Heya! My name is Olivia Joy Siebel or just Liv, and I really love words. Words that paint a visual or imagined picture, words that conjure up a feeling or thought, words that carry and bring delight and joy, words of truth and substance, words of a simple or complex nature. If you know me you know this; so this is a little bit more about me that you probably didn’t know.
I grew up in a little coastal town in NSW, Coffs Harbour. I lived in big red brick house, on top a hill, amongst a Valley, with a mango, mulberry and plenty banana trees out the backyard. The “big house” part was due to my huge family. I am one of 11 kids. Yep, you read that right; I fall in line at number 10.
Looking back, growing up how I did is an absolute treasure that I hold so dearly. We may have been very poor, yet what we lacked in money we made up for in way of other wealth. Our lives were rich with adventure, friendship, nature, love, joy and faith. And this to me was of far greater worth than all the money and possessions in the world.
Not having a great TV, yet endless friends (who are still my best friends) meant days of running around the property, going for hikes and getting lost, bike riding, camping, surfing, skateboarding, basketball, soccer and every other game you could imagine, literally, we would make up a different game every day and put on our own plays; cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, pirates, everything!
When I was worn out and tired of games and being around a million people all the time, I would retreat to a quiet place, sometimes up a tree if I had to. I would read and journal until mum would ring the giant cow bell, the Dinner bell as we called it, so wherever all the kids were we would come racing to the table for Dinner.
It is this balance of Adventure, people, stillness, faith and pure and simple joy that I grew up loving and aim to graft into my everyday life. A life that is content with the little things; the beach, the mountains, people, a run in the rain, salty skin after a day in the sun, a warm bath, a massage train 11 kids long, a good book, chai tea and faith in the God who created all these good things at the helm of it all… (cont’d after pictures)
Fast-forward 25 years and here I am living by the sea in a suburb whose very name ‘Palm Beach’ brings me feelings of summer and warmth. I live here with my dreamboat husband and adventurous life companion. When I’m not at work I spend my days on my front yard (The beach) exploring the hinterland, surfing, listening to good music, exercising, learning new things, reading, writing, and frolicking in general. Of all the fun carefree words, frolicking is by far my favourite. It literally means to play or move about in a cheerful and lively way.
I moved to the Gold Coast after living in Coffs for 19 years and having just finished a course in ‘Ministry and Theology’. This course involved a lot of mission work and really inspired me to get outside my comfort zone, I was ready to leave the nest and spread my wings. And so I moved to study ‘Sport Management & Surfing Studies’; only on the Gold Coast right. While doing this I lucked into what was my dream job growing up, “Outdoor Recreation Instructor”.
And so it was for the next 5 years my job was taking groups of kids and teaching them all sorts of things; surfing, stand up paddle boarding, canoeing, dragon boating, tubing, rock climbing, hiking, caving, abseiling, courage, teamwork, respect, kindness humility and basically every camp memory you have ever had and have seen on cliché movies, we did it all.
I started planning and organising these camps for kids, a week of memories and from what I saw life changing experiences for most. A week with no phones, no hard family situations, challenges and new experiences and in short a week away from the norm of life. New friendships made around a campfire and getting back to the basics and learning about who they are and how much purpose and hope they are created with.
And as fun and rewarding as a job like this was, it was also very draining, physically and mentally. And in the midst of this time, as it’s always gone, I would retreat to a quiet place where I could read, write, be alone with my thoughts, reflect and be refreshed from within so I could give again.
A favourite place for this was an old lighthouse by the sea. And now with my other big love; writing I have created this empty book so to speak, a place to fill with words that come from that place of quiet; thoughts and questions put together in the form of letters, poetry, stories, blogs, and work written for other brands and people.
So there you have it ‘Lighthouse Letters’. A space where I hope you find inspiration and delight in the words your eyes fall upon. Here I aspire to write in such a manner that reflects my faith, values and loves of this beautiful life. A place where I string together words in an endearing and somewhat unrefined manner. A place where I bring you words from what my eyes have seen, where my feet have travelled, what my ears have heard and my mind has thought and conceived.
I hope you enjoy!