Honeyed Seas

A ship’s contents and waters to which it sails is of it’s masters choice. Where waters and currents are fast, the pace is as rapid as rough raging seas. When your pace is too quick there is no time for rest, constantly on guard, behind the wheel to navigate the waves and adjusting the sails to the winds…

Yet there is a sea, like honey from a bee

Thick, smooth, and sweet, a ship through honeyed seas cannot rush or hurry,

In those golden seas so slow, there is no need or chance to put on a show.

So I’ll sail through restful waters, I’ll leave my post, I’ll leave the wheel,

For time away I long to steal.

I’ll waltz onto the deck and simply lay out in the sun, I’ll watch the clouds float on by and slow my mind to their ponderous pace,

I’ll fill my ship with light clouds of peace and grace.

I’ll clear my ship of the heavy things – a free heart with liberating songs to sing.

Such songs are not carried off by the winds of haste, but heard and caught in the thick presence of sweet honey; a fulfilling taste.

Lay aside your maps and your compass; quell your telescope you get lost behind

Stuck behind such a future seeking scope with only one eye open - honey seas allow no such work or grind.

Both eyes open you can see what is right in front of you, no chasing horizons, but simply enjoying the view.

Sweet golden seas sparkle with gentle invitation. So satisfyingly sweet, I am need of nothing else but healing honey waters to eat.

From Grandeurs, glorious, golden seas, I can sail on into the great voyage with ease. 

Sailing on and sparkling from stern to bow, if ever I need rest I know exactly where I’ll go!

Depth

Standing over the cold rails of the bridge, the girl gazed at the dark glassy waters below, would it be cold? Would it hurt when she hit the water? The clouds covering the sun gave her skin a shiver of bumps; she looked at the reflection of herself in the water, her reflection moved with the waters as it said “Dive In! What you lose, is far less than what you win”, then the wind carried her fearful thoughts away and she jumped into the reflection of wisdom to play.

I watched the above scene (creatively written obviously, just in case y'all think I’m loopy) play out one day, one of those days where you just observe…I couldn’t stop thinking about the girl who was so scared and the complete swap of fear and joy she had on her face before she jumped. Then it occurred to me, to be able to jump in and have that moment, things need to be deep and scary… So I asked myself these two questions, Why does it have to be deep? Why depth?

At the core of everything lies embedded the code, the DNA, the life, the how, the why, these things often small and mostly unseen. Like the depths of the ocean, the core of an apple, the roots of a tree and the structure of a house; get the foundations/roots right and the tree will stand strong! Depth is something you carry with you, it is seen in the health of the tree and the taste of the fruit. If the core is rotten, the fruit will taste bad, even if it looks good on the outside.

To go “deep” with someone and even with your self (sometimes far harder) is to know them beyond what they look like and what they “show”. I think that that is why all that is deep is often hidden, like a treasure in someone or yourself, so that you get to find it along the journey if you’re willing to search it out. Would you read only the cover of a book? would you appreciate the beauty of a flower yet never learn what it needs at its core and depths to stay alive?

Our thoughts, cares, true desires and loves go so far beyond the surface, embedded deep into our hearts and minds. Married couples know this so well, a single tap or shoulder pat could mean an entire page of unspoken words, or silence, or a look means something only depth of understanding could fathom.

If we are not deep we risk being the opposite, shallow. When waters are shallow, you cannot dive in and explore the depths. Have you ever noticed how the shallow waters that are clear are often just sand? Yet the deep blue farther from the shore holds so much coral and sea life, or even how there are warning signs at pools warning of the shallow ends. It hurts when we dive into shallow water, shallow people, friendships and lives will do the same. 

