Early June and there were frantic scenes as I gathered resources, filled baskets, shuffled paper and hurried off to a destination that my GPS failed to know. With my synchronicity machine humming, I impulsively took a leap of faith, sent an email to a sustainable community that a friend mentioned (because of their hemp buildings), and arrived a few days later at Billen Cliffs, Sundara Retreat. Their meditation, vegetarian meals, and sustainable community were the lure of this adventure. I hoped to write and learn how to meditate. Lofty ideals really!
My 5 day journal …..By choosing the road less traveled, the dangers of missing sign posts becomes a greater possibility. If the vision outside is comfortable, it often reinforces that we know the path. It may not be as interesting but it is familiar. Today I ventured off the beaten track through winding hills, dirt roads, and previously unexplored terrain. Sundara Retreat was a tranquil sounding place, buried within a community removed from all others and functioning as a refuge for people who want a different kind of existence for themselves and their families. It began some 30 years ago away from the rainbow town of Nimbin, yet close enough to share their colours.
My navigational aids refused to register the locality and discussions with 4 folk on the road failed to send me with expediency to my destination. What did this mean? I created stories about why no one speaks its name …so only the ‘enlightened ones’ pass through the gates? By sheer process of elimination, unit 25 came into view. A narrow track wrapped in vegetation welcomed me to my 5 day retreat. Initially the ‘visitors only’ sign sounded a touch aggressive, but a private road with no exit needs rules I decided in its defense. My little car was the perfect arrival vehicle, anything else would have bulldozed the delicate overhang that cocooned the driveway. Peace flags that were once a colourful welcome now flew with aged bleaching. It was comforting that they had been doing their job, years before my visit.
Govinda extended his cold gardening hands in welcome. His beanie warmed his ears but his eyes needed so such accessory. His german accent was soft and unhurried in its delivery. Together we explored my home for 5 days, turning knobs and switches, lighting the gas with explanation of the ‘lie of the land’. Before the day light went to some other place, we wandered the garden, visited their Hindu Temple and discovered the house that Govinda had built with his own hands more than 20 years ago.
With the car unpacked and my simple provision stowed, the little gas heater blazed in the corner, its safety compliance a mere technicality overlooked! I consciously kept the door unlocked ready for an escape hatch. In reality a bomb is hard to run from. Leaving the door ajar for leaking gas was not instigated in 8 degree temperatures either. My ‘Gypsy Girl’ tea, nuts, fruit and rice crackers seemed a suitably simple dinner. The heater glowed and complimented my ugg boots, down jacket and fleecy everything else. Govinda popped in a couple of times. His courteous gentle knocks were barely audible over my soft music and reading intensity. Our discussion centred around me knowing that my consciousness had been awakened, but I couldn’t make sense of the rest. I wanted time to unlock the mystery of a secret, to discover my unconscious self. I struggled to explain to Govinda the overwhelming emotion of feeling incredibly ungrateful that my wonderful life was still lacking something.
Govinda returned, pleased with his selection of a book for me from his library. ‘A New Earth: Awakening to your life’s purpose’ by Eckhart Tolle. (The cover was familiar. We have it at home, still unread to the end). His kind eyes searched mine while he talked. He waited like a practiced psychologist for me to move the conversation on. We decided on an 11 o’clock meeting in the temple, when it was warmer. To meditate with a slowed heart apparently encourages icicles to form.
I loaded the bed with pillows, peeled off my day clothes and replaced them with night layers. Two woolen blankets, a doona and a spare quilt coat my bed. Socks and down jacket gave me confidence of a warm slumber. As is the case with most night reads, the end came quickly. I promised to avoid my watch, but habit intervened, and a glance announced 9 o’clock. As I pulled the heavy layers of bedding up to my chin, I thought … toughen up!
Snuggled with my dreams, a resident possum decided to scratch on the roof as though it was his dinner delight. Without street lights the darkness was complete. Instinctively I shone my head torch up to the ceiling to pinpoint the disturbance. Possum boy was unperturbed. His antics reminded me of Bella preparing a comfy bed on the hard marble by scratching a nest for herself. A wander outside confirmed the noise was overhead, genius, and that was was still 8 degrees. Freezing in terms of a body dressed in light pj’s. Awake again after 15 minutes of calling the day quits. Who wrote ‘everything is an opportunity’! With head torch blazing and ol’ mate clawing his way through the roof tiles, (his idea not mine) I reopened my reading assignment and continued. What serendipity to be given another 2 hours of useful moments of clarity to write up the first day of this unexplored passage of my life.
