Thursday, October 30, 2008

30 days of gratitude : 26

It's hot, humid and sticky and the perfect day for lounging around on the day bed. Perhaps a little bit of beach time and some mango time too. Che is proving to be a determined and independent little soul who likes to feed himself. I'm impressed with his patience and skill - not so happy about the crumbs, the goo and the general mess that he creates. Thankfully the days are warm enough to just wash him off. We can't wait to use the outdoor shower in mid-summer...splash, splash, splash.

My kaffir lime tree has sprung back to life with lots of luscious leaves. I thought it was beyond rejuvenation so I am so happy to notice that it was just a little sad and tired over winter. Lots of green curries to come. My mint is ready for picking and today we're enjoying ice-cold water infused with mint leaves. A nice way to herald the warm warm weather and the summer that is fast approaching. Cheers to long sunny days and warm evenings. I've started burning sandalwood incense to frighten the mozzies away. I know citronella works too. Any other suggestions?

Gratitude today as we head towards summer with open arms and sandy toes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

i love it anyway

In a drawer we found an undeveloped holga film. Always exciting. What did we take pictures of? How long ago did we use it?

Holgas are a bit hit-and-miss ... you don't have any control over light, you don't really know what you're going to get. The 11 shots taken all those months ago were a bit disappointing.

From a photographer's perspective this isn't a good photo. I know. But from a Muma's perspective it captures everything about those first few weeks after birth. The tiny body, the flailing limbs, the joy, the happiness, the tears. The blurry haze, the softness that surrounds mother and child, cocooning them in a protective layer so feeding and bonding and nurturing can take place - uninterrupted. For me it so vividly represents my world at that time.

It's out-of-focus but I love it anyway.

Monday, October 27, 2008

30 days of gratitude : 25

Gratitude today for the little things...a quiet corner, buttons threaded onto string, handmade soap. Simple little things.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

we had fun Mama and Grandad's house. We pulled leaves from the grapevine and splashed water everywhere...

...chased chickens and collected their eggs;

we picked peas and ate them, picked sweetpeas and put them in a vase...

And rested in a sunny room on a very comfy bed. My old bed in my old room.

Oh how we had fun this sunny weekend just gone. Hope you did too.

Friday, October 24, 2008

30 days of gratitude : 24

Snapshot taken this afternoon after one-year-old immunisations. He screamed, yes, there were tears, yes and then he clapped his hands and waved goodbye which had the nurse ooohhing and aaahing and calling him "sweetie". Which he is, of course.

After a sudden backlash from Winter with all its shivering cold and pouring rain, it was all spring-like again today and made me realise how I love the sun. How much happier I am in the sun. In-between yoga classes and visiting friends we're spending the weekend with Mama and Grandad...and maybe crawling as quickly as we can towards the waves, the sea, the endless ocean. A fearless child and the muma who's getting pretty good at chasing. Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are.

Monday, October 20, 2008

30 days of gratitude : 23

Being one of those ethereal types - a wanderer, a dreamer...constantly lifting lifting towards the sky, I find meditation a challenge. My mind is never still, it is never slowing.

One of the easiest and most affective forms of meditation is to count the breath backwards. I particularly like focussing my awareness on my navel - "navel rising 54, navel falling 54, navel rising 53, navel falling 53". If ever I can't sleep this practice gently lulls me into slumber. But sleep is not meditation. I know, I know.

And even though I agree whole-heartedly with Jack, I find that silence, thought and a cup of tea is also my meditation.

Today while Che slept I sat quietly at the table, sipping tea and letting my eyes wander around the gentle folds of these roses. One petal, two petal, soft petal, fallen petal. Each flower has a different shape and pattern and they reminded me of mandalas, those colourful, intricate artworks that so many yogis meditate on.

Gratitude today for stillness in meditation, for tea and rose mandalas. Thanks for the blooms Mum x

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

30 days of gratitude : 22

There is a mulberry tree in the same garden...we're planning a picnic under its branches in January. Today we were happy with these pink blooms and the bright bright sunshine. Happy Spring. Oh how I love it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

30 days of gratitude : 21

My first car - a 1978 Triumph. Total cost: $200.

A mint green beauty with a big engine and a big heart. She was so great to drive, purring along - no radio, no air-con...just vinyl seats, a huge steering wheel and great character. She didn't cope well in the rain - the windows would fog up, the wind-screen wipers were pretty useless and there was a leak - my right foot would always end up soaking wet. She was 6 years older than me. I loved her. Other Triumph drivers would wave if they passed me on the road.

I miss her terribly. I had to bid her farewell when a new clutch sent the whole engine out-of-whack. That was not long after this photo was taken.

