So my treasures,
As I’ve been mentioning here + there + everywhere, we’re moving to Tasmania.
Here’s the five second low-down, and I’ll also share the longer goss if you want to know!
End of January
Lots of reasons, but mostly because we’ve had a great adventure here, and we’re keen for another one before our girls begin school fully.
Here’s the sit-down-over-tea story:
When we first moved to Kuranda, I thought (and hoped) this would be our place for the next twenty years.
I’d also hoped the same thing when we moved back to my hometown of Proserpine when Ostara was born.
We left Proserpine for very good reasons that were also very difficult: my parents separated, it was difficult and painful, there was lots of family drama and we didn’t feel like we had the space and privacy to have our own little peaceful family unit.
Those were the immediate things that pushed us away, but there were also more reasons: I wanted an alternate schooling experience for Ostara that simply wasn’t available in Proserpine. Chris wanted closer access to universities to continue his own studies. We wanted more than what a small country town could provide.
We came to Kuranda primarily for the school.
And there are many, many things I am grateful for about Kuranda. I haven’t had a shit time here by any means.
I’ll get to what I’m grateful about, but here’s why we’re called to leave:
My sweet, intuitive, sensitive husband has been unsettled since we arrived. That dude has proven time and time again that his gut has good wisdom, so when it speaks, we listen.
At first, I rebelled and argued and said No way. Stick it out. I’m never, ever, ever moving again. I don’t want to hear about your feelings.
I felt totally triggered about the whole thing. We had a whole lot of tense, teary conversations in the beginning.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned in relationship counselling is that I can be super skilled in the art of communication blocking – of effectively stopping conversations that I don’t want to have. And that in order to have a deep, intimate relationship, I have to be okay with not being in control of a conversation, and hearing things that might not be comfortable for me. It’s definitely a pattern I picked up in childhood from my parent’s marriage, and it’s something that I’m getting much, much better at. The whole moving thing definitely triggered it in me though.
I was so resolute. I really didn’t want to be compassionate.
I wanted to put my blinkers on. I’m super optimistic and super focussed on my goals (which in this case was to live here for 20 years), sometimes to the detriment of seeing the truth of a situation and being open to other possibilities.
One day, I finally clicked:
There was no reason to say no anymore. What if I just heard what Chris wanted to share? What if I took it into my heart? What if I explored the possibility that we could live somewhere else and that we might be even happier?
It was such a relief to be able to just unconditionally listen to Chris again and hear his truth without my own agenda getting in the way.
It felt like a blessed re-union again, of remembering we are on each other’s team, and we want to see each other happy and successful.
And waddya know, all the issues and concerns he had made total, valid sense.
So we started exploring the idea of moving. At that point, we thought we might return to Canberra where we lived for many years, had a bloody great time and still have our closest friends there.
And then life happened, as it does.
Beth began visiting me in my dreams, and we made the very conscious decision to bring another child into the world. And that in order to do that, we needed stability. We put all moving plans on hold, and became pregnant soon after.
What followed of course was nine months of horrific illness with hyperemesis gravidarum. I did nothing but rock in bed back and forth trying to quell the devastating, crippling nausea. We became intimately acquainted with the emergency ward, and the maternity ward for longer stays. My arms (and nerves) still bear the scars of so many IV needles inserted to get some much needed fluid into my body.
During that whole time, my sweet love was a rock. He was my full-time carer, and a solo dad for Ostara. He did everything, while my only job was to try and force down enough water and food (and keep it down) to keep me and that tiny, twinkling baby inside me alive. We didn’t speak of moving. We didn’t speak of anything, really. I would just cry and tell him how broken I was. And he would tell me that he knew. He would just be with me, not trying to cheer me up, not trying to do anything but accept what was with me.
She was born in a flurry one March evening. Right where she was meant to – in the most wonderful midwife ward in the state. A wise, experienced midwife at one side, our much loved acupuncturist/doula on the other.
And just like that, the hyperemesis gravidarum ebbed away.
Slowly slowly I began finding the shape of myself again now that the great storm had lifted, began plumping up the juices that had drained away.
We began talking about moving again.
We couldn’t decide what on earth we should do. Canberra didn’t feel like the right choice anymore.
One night, when Beth was about six weeks old, we got the call to say my grandmother was nearing the end of her life.