It’s okay to dip your toes in before you dive in! Depth is a slow waltz, and depth and discernment hold hands as they dance like old lovers that know each curve and dimple in each other’s spine. Sometimes the water will smell sharky or the waters are icy cold… or will it suffocate me? If you can swim, these waters just take a little longer to be able to be in fully. But waters melt and sharks flee where there is a light as bright as the sun and there is a bigger fish in the water called LOVE. Depth doesn’t happen over night – but it does happen (Maybelline jokes haha) 

I know so many people who have fallen in love with others hearts and minds, after knowing them a while, or those that weren’t initially drawn to the other. What a beautiful thing to say to a special someone “I’ve fallen in love with the very depths of you”. Depth scares some people, but the depth is WHO WE ARE!!! Not what we look like, what we wear, the job we have, the place we live…

Depth is not fleeting, depth is strong, depth is substance and grounding, depth is understanding, in depth is wisdom and discernment, depth is treasure; a treasure to be searched and loved despite what we think of the value of said treasure found; small coins or trunks full… Do people not go snorkelling or diving if they aren’t sure what they will find? Or there is a fish they cant “name”, describe or understand. Would you rather go your whole life staring at the waters below, always wondering but never knowing? 

“ May your love abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, that you may be able to discern what is best..” - Phillipians 1:9

Year 496

In year 496 February 14th, otherwise now known as Valentines Day, Sir Valentine was sentenced to death for illegally hitching bride to groom. This was made illegal as the Emperor at the time believed it made soldiers weaker, maybe he never knew love? Sir valentine even fell in love in prison, signing one last love letter “your Valentine”. Anyways, such an interesting story in history I never really knew, I mulled it over and pondered a while, as always spilling my thoughts here…

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There was a story to be told in year Four Ninety Six

Of a man, who up his sleeve had many tricks

It was a tale so grim of he who went out on a limb,

To be-wed husband and bride,

it was a secret he had to hide

I’m not sure about you, but of this history I had no clue,

albeit might not even be true…

Nevertheless, a history lesson never goes astray

Especially on February Fourteenth, Valentines Day.

As the story goes, marriage was forbidden, as it was believed it made soldiers better when they were single.

So laws were put in place that never were men allowed to marry or mingle

Sir Valentine believed this to be wrong even till death,

He was imprisoned, and even there fell in love and wrote one last letter with his dying breath.

Dying for love…sounds similar to a story I know well

Of a man in love with you and me, of him there is so much to tell

Why has this day been changed for many to mere chocolates, roses and expensive gifts?

Why not bring back the simpleness of love letters and the heartfelt words therein, instead of going along with the trends and drifts.  

A soldier of his own making, who proved love was enough of a thing to die for

Unlike the soldiers not married must have felt they had nothing to fight for…

I think the Emperor of that time never knew love and was so very wrong,

Soldiers in love are not weak they are mighty and strong!

Like a rose in the wind its soft petals are not torn or broken

Beauty in nature proving we can be both strong and soft-spoken.

Don’t be fooled, I’m not speaking of marriage or romance together

I’m speaking of creator and creation in love forever

Although that’s what sir Valentine stood for, I think if he could speak today

Maybe of love, kindness, peace and no war of many types he’d have more to say.

 I think he’d be dismayed and appalled at what “romance” for many has become, dare I say he’d think it stupid, especially of the little baby angel Cupid. 

So what is the point of these ramblings and words put on paper;

I guess to remember what’s important and even if you are single, your love you have is no more less a reason to frolic and caper

Because there is no greater love than to lay ones life down for another, could you name something more?

I don’t know your experience or situation; but take it from someone who has felt both on such a day, YOU are so insanely loved and adored, of this I’m sure!

Big LOVE!!! O.J.S. X

The Mountains, You and Me

I wrote this collection of words watching a pretty spectacular sunset in Nozawaonsen, Japan. After a bluebird day snowboarding the mountains being so close and tangible, to then so far away to other mountains and seeing so little. Two different views and experiences of the same thing, got me thinking and of course writing… so here it is! Big love O.J.S X

_

Silky silhouettes of mountain peaks a simple outline with only little to speak

So majestic and still it needs no voice

For it captures every breathe of those whom behold it’s beauty, making them realise that in the grand scheme they are so puny

The top may look like victory, but the mounds so tall have so many facets you cannot see

So come a little closer, take another look, write it all down like captain cook, even still it would fill thousand a book

We’re not so different to mountains near yonder haze, sitting like fluid lines near the purple and pink sunset blaze

