelling 😝). Isn’t it amazing that you can read one book (Paris Letters) and a little seed plants itself…then three years later your life looks completely different to the one you thought you’d have. Sharing stories is so very important, you never know who you’ll bring back home. Yep, time will pass anyhow so close doors, open doors, try it all on for size friends, however your dreams look. Don’t hold on too tight, be honest, change up what needs changing, own it, new & old friends rock, surround yourself with people who care, see beauty and are grateful because we don’t stop growing, learning or needing connection, a little wonder, adventure and excitement simply because we’re adults. Seasons change. 👋🏼
#chapterone #forward #nesting#plantingroots’
I wrote that with such excitement and (a little travel exhaustion) from a place that I didn’t even know I was at. I was completely bare! Travelling or taking a truth seeking journey while unbelievably joyful will do that – strip you bare. I got to the heart of so many things I didn’t know or understand about myself on that trip. I opened every wound that had been sealed. And what I now know about that is even though I arrived ready to nest, I wasn’t even close to being able to nest! Sheesh I had to tend these gaping wounds.
I knew who and where I wanted to be but life doesn’t happen that easily does it! Nope, that would be far too neat. Neat does not cut it when your growing yourself, it’s in the mess where that shit happens.
Travelling was the time out, the muse to how life could be. It was a time to live a dream. It wasn’t the cure for the reasons of why we needed to pause, to adventure, to escape. NO, all that crap still had to be dealt with.
It was, however, the space we needed to get bare enough to know we wanted something different. And it was WILD enough to deliver us with fresh perspectives that would not again be able to be simply shelved. They’d need to be worked into our way of being in amongst this modern life.
Feck me tending to wounds is not for the faint hearted! Jeepers for a carefree gyspy spirit there was a lot of old me’s and ridiculous though patterns and behaviours I was hanging on to. As they’ve reared themselves I’ve been letting them fly, forgiving mistakes, accepting the regrets, learning that often I’m wrong and sometimes I’m right but challenging where it all comes from. It has been a tough few years. And naturally good stuff intertwined with the hard stuff.
I, friends, am far from perfect but you already know that don’t you and I’m still not particularly sure about where I am going but I have settled now. There is currently no loose ends, places I want to get to or balls in the air … this is a time to nest and a time to allow what wants to unfurl – unfurl.
Thankfully, cause I’m a little tired of talking about myself! And I’m a little tired of being unsure about things. I like this new season. This one where I feel ready to let go of some big things to create something new. Now I actually am now ready to plant those roots I so desperately wanted to way back when we arrived two years ago.
Oh and I have a bird story too. It wasn’t so much a bird song that attracted me to the Heron these past months but that she was everywhere and the way in which she seemed so at peace in her environment. The Heron is my bird for this time. Lion like without the roar and aggression. The Queen of the wetlands.
Often in solitude, listening to the wind, watching over the golden hour. It is almost as if this Queen is in conversation with her surroundings and together they understand each other. This is the magic that we loose as humans, this trust in the stories nature shares with us.
Of course I did some reading about Heron symbolism and naturally there was a lot there for me. We are similar creatures, the Heron and I. And I believe she is around to remind me of who I am and what I am capable of. To encourage me to take the decisions I need to take in order to create what needs to be created.
The last time I saw her she flew over my head as I took a moonlight dip in a lake. I think she approved of this path I was walking, of these friends I was making and I think she knew I’d heard her. I haven’t seen her in a while.
And forward we go special ones. I’m clearing the distractions and expectations (more about this next month). I’m giving this writing thing a real crack. That was the purpose of this new space no? To write my way towards writing a novel, to find, notice and embrace what I needed. I think I have three stories to write. The camper trip one that led to the camino one that led to this one, the commitment to creating something. Making something with my resources, quitting what needs quitting to stop being scared of myself and my capabilities (however that eventuates).
Buen Camino! I’ll come back for July soon.