Early day 2, and the darkness of the night was only visible when you’re awake. A trip to the outside loo was more tedious than usual. The drop toilet was a tinker-less invention, what a revelation at 3 am. Beside the sliding door is the thermometer, the constant reminder of the chill. Finally light ushered in the day. I determined that the bird life was frozen and their muffled songs were from some brave frost resistant varieties. How can feet stay like ice blocks under socks, blankets plural, and 3 layers of folded quilt. My departing message to Burnsie was ‘keep the home fires burning, and I’ll be back to warm my feet’ … I had no inkling that my extremities would struggle as a result of this sentiment. A little hammer of a thought to wrap my toes in my down vest was not instigated.
Outside the day was so still, the banana leaf sails were completely lifeless. The garden sat like it was in a staring competition and it knew it would win. Nothing stirred. It was like a time warp here. No hustle and bustle introduced the day, just calm and inactivity. Time to be.
Over my pj’s I layered fleecy everything, and shared my tea with the heater. My toes toasted in front of the gas burner, pure luxury as a result of childhood admonishment when the practice was band. My homework from Govinda was his book, our book actually. We both own one. My gem of enlightenment sleeps on my desk at home. A faint flicker of familiarity ensured I did open the front cover. This morning was like camping in a valley. You know the day will be beautiful when the sun eventually gets into your shadow. A canopy of forest veiled the blue sky that spread above. 9am and 4 degrees. My forest home enveloped me in a microcosm of arctic.
Porridge with brown sugar sprinklings, served from the pot. It felt deliriously ‘against the rules’, and tasted significantly hotter than if I hadn’t. Making the bed with only half disturbed was quite a lonely moment. No gay abandonment and luxuriating in total bed greed. I blamed the cold and ignored the conditioning of marriage. By 11 am I had climbed the steep road to the nature reserve, and enjoyed the call of the whip birds, a visit from a wallaby and sighting of a kookaburra. Lantana had spread its feral self all through the valley below and beyond. The land felt neglected.
Would you like to do a Re-birthing … uuummmm … What time?
Govinda waited at our prearranged time. He welcomed me into his Hindu temple with great reverence. After the candles were lit, he delivered a most harmonic, guttural, vibrating chant and instructed me to summons the ‘wise one’ to hear our hopes. I rang the hand bell with self-conscious vigor. Its chime was hard to ignore. Waking the dead came to mind!!
In the coldness of this sparse space, I lay down on a mat with blankets covering my still body. The machine that helps balance the body’s chi, acted under my ankles to motion my feet to rock and relax. I wondered if my sister, Jano knew her identical machine had ‘special powers’….. we had simply enjoyed its rhythmic sway that encouraged body calm. What follows was my ‘re birthing’ experience, written without judgment, understanding or consideration. It was just this.
Relaxing, letting go, submitting. Balancing chi and me concentrating on my breath. My command was to witness the breath as it flowed in and out. Drawing energy ‘in’ and releasing unwanted things ‘out’. Wanderings of my attention just demanded that I come back to my breath. A focal point, a position of neutrality, the beginning and end point. It was a challenge to follow Govinda’s directions with a busy brain. With drumming and chanting, singing and music, an old tape recorder delivered an interplay of moods. My conscious mind was wondering if the bumbling cassette changes and aged tracks would inhibit ‘the event’.
It is hard to give this experience words that others could hear with the intended meaning. As my body relaxed, there was a tingling presence of awareness of my arms, legs, torso and head. Much like a controlled yoga relaxation class. Govinda radiated words of light and brilliance entering through my feet and shining through my spine. A lotus flower with a million lights illuminating my head, brain and all the pathways. I imagined his words. This sensation was powerfully strengthening.