Soon you’ll see that the beauty isn’t always found on the peak, it’s also in the cold snow, the valleys so bleak

The mountains, you see are more than a drawing of 2D, in that respect they are much like you and me

Like parts of you hidden ten feet in a white canvas; a covering. Protect and hide things like your heart, yet never let it become smothering

They are filled with trees, dressed with garments of soft pure snow, who knows what else underneath there grows

Like a multifaceted kaleidoscope of colours and shapes we are, so much more than the undulated lines, a mist, a vapour in the distance so far

So many types of trees, soil and deeper still the minerals within. It reminds me of our humanness and our brotherly kin

How we are all shapes and sizes, with our dents and holes, if we can see past the superficial the warts, scars and moles

We are all the same at the core, of this I’m sure!

So may you be as steady as a mountain, unshaken and certain

May you see past the blanket of snow, past the facade of what we choose to show

May we be like those mountains that stand together in unity

With tons of love and not a shred of scrutiny 







Unplanned Perfection

4 bags of “stuff”, 2 camping chairs, 1 tent and 0 cutlery. A shoe for a hammer and ridiculous wind, rudely slapped by the tent we were trying to make. Every tent site along the waterfront had a huge trailer set-up or caravan and annix, we parked our car on site just to make it look less bare. The silky orange sun slid below the horizon just as we finished.

We sat down on our camping chairs and got the food out of the esky. No bread board and no plates, we made our wraps on an esky lid and used our fry pan as a plate, scooping mayonnaise out with our fingers because we had no knives. 

Insides and instincts were screaming at me; outworking themselves in histeric laughter. We ate our wraps that fell apart after the first bite. The smell of barbeque wafting and carried along with the breeze…everyone else was inside their caravans and trailers away from the wind and cooking on their real stovetops.

Later on after a cold shower, we sat down in the tent on our half inflated mattress, we strung my phone up by a hair tie to the top of the tent for light, yep! We forgot a torch and lamp too! Laughter continued as we played a game of chinese chequers, each move bumped the board and we’d laugh and shake our heads at how ridiculously unprepared, unorganised and “not our plan” this was. 

Yet. Ahh that three letter word that changes everything. Yet we laughed till our tummies hurt and tears rolled down like a summer storm.

It got me thinking – if perfection is the goal, where does spontaneity lie? if perfect plans always worked, where does surprise live? If Joy is paramount; I call idealism a liar!

If perfection were the goal, id have collapsed in defeat. I collapsed yes, from laughter and tears of joy. Maybe instead of a perfect plan and all the gear, we just needed a packed car and a rough idea. 

Don’t get me wrong perfect plans and gear are great, vital in fact. If you want to build a house, or make a cake, or fly a plane… but does the bird read a map and set out a flight path? Am I a plane made of metal? Or am I of nature made for adventure? 

The next three days followed suit, off the main track adventures and hilarious unplanned “imperfect” perfection. I guess what i’m saying is plans have a time and a place for certain and for sure, but don’t get caught up in the details or things you think you need that you never get in the car and go!

Sometimes, let plans give way to being present. When perfection is draining and standards forever out of reach, pack your car with just enough to eat. Don’t think too long on where and how, just get in the car and start driving now! 

A house on a hill

My Dad built a house back in the 70’s, it was on a hill overlooking a Valley. 3 days ago that house sold and I couldn’t help but look back and write some memories down. I think it’s so important to reflect like a book as a chapter closes. So here’s my Ode to my childhood home O.J.S x

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It’s what’s on the inside that counts I was once told, so here’s a story of times past and a house not so new and not so old, a house now sold!

Dear house, you are worth more than millions of hundred dollar bills. Two stories high you stood, I loved what eventuated inside like no other would.

A house made a home by a special few; by a few I mean eleven plus two. 

Fights and squabbles of plenty there were, yet somehow as memories I evoke, all I remember is joy; the rest is a blurr.

Retrospect has a way of changing a frown to a cheeky smirk. Altering that which is broken like a mirror, to piecing together the shards into a mosaic artwork 

Mango’s banana’s and mulberries from the property were consumed in the summer time, those precious fruit’s almost as good as the dinner bell chime.

