Time can seem to be an enemy, but is such a great teacher too…Sometimes in those beautiful dawn celebrations, watching the sun rise out of the ocean, time stands still for a moment and there is clarity and everything seems as it should be. Then the day goes on in relevance and irrelevance – a dance in trying to keep it real.
We live on the Gold Coast now, the place I grew up, the place that I struggled to keep my identity intact as I grew through adolescence and there was so much influence and pressure to ‘be a certain way’. The Gold Coast is famous not only for it’s beautiful beaches and surf, but for casinos, night-clubs and plastic surgery. There’s an influence, no doubt, and it’s not always a healthy one!
As Pacha travels through the big transition of teenage-hood, I’m aware of balancing the influences and reminding ourselves about who we are and why we are here! Surfing has been a constant anchor for her - to nature and to freedom and empowerment - take a look here!
A couple of weeks ago we were invited to take part in a deep ecology women’s retreat, co-facilitated by the ocean and an amazing team of wise and empowering women. It felt like a warm embrace – nurturing and accepting of who you are, no matter where you are on your life’s journey. There were new tools to help stay true to yourself and negotiate life’s ‘dramas’ and deep (re)connections to other women from different places. I’m so grateful to Eshana who has created the beautiful Foresthaven retreat centre with her partner Peter Cumming - I hope to work with them in the future inviting people along for deep ecology workshops – perhaps from Japan?
I watched as Pacha peeled off the layers of other people’s expectations of her to come back to her core – an exuberant, joyful, free spirit – strong in body and mind. We all jumped into a raging ocean, attempting to stand on our surfboards – asking the powerful waves to be kind to us since we are only feeble humans, being tumbled and turned and rinsed out… refreshed!
In the meantime, Yani got to stay with his great inspiration, Rasta - musician, activist and one of the best free surfers on the planet. Yani came home with renewed sense of peace – a steady calm and inexplicable faith that he could make his own good story, following his heart – in service to life…
The following weekend, we travelled to another surf competition near Coffs Harbor and were able to reconnect with a rainforest activist friend that I hadn’t seen for 20 years! Andy and his teenage son, Finn, live on a most beautiful intentional community – just minutes walk from the wild ocean in the middle of a national park. Self-sufficient in energy and water, lots of good healthy local food and a community that celebrates together and supports each other…it was another heartening reminder that there are many ways that humans can survive and thrive into the future.
So, even though we are based on the Gold Coast, we are so lucky to have wonderful friends, family and long, strong connections with the people here who stand up to protect the natural beauty of the place culturally and environmentally). Last weekend we were invited to attend the 25th anniversary celebration of the GECKO (our local environment group) – which happened to coincide with the 15th anniversary celebration of the Sloth Club at Café Slow! The highlight for me was going along with my Mum (who received an award for her environment work) and my sister – and remembering the many, many campaigns over the years and the wonderful people we’ve shared them with!