My mind was struggling for an escape hatch. It was goading me, challenging and mocking in equal proportions. My concentration was reducing my thoughts to wander elsewhere but seriously nothing arrived …. maybe less brain banter but no inspiration! Govinda had said go with your thoughts. Mine were just articulating ‘shut up and stay focused’. My head voice was wondering if anyone would ‘show up’. Then came this overwhelming experience. I saw myself in colours of vivid purples and bright fuchsia, veiled with gold adornment, nothing particular but doubtless in my mind, a goddess. I sat with crossed legs and understood that my purpose here was to be given great gifts of ultimate knowledge from elders generations old. Their wisdom was being passed on to me with tremendous emotional gratitude. Tears rolled into my ears, my humbleness tightened my throat. I was truly overwhelmed with this extraordinary trust of being this chosen girl. My body shook and trembled uncontrollably. There was no sense of fear, just privilege and incredible personal strength. I felt the passing of all that they knew to me.
I could hear myself saying, ‘what’s all this … and who sent this television series to me’. But the story continued. Once this feeling of transformation finished, I was illuminated in whiteness, with doves of peace, and a knowing that I had received this gift. I sat with reverence, not for myself. It wasn’t about me personally. It felt larger than self. I know this is sounding B grade movie, but I walked with steps of a person entrusted with a secret. I knew other who needed me would recognize this gift and ask for it. It mattered not that all people understood this. There was no ego. No vision of doing good or saving souls. My bestowed wisdom was simply available when it was ready to be heard, and then it would be significant and serve ‘God’ …. I don’t know why I picked this word. I imagined my wise ones were eastern gurus, draped in red and yellow, faceless maybe Buddhist. I walked with spiritual grace, high in my own sense of being (whatever that means) Regal, proud, confident and humble.
Once the ceremony was finished, I danced like a whirling belly dancer, whimsical in movement with soft chiffon floating through my heaven lifted arms. Gentle folds of lustrous costume told the story of a celebration. It was spiritual, joyous yet controlled. The radiance in my heart was for everyone.
There were 3 times that my chest heaved and tears flowed. The specifics are lost. I knew that I had done enough and the last few sessions of music, chants, and mood were ignored. My mind was trying to make sense of the huge emotion generated. My body was layered with multiple blankets, yet my body shook with chill. There were shudders in my chest as though I had jumped into a cold shower, but my feet and hands were cosy. The sensation was like a movie scene that seems to affect your core and freezes your heart.
When I opened my eyes, I felt I had been on a journey. It had all the drama and paragraphs of a thrilling book. Govinda simply said … ‘quite a journey hey?’ All I could do was nod. He left me with an empty circle on a piece of paper and instructed me to draw without thinking. What emerged was a goddess with bestowed wisdom and gratitude. So what to make of this ….? After I relayed my experience to Govinda he nodded in his quiet way and said …’ trust your inner voice’.
By session end, I was ready for a cuppa tea and a fridge full of food. Journeying is hungry work. ! Nearly 2 hours of my non refundable life time had wandered past ‘without’ a blink. After a visit to their library, I grabbed nuts and fruit, strapped on my walking shoes and retraced my car drive to the main entrance. Along the way was an invitation to Saturday’s coffee club, and another for the community Bush Dance, both posted on chalk boards.
The incomplete hall reflected a money drought in the community. It was an imposing structure in size. I reasoned that less may have been finished. Bundles of size specific firewood was scattered orderly across the grassed area ready for the social event of the year. By chance I arrived at the bus shelter as the children tumbled out of the bus. 3 different buses transport some of the 60 children living in this community (of 115 plots of 2 acres each). All this was gleaned from a dad I met waiting for his children. He suggested that the community works well for kids: multiple mums to oversee them, play mates on tap, support for young families, a quick phone call for help, dinner or school collection. In the last 5-6 years young families have proliferated and the community fabric alters as a result of the cycle of life.
Back home and 4 pm felt like day’s end. As the sun left and the night chill seeped into the valley, my down jacket was zipped neck high. Within moments, I had abandoned my verandah writing and lit the gas heater. The door was quickly closed to thwart the bush turkey and retain the warmth. Dinner of Pumpkin soup, sour dough toast followed by a good borrowed book. ‘Noice’
Day 3 arrived and I woke with the luxurious feeling of being snug. How delicious.!
My eyes scanned the day. Grey, not too early and really still. For the first time I noticed the kitchen: salmon pink, neat business like. Just the basics, no frills and no need. Lots of plans for the day were vacillating. Should I consider ‘doing’ stuff, or just ‘being’. Like all hard decisions, I simply started the day and waited for inspiration. Heater and tea in that order with rambling pages of sustainable community reflection for company. Porridge and mandarins for breakfast. Not exactly tantalizing but happy enough. Initially I thought my humble food gathering looked a little sparse, but I won’t starve and shall probably take some home…. the ‘loaves and fishes’ story.
