Nurture is my word for 2016.

I’m all about exhorting the power of nature, how a good dose of wilderness can belittle petty life concerns and leave you revitalised.  The word nurture though can be slightly bent on that and brings in variants of human nature.

Nurture is ‘my word’ for 2016.  Its trendy to choose a word, on instagram anyway to reflect how you want to live/ feel/ act and it’s a lot more simplified than a list of new years resolutions which I have in my head, but are becoming depressingly familiar.  The unpublished novel manuscript to scrub up, that’s one that has been around for a while and it feels like it is coming to a head.  I’m nurturing it this year, not “publishing” it, but bloody hope to get somewhere close to publication in some shape or form.

As always, nurturing extends to family and to get the most value out of the super nurturing mother bear I aim to be, the bear gets to be nurtured first.  That means all things healthy and energising (like lots of time in nature…) and a whole bunch of other things I have worked out that make me feel cuddly.  Its good to remember those things and schedule them in with all the daily crap to keep the beast calm.  For example tonight I have a pilates class scheduled and I could so easily pull the pin on it because the father bear will not be home and its not exactly a budget necessity or great timing with children’s readers to do etc, but how great does it make me feel!  It has to be prioritised.  Where there is a will there’s a way (and a nurtured, nurturing wild women).  We can be great shufflers of the stuff of our lives!

And here is my best nurturing snack for now, taken from a mate’s sisters blog which has some weird and wonderful ideas for nourishing food.  This recipe, you can take my word for, is family friendly and moorish.  Thank you Roasted Turmeric and Chilli Cashews by the Holistic Ingredient – YUM.

And from my kitchen a nurturing family fave in Autumn:

Spontaneous Apple Crumble

  • Peel and slice one apple per desert eater.  I used 3 motley windfall apples from the garden.
  •  Divide the sliced apple between small ramekin dishes (or one bigger one).
  • Mix equal parts plain wholemeal flour, brown sugar and muesli in a bowl ( I used about a tbsp each for 3 people).
  •  Add enough cold butter (about 50g for 3 serves) and rub ingredients together with fingertips.
  • Evenly distribute crumble mix over apple.
  • Pop in a moderate oven 180 deg.
  • Cooks in about 20 mins, enough time to get in pj’s and read a picture book.

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Being ‘deeply’ seen.

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It is the year 2015 and I’m in love with this year.  And that is not because it has been a particularly lucky year, a prosperous year, nor has it been my most memorable year to date.  There has not been any intense life defining moments, like the birth of a child or a career change.  It has simply been months of time like turned pages in an novel.  One that I’ve spent some time reading passages of, making sure I’m in sync with the narrative.  Making sense of the day to day and being thankful for the ordinary.

Status Update: this morning I went for a run into the Rocky Cape National Park, from the Sisters Beach boat ramp inland, past the Doone Falls turn-off and onto the untouched sand of Anniversary Bay on low tide.  It was an hour of BREATHING, blood pulsing and scrub sounds in the periphery of my twittering thoughts.  There were meditative moments, but I was surprised at how much my head rambled with other stuff and feet hurt.

I was more numb than I would’ve liked to be, alone in the muted- green rolling landscape with the foreboding wind of a low front pushing me from behind.  My solo presence did bring me closer to many birds going about their morning flight.  I had eye contact with a Robin red breast and low flying Pacific gull.  Did a yoga stretch on the sand, alongside feathered friends.  Wiggled my cold feet one at a time, balancing on the shoreline and ran like a mad thing back to the car.

With lunch, I watched Brene` Brown on YouTube.  There are a few TED talks I’ve been checking out, as recommended on Brain Pickings.  So I sucked back a Chai and thought about ‘honouring the ordinary’, as inspired by her words, something I’ve nattered about with my sister before in general conversation and probably also here.  Us saying ‘yer think?’ about how it’s nice to elevate everyday moments in photography and art in general.  And Brene`, pronounced with the same sound as Renee if you’re wondering, is a researcher who looks at how humans numb fear and pain in place of allowing vulnerability to be seen.  Her analysis suggests that we can not numb one emotion exclusively, so when we numb eg. fear, we are also numbing joy.  We numb with medication, food and booze to name a few?  Exercise endorphins too?

It got me thinking back to my status update (which I did not post to FB because I’m too vulnerable? for that?), about running in the bush and along the empty beach, feeling a bit numb and sore in spots, and ordinary when I might have preferred some kind of spiritual renaissance of ‘my persona’ in that wild and wonderful place.  Nah, but it was beautiful.  It always is having that space and connection to the elements, only I might better celebrate my vulnerability, living with it.

Tan framed with morning cuppa

What’s your next best move, baby-cakes?

Have you felt like you could choose to do one thing that will lead down one track; another thing and there’s a new trail, with a whole different vibe and crew along for the ride?

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Crater Lake, Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania. The cool kids.

There is often a really clear answer to a question like “what’s your next best move, baby-cakes”?  You just automatically make choices.

Have you ever felt your options open up a “sliding doors” kind- of movie moment (you remember the fab film with Gwnyneth, the defining moment which lead to romance, an alternative life?).

Have you felt like you could choose to do one thing that will lead down one track; another thing and there’s a new trail, with a whole different vibe and crew along for the ride?

There’s that kind of liveliness about the regional coastal area where I’m living in Tasmania at the moment, autumn is just filled with events ( and the usual regional social ‘bobs your uncle’ go- to’s) every weekend.  Choose between a funky musical/ story-telling event like, the bighart Acoustic Life of Sheds Project, or go along to your neighbours Body Shop party.  Like I said, some decisions are easily made, but have you stopped to wonder just how much you’ve actually changed the course of your life at times…

Jane's Shed, photographed spectacularly by Hannah Sadler, March 21, 2015.
Jane’s Shed, photographed spectacularly by Hannah Sadler, March 21, 2015.

Stop the clock a moment to consider.

This fortunate situation you’re in;  having choice, opportunity and motivation to give new things a whirl.  What are some of the defining turning points of your life to date?  There are no doubt surprising and dumb choices that have each thrown up new experiences in front of your face.  New people, work or travel experiences realigning your trajectory.  Knowledge.

Are you hard-wired for endurance, you stick to a task; perhaps you even have an old grind that has consumed a good part of your life?

Some relationships seem destined to dog you for all your days, others blow in with sweet promise.  Light bright liasions.  Safe people.  Heart pumping people.  Together or alone; the power of places, of stories.  The intricacies of life.  Choices.

How lucky are we?  Having the freedom of choice.

Tasmanian Aboriginal Petroglyphs from the Arthur- Piemen Reserve, like a signpost or a story.  A blog post from pre- colonised Tasmania...
Tasmanian Aboriginal Petroglyphs from the Arthur- Piemen Reserve, like a signpost or a story. A blog post from pre- colonised Tasmania…

For part of my novel redraft (number three) research, I revisited some favourite places on Tasmania’s West Coast recently.  I met some interesting locals and immersed myself in the quiet solitude of the coastline here.  The decision to go down to Arthur River and do this research (adding so much value to my writing practice), was fed from many different moves, sources, people.

It felt like I’d just come from the scrub out onto the beach, with a fresh water source, a sheltered bay close by for shellfish collection and the ultimate hut site with 360 degree views across the landscape.  The petroglyphs were like an ancient cairn.  I was on the right track.  I’d got to the right place for this time, anyway.

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It was arguably my best move, getting my barge arse down to Sundown Point before the business of redraft number 3.