Mum would ring a giant cow - bell for dinner, and like cattle we’d all race from around the property and up the floral carpet stairs like a race winner.

We’d hold hands round the long wooden table made by Dad, We’d give thanks for our food, each other, our day and all we could do as we were given and able. No sounds of our 3D blurry black box TV Cable.

To the walls with patches from holes, from handballs, body -boarding down the stairs and inside lawn bowls (whoops sorry Mum)

To the roofs with Blu-tac remains from glow stars and moons, to the floral carpet and pink walls, that were ripped up and painted over whilst listening to tapes and tunes.

We had a video collection and CD and tape players back then, even a floppy disk, I must have been about 10.

To every game ever played within those walls, in the dam and upon tree -top, oh if childhood could pause and never stop!

Yet life goes on and time cannot stand still, fast forward through the 11 children and last child flying the coop; the house on a hill

What I can’t take in the physical I shall keep close in my heart – the heart, Mum said, is most important and fine -tuning and protecting it a fine art.

Our house had a heart, it lives on today; it’s called my sisters, brothers and love for all so Mum would say. 

Then after teaching love, she’d say, “make it your life’s mission to know your creator, the rest you can figure out later”.

And so a simple life we lived, with just enough to eat. Yet joy, love and peace through trials, in copious amounts I could never replicate or beat.

And so dear house, this is farewell – yet I’m not sad, for the stories I’ve got from you to tell…

And as Mum once taught, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, so a house without memories or people to share,  is just a structural place. It’s who was inside that made good company when there were hard times to face.

There are many things untold of this house sun worn and old

Sometimes a story is made more precious when the memories are beheld by only a few, like only the sea and the shore knows each wave to come through.

So to the red brick house on a hill, you will be loved and missed, but your heartbeat remains steady and still.

You know you are a house on a hill, with a light shining brightly like a lamp to a dark room. So smile, laugh, dance, sing, read books, play sport, adventure, learn and most importantly love others as big as the moon!

O.J.S X

Antique thoughts

In an empty café in a booth I sat waiting patiently for my food to be brought to me. Phone turned off for the day I simply sat and observed through the window. 

Pigeon filled powerlines and rusty orange bricks filled with the like

A sign hung ‘Jubilee Antiques’ so faded from the light, yet a sign far newer than the store and all it holds.

Meal finished and I ran across the road and into Jubilee. Squeezing through the narrow corners and nooks of the shop it smelt of Nan’s, rotten wood, musty books and just oldness in general. An old record player spun as a man’s smooth voice filled the air. Looking at the record player spinning, my head spun In tune as if it were a time machine taking me to another era

The shop from floor to ceiling was filled with trinkets and treasures of rare, strange, obscure and old. Wooden trunks which smell remnant of only God knows what? Faded books with tea stains, dirt and no doubt tears and maybe a little mould. So many gadgets I know not of its use or even it’s name.

What once was a gadget of treasure and worth is now a memoir of times past and gone. As I looked around the shop of Jubilee, I felt now how those of times past feel in a world where they know not how to use gadgets nor do they understand the music or the people.. I was young and without a clue of what I was surrounded by.

A sweet lady strolled by humming to the song from the record player, she moved as if it were a Sunday morning and she had no place at all to be; picking up each treasure, running her finger over an old perfume bottle with a pump, then a telephone with a spinning dial.

Oh what I would give to observe like a fly upon high wall, the grainy sepia images running through her mind, the smell of the perfume; sprayed before the date of a courter maybe? What was she wearing? What pattern was on the wallpaper? Who was the mystery man? Did they speak of the future or wonder if their entire world and room around them may one day end up in a shop called ‘Jubilee Antiques’.

Then I thought with a little shock and dismay; could my phone, my camera, my lamp, my handbag, and my entire world end up in a shop like this one-day? Things I now call ‘new’ in a ‘new’ world I don’t recognise in a shop that might as well be a museum.