The dreaded shower loomed. Great hot water, but a challenge to regulate and precious. Was that the rain water … or me? Housework was ticked off, and the morning refused to kick start with any solar warming. With puffy down jacket zipped, I wondered how the monks in the monasteries float around in cotton robes of nothing much. I decided to work on my meditation time in the temple. The incense reminded me of my visit yesterday.
Religion is a weird thing. Today, I again found myself in a foreign domain. Alter gifts, idols, symbolic paintings, flowers and candles. I was in no mans land, somewhere between self and others. People talk of the spiritual presence in places of worship. It captures me when I go to church and become inexplicably chocked as I attempt to sing hymns. The well of tears and tightness in my throat was here again. I have never properly contemplated the reason. This kingdom belongs to someone else, yet I find its sacredness emotional.
I appropriately thanked the ones who listen to good intentions. I asked (whoever was available for listening … probably just me) ‘what I needed to know’ for myself. Sitting on the beautifully laid out cushions looked more comfortable than my knees thought it would be so I decided to lie down. This usually signaled quieter mind time. I unfolded my body flat with my head resting on the hard matting. I bound my feet with a rug and when there was nothing else to adjust, I committed to time listening to my breathing. It was like wanting to pick up sounds in the darkness, so you just fabricate it. Interestingly, I seemed to be tuned into the ‘chatter station’, possibly on short 15 second jingles. The only rescue remedy was “returning my attention to the breath” … Govinda’s mantra to me.
With closed eyes and attention diverted away from my cold feet, it was immediately obvious that my mind was in gymnastic mode. Huge exhalations released the air that was caught behind my clenched teeth. From yesterday’s class I revisited the washing of the imaginary waves over my body, then I watched my unwanted baggage tumble back into the sea. My exhale saw an art work of objects roll away under the outgoing tide. The wave pattern aligned with my rate of breathing. The in-breath began as lifeful bubbly foam and then morphed into a snug blanket being tenderly tucked right up under my chin. I was taken my the cosy-ness and security. Tight and tidy. I felt cocooned. Then the most amazing moment began. My grandma, Gar, bent down and and kissed my forehead, like she did when we were little. I got misty relating this, but my eyes filled with tears as an immediate reaction to the memory. The radiance of love was as if she had hugged me close to her bosom. This was my grandmother who had the wisdom to share quality time with us; with bubble baths, powder puffs, canasta card games, family dinners, corn beef sandwiches and school lunch pies on rainy days. I had asked for wisdom and Gar arrived! At that moment I believed she was my guardian angel. She smiled at me as though she had revealed her true identity to me. An old soul doing her work. I cried almost for the ignorance of not knowing her. She was an undercover agent! Shamefully I said to myself, no wonder she always seemed to win the raffle, she was psychic! With this explosion of emotion, my meditation time was completely ambushed.
The day continued with ice-blocks attached to the clouds. It was too unpleasant in the shadowy valley, so I decided to visit the permaculture garden at Nimbin. Nimbin never fails to surprise me and I knew what to expect. Shop fronts with 70’s bill boards, heritage listed, looked faded and jaded just like the faces that peak from colourful human head gear. The cold brought fashion statements of colourful varieties of winter apparel. My overwhelming vision was grey hair, a lost ‘war’, disappointment and no zest. Sparks from the young and the visiting brightened the street. A modern cafe served organic food piled high.
My lunch was a fantasy of colourful rainbows intertwined through my salad and vegetable lasagna. Without a hint of self consciousness, I flashed my lunch with my camera. It appeared that the chef knew my cabin rations were a little inadequate.
As coincidence would have it, I rang Govinda to find him 20 metres away. We greeted and slapped each others backs like old friends. His turban hat, stripped shirt, comfy pants, choker and gypsy belt was a costume perfect for the street. Together we visited the Nimbin permaculture garden. Today was their open day:
Food, fire, ecological and sustainability talks, a band of 2, a ferret, a pet bird. Tidy permaculture vegetable beds, happy ducks, glamorous chooks, ugly and not so white pigs, stands of bamboo and mud. It had everything! Permaculture students had prepared the day, presenting their work with obvious pride. My orderly brain was hushed over weeds, piles of ‘you never know it might be useful’ junk, wonky fences, and the long list of more to do. Maybe I can never be on the land!
