A Passion for Peace

Responsibility, respect and a loving connection with all beings and for this Earth we share.

And now we are here.

So now we're in Australia. After physically arriving it tends to take me a week to feel my mind and body are back in sync and gather what I need around me and feel settled in. I found a salt lamp shop in Sydney and for me that is immensely necessary in a small room with a 60-inch TV. Before the lamp, it felt like a wave of energy attacking me such that I couldn't even have it on in the room. Ah, the life of a canary. Lots of sage-burning, sleeping with crystals, spending time with trees and animals also helps me. Last week to find the spot for our Engagement Party we walked through the largest park in the city and saw an orange-bellied bat colony amid a grove of paperbark trees. It was so heavenly! (Bark from a gum tree, looks scribbles to me)
I have grown pretty tired of cities. Of course there are exciting things such as our symphony visit at the famous Sydney Opera House, finding dosas in a South Indian restaurant, a funky old-school-style dress while op-shopping (thrifting) and looking forward this week to visiting a contemporary art museum, but mostly I prefer the company of trees to buildings. My favorite visits in most cities are to their parks. This past weekend we took a trip to the Blue Mountains a few hours outside the city where we hiked, did some canyoning and rappelling led by Luke's outdoorsy brother, and successfully searched for kangaroos and wallabies so I could see some in the wild finally. (Which also means I saw wallaby roadkill for the first time too.) (Photo: kangaroo sighting!)

When we were in Santiago I felt so at ease compared to the rest of our initial landings in the cities of central and South America. It is much more similar to the US in my estimation, and looking around at friendly, overweight people, streets full of shopping, McDonald's and Pizza Hut's and people fiddling with their fancy PDA's all around me, I felt simultaneously comfortable and at ease, and also uncomfortable that this was what felt comfortable to me. Soon after arriving I did my first Vipassana meditation retreat: 10 days without speaking, two vegetarian meals daily (a bit hard for gluten- and dairy-free especially when people act out a bit of a group dynamic feeding frenzy), and 10-14 hours a day of meditating, or at least sitting still with yourself and just being. It was certainly challenging, useful, at times incredibly full of pain, at other moments full of bliss, mind and body heavy and full and busy in periods, and clear and light and quiet in others...a grab-bag. The idea of sitting still and not becoming overwhelmed or scared by your pain or attached to or chasing your pleasure but just being with whatever is there is very appealing as a practice and a life philosophy. Very restorative-sounding, and restoring is exactly what I need lately before additional South America adventuring and US visa waiting... (Photo: drawing of a tiger I made)

Posted byValerie at 6:38 PM  

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