The sweet old lady purchased the small perfume bottle, most likely double the price she paid for it 40 years ago? Double the price of one new and not to mention filled with perfume, unlike the empty rusted bottle filled with dust. What would cause her to purchase this bottle? 

It occurred to me, that though it may have been empty in the physical, it was filled in form of memory, memories of value although old, worth their weight in gold. And so she left the store, trinket in hand, skip in her step and jubilee in heart. I resisted the urge to chase her down and ask her a thousand questions in one breath, of her life and her story. 

For in that moment I had a thought in mind of a man who knows her every thought, he knows every era of time, every gadget every invention – all things! One whose linen clothes and leather sandals I would buy and treasure if in this shop they were sold.

For older than these ornaments and etchings in wood are the wonders of the world, the works of his hands, the oceans, the sand filled shore, the mountains, valleys and trees. Upon them each day I walk without stopping to think twice – why don’t we call the beach or the lakes antique? If they are older than we can understand? And the hands that created all of this are older than world and time itself.

These same hands that offer day after day to hold our own, his eyes upon you like a precious perfume bottle 99 people overlook as worthless or old… He would purchase you for the price of all the ruby’s and gold in the world. In fact, and a fact at that – he already has! Purchased and redeemed, bought at highest price with many a bidder in the room. Bidders of the world placing their thoughts of what you are worth.

Yet with the price he paid he gave a choice, you may stay in the shop amongst things of old – or you may go adventure with him and be taken home. There is a place prepared for you in his home, his glorious home. He picks you up with eyes of love and Jubilee and whispers, “I don’t take anything old or of little value into my home, because you are new and have value so high and wide”.

The old and the new, and the circle of it all, what funny odd thoughts to think. If my heart and mind could be antiques of value and worth, I hope with conviction, that they are filled with jubilee and not worthless pigeon poo. 

The Vase

Staring, gazing, enchanted by texture and aroma, clutched and carried by dirt filled nails.

Precious Pink petals and wild white flowers; I would rather a vase of hand picked weeds, than an arrangement of pricey unthoughtful deeds.

Fresh flower sap running down my hands; I bury my nose in and breathe so deep. So pleasing and delightful, far better than expensive perfume, a gift plucked to light up a soul and fill it to the brim and above

Such love shall be on display I say, a frame, a jar, no… a vase

The vase in the corner has grown quiet with dust, falling in slow motion to the ground the dust a reminder to follow suit. I paused, and let my mind like dust, wander in the sunlight

A vase, like a heart can hold many things, darling you are the vase and you choose the life inside it you bring.

With water you bring to life a colour, a flower, a fragrance, like friends and lovers the people of colour; a complimentary bouquet of assorted flora

Do not fret when it’s colours fade, the petals fall or the water is brown with mould. For like a flower given life for a time, is a season of life becoming grand before it grows old

Forget me not it says with it’s last breath, my life, my lessons, and most importantly the joy before death.

Clean and filled with fresh water, I cut the stems, so like straws they may drink for what life they have yet to give. Blossoming and bountiful in a frail, fragile, simple glass vase, not worthy to behold such beauty, yet anything more I fear would take away from the beauty within

I pondered, If a flower only knows it has a few days or a few weeks at best of life, why choose to live? Yet, it chooses to bloom, colour and celebrate all it can give, instead of thinking upon a drooping, colourless, scentless life of strife.

Perhaps like the simple glass vase is our bodies, carrying and beholding a heart and mind full of an arrangement of flowers ready to grow and be EXACTLY their colour and scent, no holding back…

From the odd colours, the grouping and the uneven stems, they stand encased in the vase, a vibrant memoire of the one who so loved to pick them, and now a reminder of seasons, my body the vase, the flowers and beauty within.

Under the Orange Tree

Upon the grass and deeper still, stood a tree, strong and bold. It stood like a human, its branches the arms, the fruit a generous gift held out with love. Small spheres shining and beckoning as they moved in and out of the sun. Swaying with the gentle whispering breeze, it speaks, “taste and see that I am good”

I lay down on the soft, rich, green blanket of grass. It’s winter today, but I’m almost certain it has decided to take the day off and let summer play.