There I am sitting on the verandah railing of the first house Daniel and I lived in together. A beach shack that was so so tiny and only had a linen cupboard for storage. We had hardly any furniture - a mattress on the floor, a day-bed, some floor cushions. I fell in love as soon as I saw it. Daniel hated it and tried to tell me it was too small, there is no storage, you can only fit one person in the kitchen. I saw incense burning, books piled high, fresh blooms and a little place to call home.

A few months in and I learnt the difference between romanticism and practicality...and the importance of both. Sure the books, the music, the home-made meals, the walk to the beach were great but no cupboards means you can't hide anything away and that became a problem. Throw into the equation a baby-on-the-way and I quickly began searching for a house with floor-to-ceiling cupboards, more than one bedroom and a kitchen that was big enough for our fridge.

When I stumbled upon this photo today, taken with our holga, I smiled. Such great memories. The car that took me from beach, to friends, to nighttime dancing...the house that Daniel and I moved into only 15 weeks after meeting each other and the place where Ché's little life began.

Gratitude today for the mint-green car named Willow and the beach shack that changed everything.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Today we were so fortunate to attend the Naming Day of Priya Shanti (in Sanskrit her name means Beloved, Peace). She was welcomed to this world by her parents as they blessed her with the four elements - earth, air, fire and water - and performed Nama Karana, an Indian tradition where the child's name is whispered into her ear three times. It is said that the child will always remember that moment, when she was given her name.

Priya, may your name resonate deep within your heart and may you indeed be beloved and peaceful.

As we stood on the sand to witness the ceremony I realised how important ritual is in our lives. How special it is for family and friends to unite and to celebrate. Today we welcomed Priya to this world and into our lives. It was a chance to acknowledge how blessed we are to be in her presence and also to consider the responsibility that we share with her parents - to raise her in a loving and kind world.

Ceremony provides an opportunity to be thankful. Prayers around the dinner table, the blowing out of birthday candles, the kiss to seal a marriage. No matter how small, ceremony makes our lives more meaningful.

He is to young to understand now, but soon Che will ask me why I walk around our house with incense burning (to cleanse the space), why we decorate the Indian Elephant God Ganesh (remover of obstacles) who sits at our front door and why we chant ((((Om))))). He will come to know these little rituals as a chance to be thankful for what we have. And one day soon I will introduce him to Bhakti Yoga - where he will plant, water and nurture a flower - to help him understand the art and practice of devotion.

He will choose whether he believes what we do. On his Naming Day we acknowledged that when he is older he will decide who and what he believes in. We can only share with him what we know.

I hope all children are raised to know their parents beliefs. I hope they understand that taking a few moments to be still and quiet is ritual in itself.

We ended our day under a mango tree, eating beautiful food, laughing and playing. I wish that Che and Priya understand how wonderful celebration is and I hope they stay friends for life.

Friday, October 10, 2008

30 days of gratitude : 20

Very slowly, room-by-room I have Spring cleaned. I have aired and decluttered each space, packed winter clothes away and organised a council pick-up. I was expecting a lady in a green beret to turn up and rifle through the rubbish but only a boy arrived. He took the rusty bike and ran.

There have been many moments when I have asked myself if I really need it. What do I like about it? Do I even like it? When did I last wear it? As I decluttered I began to think about clutter. What is clutter? Apparently it's something you don't need, want or like.

I prefer Mirka Mora's description:

"Why do most people talk about clutter in a derogatory way?

In my case, I think clutter is the thread of my memory wanting to have its own continuity through familiar objects...

Some people are disturbed by the energy of the assemblage of things in my house. Some people bathe in it, of course, and some get puzzled. But I always hope that those who are not disturbed will go home and unleash all their hidden treasures from the cupboards and start to have a dialogue with their memories. It is life who demands this. We have to ponder so many things endlessly. C'est la force des choses - it is the power of things who makes us take note, stop or run."

Taken from "Love and Clutter"

I find it hard to leave a windowsill untouched. I love to be surrounded by beautiful things - many beautiful things.

It's true. As I move from room to room I glance at the objects around me and memories do come flooding back. I remember a trip to Venice, a friend, a different time to now. I have cleared and cleaned and now the clutter is in its place.

The collection of clutter continues to grow...gentle reminders of days, of people and of places.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

30 days of gratitude : 19

Gratitude today for the colour and light of Spring - so vivid, so bright.