We made a split decision to jump in the car the next day with the kids and drive down the state to visit her, and introduce her youngest great-grandchild to her. We are so grateful we did.
We kept driving, and ended up driving for another couple of days, to get to the Sunshine Coast. The Sunshine Coast felt like the next possible fit.
And we got there, and it was lovely, but it didn’t call to us. The spirits of the land didn’t wrap around our feet and let us know that we belonged there.
So we sat on the patio of the cabin we rented, and watched the cockatoos fly towards the beach at dusk.
We talked and we cuddled that new baby girl of ours, and we simply soaked in the joy of a family holiday.
A reward after one heck of a battle to bring her into the world.
We drove the long, long way home, and decided that since we didn’t know where we were supposed to be, we would stay where we are.
It was all too foggy to see anything but here.
We made plans to renovate. We gardened. We laughed. We watched our newborn baby turn into a chubby sweet faced babe, our girl turn into a long-limbed running kid. We painted rooms.
And then, just like that, the winds changed.
And in the space of a day, the mists opened, and we saw a place we hadn’t even considered before:
Within a month, we’d bought a house there, and sold our Kuranda home.
For the first time, everything flowed. Everything worked. It was all lining up.
Where before we’d struggled and pushed and tried to make it happen…
Now it just was happening. Without us needing to do it all.
Sometimes we push to know what’s next.
We try to find the right decision, the next right stepping stone.
But no matter how hard we try, it doesn’t appear.
Until the time is right. The cogs turn, and the right things line up.
And then it is revealed, and it works.
Now, that’s the feelings stuff.
Let’s talk the logistics stuff, of the hows and the whys of deciding to leave and deciding where to live.
Chris and I made a decision matrix.
We talked for a long time about our family values, dreams and goals, and where would be a good fit for that lifestyle.
What’s highly important to us:
- A good private, alternative, gentle, creative education for our girls.
- Access to universities for our own continuing education.
- Access to more networking opportunities + business events for me.
- A safe, nurturing, friendly community.
- Being close to the ocean.
What’s also important to us:
- Beautiful natural surrounds to bushwalk in.
- Museums + art galleries.
- Bookstores + cafes.
- Not living in a busy city.
Kuranda doesn’t fit a lot of those family values for us. We feel a bit (a lot) remote + stuck up a mountain away from the world. I’ve also felt incredibly worried about the common use of drugs (pot and ice) here in the Kuranda community. We really didn’t want our kids growing up thinking that was normal or healthy. I don’t want to bitch out the place. That’s just what it is, and it doesn’t resonate with me.
(I know that pot is legal in some places in the US and I don’t really care what other adults do in their spare time. It’s just not my world. What concerns me the most is when I know some parents in the Kuranda community smoke pot and ice at children’s birthday parties. I can’t expose my kids to thinking that’s okay or normal.)
Having said that, I don’t have any hard feelings about Kuranda at all.
In fact, I’m profoundly grateful.
There are so very many reasons I’m grateful for Kuranda:
- Our beautiful house. What a gift. A dream to live in. Thank you fireplace and wooden floors. Thank you glass doors looking out over green, green. Thank you for the summer days spent drifting in the pool, looking up at the rainforest, laughing at the pure splendour of it all. Thank you for being the first house I’ve ever loved. Thank you lazy Sundays spent on the verandah. Thank you trees and grass and rainforest and endless green.
- Thank you to the free pets that came with this place. Our pademelons and pretty faced wallabies. The giddy joy of watching their baby joeys bouncing around. The friendly scrub turkeys. The bright blue kingfishers and the cheerful sunbirds. The cacophony of frogs from the lake just beside us. Cockatoos and kookaburras and jungle chooks and catbirds. And who could ever forget the curlews that shriek like a man possessed – that, or one having anal sex. Oh, and that strange bird that flew up one day to roost on Chris’ shoulder for a while. Old grandfather lizard who would casually amble past, all metre and a half of him, one giant dragon at peace in the modern world. And the two most recent arrivals – Garry and Gwyneth the guinea fowls who turned up one day and never left.
- Thank you to the endless green. We turned up here having had a rough trot of a time in Proserpine, with endless family dramas + parental divorce + post natal depression. This place has been a sanctuary. The trees have held us and healed us. I can’t thank them enough.