Home from Nimbin, via Stoney Shute Road. Another new route. It was like snakes and ladders when you consulted a road map here. Mountains and rocky escarpments conquer and divide communities.There seemed to be secret roads with no destination marked. The drive through curvaceous bends and hilly farmland was picturesque in the falling daylight. Darkness arrived as we parked. First job, the gas heater, second the fleecy pants and third, ugg boots. The rain began to bucket down. The community bush dance might have issues with lighting their gigantic bonfire. The rain had invited the clouds to blanket the earth. Dinner was pear and cheese, walnuts and mandarin. Not exactly a hearty meal, but suitable just the same. My dismissive daydream about buying chocolate turned out to be a nightmare mistake.
Day 4 Sunday 12 June 2011. The rain began some time after dark the night before. Its falling muffled all outside noise, like a cone of silence. The Bush Dance happened without us. Julie had mentioned drugs, drinks and them not going in the same breath. I followed suit. Sometime during bed sleep, I woke to talk my bladder down and opened my eyes to complete darkness. To avoid waking myself up, I usually refuse to let the light hit my eyes as it seems to be the ignition switch to my brain. I remembered thinking how crazy that open or closed eyes produced the same outcome. Black!
My morning visit to Julie allowed me to see her cosy house with potbelly stove, walls stacked with books and tapes, stained glass windows and jars of produce lining the kitchen. We chattered about the community and the challenges associated with it. Issued endemic to all societies are alive and well here too: frustration, expectation, judgment, annoyance, thoughtlessness and selfish behaviour. I felt a little shattered to be honest. Somehow I envisaged a more harmonious life, free of pettiness and trivial disquiet. Oh well. It is hopeful to be idealistic that others have found a better way to live. In reality it is just different.
Julie explained the meditative processes, and there are many: from breath awareness, candle visualization, music, chants, tapes of guiding words and walking. She took me through a directed meditation sitting on a chair. This avoided crossing my inflexible legs on a pillow or lying downs. A horizontal position often begins with good intentions but usually results in slumber! How did she know? My bobbing head signaled meditation failure. I felt that I had been ‘away’ (possibly asleep) as opposed to enjoying a mystical carpet ride. My body felt calm and heavy, similar to an afternoon snooze … oopps!
Next was meditative walking, thoughtful feet placement in slow considered motion, using kimono wearing size steps. Taking your awareness to the floor and noticing it relationship to your body weight was surprisingly enjoyable. Was it the balancing challenge that created interest and produced motivation? In a spiritual blink, 3 hours had past. Life could be fleeting with all this inward attention. The rain continued to drizzle down. Monstrous leaves acted like drum kits with collective water droplets poring off tree leaves and beating their arrival below. In this sanctuary, the world sits apart from here and me.
All afternoon, Louie’s Hays’ book, ‘The Power is Within You‘, told its story to me. My writing pad filled with scratchings of shared clarity, and wisdom worth remembering. Cups of tea, baked beans, avocado and nuts fueled the body and the heater warmed the cottage to a comfortable temperature. At 6pm, buttered mushrooms called my name. Darkness descended early and my watch was quite irrelevant for my schedule. The little music box pumped out happy tunes in the enclosed space and it felt like real company . A silent retreat with music smuggled in is a good compromise.
Day 4 Monday and murky light greeted my eyes. Had the rain stopped at all last night? 7am and my morning unfolded with the thrill of lighting the gas burner, boiling the pot and layering my body with clothes. The next fun was a visit to the tinker-less toilet and then to my writing chair. My enthusiasm to get on with the piles of book to review was proportional to the window of retreat time that was quickly closing. I can’t imagine maintaining my focus elsewhere, hence the positive urgency.
Comfort food arrived in the form of porridge, and eggs followed when a reward was required and there was no cake. By 11 am I have mastered the speed shower, reviewed another book and trundled up to the temple to meet Julie. Her offer of healing hands sounded intriguing. We agreed to a 2pm date.
With umbrella in hand, I ignored all my rain gear and headed off to circumnavigate the ring road. Within minutes my socks are squelched. A big black umbrella completely co-ordinates my attire…. black everything, including the weather. The community signs have numbers and colours to assist in unraveling the labyrinth of paths. Sadly, my intuition failed me and my main road ended at someone’s front door. Pockets of homes, paddocks of ponies, ponds, and wilderness are dotted along my path and behind private lane ways. Solar panels, water tanks and creative homemade architecture keep my interest between puddle jumps. Living in this community is about a road less traveled, and one rarely paved.
