Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy Place

'Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things.' ~ Author Unknown

It's been just over a week since I returned home (already!) and I'm still beaming with gratitude and the germination of the sweet seeds of connection, joy and peacefulness that were planted deep within my soul on this trip! What a wonderful holiday spent with dear friends at the seaside! A magical time spent in a magical place with magical people. It was a breath of fresh air in many ways. Thank you, thank you ~ my sweet Mich & her sweet Al!

What a privilege it was to see where you live, to experience your beautiful surroundings ~ the literal forest in your backyard, the gorge and the waterfall, your stunning home with all it's precious personal touches. The jaw-dropping 180° seascape that awaits when you walk out onto Al's folks' patio at Salt Rock. Thank you for opening your home to me, for sharing your space and your time with me, for inviting me along on our seaside excursion and including me in all the wonderful moments. It was ALL so special to me.

Thank you for ~ ~ ~ trips to and from the airport, for shopping excursions, for tea and crumpets with 'the works' at the botanical gardens (Aaah!), for breakfast together, for introductions to your wonderful friends and for beach days. There was a view above the clouds from a window seat, a long walk along the beachfront looking out at the silvery ocean reflecting the cloudy sky. There was shared butternut cheesecake and cappuccinos, a sumptuous Moroccan chicken potjiekos birthday celebration, the Brazilian-Italian homemade gnocchi adventure, sips of champagne, an Easter egg trail from bathroom door to bedroom, luxuriating hot baths with a few 'stolen' drops of expensive bath milk, afternoon naps, hot cross buns, pots of coffee, blogging on the iPhone, homemade sushi, Mich's banana bread, getting a tour of Mich's spectacular potted bonsai and succulent garden and naughty, naughty doggies jumping on my bed! There was the 21-day meditation challenge on earphones and a surprise back and neck massage! There were hammocks and sarongs and suntan lotion and seashells and dolphins and chocolate squares and Shiraz and star-gazing. There were bird cages and candles and incense and reading and beaded crafts. There was wading in rock pools and dips in the pool and climbing over rocks and watching Al catch waves and heart-to-hearts on the beach at sunset. There was laughter and there were tears, fun times together and moments of quiet solitude... This was a time for me to move out of my comfort zone, to accept your generous invitation (at last!) and learn the art of receiving. It was a time for me to reflect on my life, to start asking myself important questions like: 'why do I live where I do?' and 'why do I live alone?' These have been my choices. It was a time for me to feast my senses on awe-inspiring nature, to gulp the salty air, absorbing all the healing energy of the vast ocean and feed my soul.

This was a time of true personal growth for me. An exercise in trust ~ I had to leave my one-and-only little silver tigresse in the loving care of my brother while I was away. To learn how to prioritise my own needs, to let go and know she would be fine, to enjoy myself through the fog of worry and separation anxiety... Practice having the capacity to hold both simultaneously. It was a yet another new way for me to be in my body. I stripped down to a swimsuit in public for the first time in many years. I thought: 'These are my legs right now, they may be a bit flabby but so what? They can walk and run and jump and swim for me... let me enjoy this body that works, let's go swimming!' I'm learning to embrace my body as it is. I even wore sleeveless tops, something I never do on account of my self-consciousness about my upper arms! It felt good to be free. I just walked tall and enjoyed the feeling of the sun on my shoulders. I've now returned to layers and layers of warm clothing as winter descends on us back on higher ground, I have the memory though and a different mindset to practice when spring arrives!

The south coast is green, lush, safer, relaxed, friendly, warm and welcoming. I know that one's experience of a place of a reflection of oneself in that place. If this is so, then I am a H-A-P-P-Y person in happy place. I love you guys. x

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