- The devas of this land. I am teary thinking of leaving them. There are so many and they are so powerful. When we arrived, the energy here was unsettled, so I spent so much time giving offerings, crystal gridding, doing energy work, having other healers do energy work. I could sense many things, including a really cranky gnome. Now, it’s like they know us, and we know them, and it’s been very special. I know we’ll continue to carry their gifts to us with us.
- The birthing place of Beth. How could I do anything but give thanks for the land that Beth started appearing to me in, the land that made me feel safe enough to fall pregnant again, the land that held me as I rocked over her through nine months of harrowing illness, the land where my blood was spilt to bring her here? What a gift. A great gift. All of it.
- Landing at one of the best midwife centres in the state. It was sheer luck, truly. I had no idea when we walked in. I will say it was exactly the kind of birth I wished for first time around. Natural birth focussed, utterly woman-centric, deeply nurturing, incredibly wise and experienced. It was very healing for me. Thank you so much Gabrielle and Mareeba Midwife Unit.
- Ostara’s school. It’s what drew us up here in the first place. And it’s been such a blessing. Exactly what my super-sensitive daughter needs in order to thrive. Incredibly beautiful, nurturing teachers. Beautiful children. A community that gives a shit. I can’t imagine what our schooling experience would be like without it.
- Being in a place where I’m not regarded as weird. Usually I’m the resident hippy/spiritual weirdo in the kooky clothes that stands out like a sore thumb. Here I’m as normal. Utterly normal. Everyone dresses barefoot/flowy pants/rainbow tie dye around these parts. Dreadlocks and tattoos and wild hairdos are more in vogue than out. As someone once said “You have to try REAL hard to stand out here in Kuranda.”
- I’m so grateful for knowing Kellie McBride, an incredible acupuncturist, masseuse and healer. Knowing her has been a huge blessing here.
- I’ve met SO many wonderful people up here. So many gorgeous goddesses! So many Academy sisters! We’ve had a ding dang blast, honestly!
We got sent here to heal, and heal is what we did.
We got plonked in the middle of the rainforests, surrounded by incredible animals and beautiful trees. They’ve held us so dearly.
And now it’s time to widen our perspective. To see beyond the trees. To see out over the horizon, the ocean, and glimpse what’s possible.
And that’s what Hobart is there for.
Hobart does fit our family values for us.
Chris used to live there as a teenager. He has always dreamed of going back. 25 years later, I am SO grateful I get to fulfil that dream for him. He’s supported me in so many of my dreams. I love that I get to do this for him and for us.
We have the opportunity to travel and live anywhere we want. I love that we’re getting to do this – especially while our girls are still young and aren’t in school full time.
We’ve decided not to make a decision of where to live for the next 20 years. That’s too hard to do.
What we’ll do is go for a year, and see how it feels.
It might end up being a wonderful extended holiday. It might be our forever home.
It’s perfectly okay no matter what. We’re excited!
I’m most excited about:
- Being back in the southern parts of Australia again. CIVILISATION!!!!!!!!!!
- Being just a quick plane trip away from Melbourne + Sydney for conferences. LOOK AT ME GETTING OUT INTO THE WORLD!!!!
- Being closer to our Canberra tribe of friends!
- The ocean. I’m full on ahankering for it.
- Walking in the beautiful Tasmanian bush again.
- Cafes.bookstores.museums.art.concerts! EEEEK CULTURE!
- Checking out the amazing co-working spaces down there!
- Meeting more people. I do so love people!
- Connecting with some of our Tasmanian friends + family.
In the meantime, I do need to buy a jumper and some shoes. I hear flip flops don’t cut it down there. Ha!
Want to hear something wild?
A few nights ago, I remembered my Bucket List.
I wrote it about eight years ago.
And I remembered that I’d written something on there about one day, going on holidays to Tasmania with Chris.
I re-read it.
And here’s the exact words I wrote:
111. Go to Tasmania with my lover.
It blew me away.
It’s not “go on holidays to Tasmania with my lover.” It’s GO to Tasmania with my lover.
How did I know so many years ago that this would be the journey?
I do so love how life works.
(And I love that it is number 111 – an angel number.)
So, we’re off my treasures.
On another wonderful adventure.
I’m so grateful. I’m so excited for all of it.
I wonder what miracles await us down there?
Love, the Tasmanian mermaid-to-be,