So strong and healthy the tree, it bore many a small round fruit, so rich and stark in colour of Orange, could it possibly be given any other name?

And there under the orange tree I sat, I stared, I marvelled and then I thought deeper still, my thoughts running as deep as the roots I lay upon.

From seed to tree, to root to branch, to leaf and bearing fruit… I imagined a little seed, small as a pebble on the surface, and yet containing such DNA to create an orange tree.

Surely though the world couldn’t see it, the seed so small and fragile knew what it could be… If only it were planted on good soil, if it were watered from above, if the sun would promise to shine, perhaps that is all it needed, to sink deep into the ground, to bury and rest a while so that it may grow? In the words of children's book I once read "it's not about what it is, it's about what it can be" - The Lorax, Dr Suess

Oh dear little seed so fragile and small, a leap into a deep dark hole could never seem like a promise? Yet from seed to tree, I now peel back a skin so vibrant to find a wok of art, art in flesh and flavour divine, of health and golden wealth. I bite into this fruit, so giving; I cannot even contain the juice. The beads trickle down my face leaving behind a sticky residue; a reminder that all creation is a masterpiece, good, giving, fulfilling, refreshing… much like the creator of all things, abundant and overflowing!

From seed and ground below, to my lips and stomach it goes. With thoughts in mind, stomach satisfied, sticky hands and face I gazed with contentment and thankfulness up at the branches above. There are treasures and lessons in nature, in tangible and teachable form, and so I thought, I’ll just sit here and soak under the Orange tree.

Island Treasures

Sometimes an experience or memory is too beautiful to tell any other way than a story! This memory is a few years back on an island called 'Lifou'.

                                                                              - 

Gently rocked awake by the calm waters of the bay, I was filled with eager excitement. Climbing out of bed and onto the deck I was greeted by a glorious quintessential Island morning.

The sun hung low in the clear blue sky, dispersing through the last two remaining clouds it leaked golden flecks and lit up the Island. My gaze drifted from the sky to the land. An endearing little wharf drew my eye-line in and towards the palm tree lined shore. The water reflected the warmth of the morning sun, sparkling and dancing with enticing enchantment.

I packed my bags with everything I thought the day might bring, and then some. Don’t let the size of this island fool you, there is beauty and treasure around each corner. Arriving at the wharf I relished the sound of feet hitting solid ground and breathed a deep breath of Sweet Lifou Island air.

Right behind the first curtain of trees laid some huts and island locals. The little girls in their tightly braided dark hair and little white sarongs hid shyly behind their mothers and giggled sweetly. A simple smile and wave seemed to break every language and culture barrier. I felt immediately that I loved this Island and this day long before 9am.

After receiving a quick palm tree-climbing lesson from one of the locals (which ended up with us both in stitches) I ventured through the dirt paths overhung by rich greenery and thick rainforest. We were told that on the other side of the island on the high tide was the best for snorkelling.

The path led to an opening and we walked through in a silence created by awe and wonder. In front of me lay stairs leading to the big blue hue, I followed them like a woman under a spell.

White sand squirmed through my toes as I waded out into the bay in earnest expectation. Alone and still above the surface, yet a bustling world below. Allowing the water to completely consume and saturate me I gazed through the frame of my snorkels at the colourful world of the deep blue.

I couldn’t possibly name all the breeds of fish, colours, coral and life I saw, namely because I simply don’t know what they are called and also, I fear it would take up this entire article.

After hours of exploration I trekked back through the dusty tracks; feet dirty, skin salty, heart full and a huge smile on my face. And instead of taking the track back to the white sandy beach I saw another track leading up to the top of the hill and decided to take the path less travelled.

Making my way up, I saw a red roof poking through the pines. Breathless I panted at the top, the climb well worth the treasure. There before me was a beautiful little church that overlooked most of the island.

I pictured the locals commuting here on a Sunday, echoes of deep strong island voices filling the air, mothers and children dancing with jubilee. I thought to myself ‘Oh if only you could store memories instead of things little church’.

Looking at the time it was 1pm; I wondered what else I would find and what lay ahead.

Sweet island Lifou you hold many a treasure!