After 2 hours I had returned to home base, pleased that I had arrived to shake out the ‘brollie’ and position my wet feet in front of the gas. My 4 days of vegetarianism ended with tuna salad.
My time with Julie was not very informative, but her meditative words created a relaxed hour or 2. Soft healing hands, aromatherapy, heated room, all good. The rain continued to fall. I wondered if I would be hemmed in with flooded culverts. Tonight I had to review 2 books, listen to a yoga tape, and read about a yogi master. How was that going to work without coffee, sugar or chocolate? In a moment of clarity, I realized I had the raw ingredients for glazed sugar almonds. What a magician … or was it desperate cabin fever behaviour!
My tuna & avocado dip straight out of the can was a mish-mash of delicacies, but I have long thrown away my chef’s cap in this secret kitchen. The book, Saving our Adolescents, was a sobering reminder of the enormity of raising well adjusted children. I cry as words resonate with me as a parent and a teacher of adolescent students. Some tears for intuitive success but the most for heart felt words that remind me of my human frailties. My ignorance , my unknowing, my immature wisdom that created a bumpy road for the ones I love the most. I now acknowledge my inner motive to collaborate stories from others about parenting. I feel a greater knowing will come for myself and I want to share it with others who need to know these truths. I go to bed with my head swimming with good intentions. To finish off the day’s reading, I complete The Slippery Years, a laughable tale of a mum and her 9 year old son, whose closeness pounds my heart
The final day 5 Tuesday arrived after a fitful night’s sleep. For the first time, I quickly closed the door after a loo visit, to keep out the darkness that now scared me. I ponder my distressed state and ruminate about the benefit of contemplation! Finally I heard the birds call to announce the rain had stopped and the day had begun. I felt grateful that the veil of grey had been removed and today was like a fresh start. I stripped my bed, but intentionally left my personal packing to avoid the signal of completion. There was a letter to write to our children.
Dear Alex, Jarrah, Mitchell
Earlier in the month I found myself sitting in a Hindu Temple on the last day of a 5 day retreat. The sun was streaming in after many days constant rain. I decided to write a letter to you while I was zen-ed! It has taken 2 weeks to type it up!
To my little darlings …
This temple sits in a sustainable community outside … Nimbin!! It has an enormous cross section of folk both spiritual, environmental, conscious thinkers, and brain damaged pot heads. From the stories that I heard from the community, it made me appreciate that all of us are living our lives as best we can. To notice in ourselves our good fortune, our limiting personal beliefs and tapping into our emotions for guidance is a great skill in a world of pace, gadgetry and pressure to be ‘doing’.
Sitting still gives answers to things that feel out of reach in our busy lives. It can give a compass to what we really want and helps aligns us with the core belief of ourselves. I came here to find time to write and research a book idea about Parenting Adult Children, more of a collection of wisdom from others… and to learn to meditate. I knew when I left there I would loose some clarity and reconnect with the frenetic mental gymnastics that we all do plotting our next moves.
The wisdom I share is about ‘presence’. Feeling the moments that pass and taking time to know the happiness, pride, joy, thrills that wrap around you…. and identify the sadness,hurt, confusion, disappointment, resentment, disillusionment too. By listening to your inner self, the outer will respond. Be the people your hearts know you are and the rest will unfold in the way synchronicity occurs. Be open to opportunity and go with your instinct and nurture your intuition. If it feels too hard, too wrong, too uncomfortable look somewhere else. Your life’s path should be effortless when you find your passion.
All our journeys are created to teach us things about ourselves. Some are harder to learn than others. To ignore the lesson sometimes involves repeating the failure. No experience is truly bad, it’s just something to take wisdom from in the future. To question … what did I have to learn by going through this? builds awareness and a new path forward. To get a different outcome, you have to do something different.
I want to find the words to say how fabulous you are, each in your own unique way. Know that you are well loved and respected as the fine adults you have become. Take care to nurture yourselves and guard against powerful personalities and hectic living that can derail your authentic self.
Love Mum xxx
P.S I haven’t danced off with the fairies or changed my name to ‘Ashanti’ … but I could!