We love reading Spring is Here ... it's so nice to look at the beautiful pictures and watch the seasons change. I read and he turns the pages.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

30 days of gratitude : 18

I think I've realised how fun a one-year-old can be. How interested and engaged and excited my little boy is. Giddy in Spring sunshine we played and went exploring. He's so content to sit on my hip and wander with me. To point at flags and birds and wave goodbye to strangers who stop to chat. Today we ate peaches and strawberries and this evening we enjoyed roasted butternut pumpkin. And now I can see the remnants of peaches and strawberries and pumpkin on my cardigan.

Since becoming a mum I have become more grounded. I spend more time crawling around on the ground that I ever have before in my life. I don't get too bothered if my clothes get dirty or my hair gets messy. I spend so much time wandering on beaches, in parks and around gardens with Che. I love it and he loves it and I feel so much happier and healthier because of it.

For the last week or so I have been preparing our little balcony for the warmer weather - planting fresh herbs and spring blooms and clearing the clutter that had resided there over the winter months. We spend so much time here over summer - it's the best place to ponder, read and relax and because the ocean is at the bottom of the hill we often get a subtle sea breeze. Che has his own swing now too so he can suspend from the beams and watch the world go by.

I made cupcakes today and shared one with Che. Not quite as amazing as these, but still fun. He was recovering from his cold on his birthday and wasn't fussed with cake so I thought I would indulge him. He wasn't impressed with the icing (which secretly made me happy) but he loved the buttery cake. It was so yummy we decided to share some with friends.

I am still smiling at the beautiful gifts we were given on his birthday. I am so enjoying flipping through the storybooks and building with the blocks. So many generous people. Including Miss HazyJane who sent Che a gorgeous pair of handmade pants (the best pants) and a homemade card, which, funnily enough, looks alot like he did on his birthday morning - it was definitely a red crown kinda birthday. I got spoilt too - a cloth bag perfect for books/shopping/anything really. She's clever that girl and one of the neatest sewers I have ever come across.

Such a pleasant day we had.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

30 days of gratitude : 17

When I began thinking about gratitude and the way it can change perspectives I planned to post once a day in September. Hence 30 days of gratitude. But September was so busy - we were sick, we recovered, we got sick again, there was a party to organise, a birthday to celebrate and somewhere in the middle was the sorting, cleaning and decluttering of Spring. So gratitude is spilling over into October which, I think, can only be a good thing.

I know I have posted this photo of blessing bracelets before. But I am so grateful to Kali Wendorf, editor of Kindred magazine, for publishing this photo with my story "Blessing Your Way".

I first read Kindred when I was pregnant. I was always comforted by the fact that every article written about pregnancy confirmed that it is a natural event and not a medical condition. Kindred magazine "one family, one world" is passionate about natural parenting and sustainable living. The articles are diverse and inspiring, detailing the difficulty and the joy in raising a child in today's world. After reading every edition I feel so reassured about my parenting journey and the way Daniel and I have chosen to raise Che. It's nice to know that so many other parents are opting to embrace the organic, natural, simple life and to raise their children in a natural and 'child-friendly' environment.

After all, "How we treat the child, the child will treat the world" (Pam Leo, author of Connection Parenting).

I was most inspired by Kali's editorial Man and the Machine. It sings so loud the truth about the 'other mother' in our children's lives - the big mother known as nature. Such an honest teacher...the best playmate. Please read it.

If you are new to Kindred and would like to read a few articles you can download the most recent edition here. I promise you, you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


If you watch this little orange guy you will notice that he is practicing a series of yoga asanas (postures). This series is called a sun salutation (surya namaskara) or "salute to the sun".

Surya Namaskara is a series of postures linking breath with movement. An uplifiting, flowing sequence that expands energy in the body. It is traditionally performed facing east at sunrise. An acknowledgement and greeting to the sun - the physical and spiritual heart of the world.

108 is a significant number in yoga. There are 108 beads on a mala (a garland of prayer beads used to count while repeating a mantra), 108 sacred points on the body, 108 sacred sites in India. Vedic mathemeticians believe 108 connects the Sun and Moon to the Earth - the average distance of the Sun and the Moon to Earth is 108 times their respective diameters.

On October 22nd at 6am I will greet the sun 108 times. I will be joined by yogis Australia and world-wide as we connect for the YogaAid challenge. An opportunity to take yoga into the streets and the parks and onto the beaches, to raise awareness to a number of wonderful charities.

I will be raising money for the Save The Children fund and I need your help.

If you would like to support me and donate to an amazing charity please click here and press 'donate' next to Jodi Wilson.

Very special thankyous to hazyjane and hoppo bumpo for their donations. Thanks lovelies...much appreciated.

And just so you know...I've never practiced 108 sun salutations before. Ever. So for me it's a first. And no doubt, for days afterwards, I will feel all that beautiful warmth from the sun and all those muscles that have been resting for far too long. I am excited...and a little daunted.