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'.

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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!

A moment of silence

This morning I had a moment of silence in my favourite place, upon my board, in the ocean and through squinted eye from the rain. I came straight back and spilled out my thoughts here, my ode to the Anzacs, and because I love Australia!

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I bobbed up and down, closing my eyes relishing the gentle rise and fall.

Where the waters and sky meet their borders I sat propped up, my board and body effortlessly held up by the might of the ocean.

I turned my gaze downwards and watched with wide eyes the shadows at play on the sandy floor. They danced with joyous movement as if they were grateful for the sun allowing them life and dance for a moment in time.

And as if they were aware of the shrouds of dark smudgy clouds filling the sky, they danced ferociosuly with what life they had left. Just before the clouds closed in, the sun whispered in strength to the shadows “I’ll be back in no time at all”, and just like that the clouds swallowed the sun whole like a pack of hungry wolves.

The shadows went into hiding and the waters turned a shade darker than Aegean Blue. It was time for the surface of the deep to play. Small drops at first covered the glassy waters, then large pelts dropped in what felt like slow motion.

Creating ripples by the thousands as they bombed down from above like World War 2.  War, at the mention of that seamlessly small three - lettered word my heart became heavy and burdened, a mental and tangible burden I’m sure my surfboard felt the weight of underneath…

I can only imagine the bombs of rain trudged through, the rain of bombs fought through. The weak knees upon mountain- top, the wearing soles of shoes walked miles of sun-worn parched lands. The tears shed over brother’s lives and the burden of life. The quell of sadness to keep the fight, the whispered prayers through bloodied, gritted teeth.

Yet of the fallen and wounded there is something greater that stands. A spirit not shaken nor soiled, untouched and unwounded, that like the rains upon the seas creates ripples throughout the land. A smile that speaks of pain overcome, a higher purpose. Through parted cracked lips of old, the stories are passed down, never to be forgotten, forever told…

Just like that, as though the sun heard my thoughts, it shone through the envelope of dark clouds and painted across the sky of my mind  “from the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them” and so once again I closed my eyes in silence feeling the movements of the ocean below, grateful for after the fall comes the rise – Lest we forget!

Unchartered Seas

We all have a battle to fight, and most often our battles and journeys start in our mind. For most, these can be our biggest fights and struggles. I, like a lot of people have experienced this on multiple levels with my own struggles and wanted to write about it, so for this one I sat down with my brother Israel Bosshard and together we wrote from the heart, a small journey and what mental battles and depression can be like... but that there is light and hope, always!

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Once Upon an unchartered sea, atop the mast, stood you and me.

Map in hand and adventure ahead, far beyond the dreams one makes in a bed.

My compass spun and pointed east, I’m beyond excited to say the least, for I have conquered my fears, I have conquered the beast.

A formidable enemy, but the battle was won.

For as it appears, I was not alone, I was not the only one.

For this dark and ominous foe, has caused much grief and woe.

Seeping into the minds of those not on their guard

Who on their own had no defence, not knowing the one who brings recompense

But oh glorious morn, there is hope like the rising sun.

For at the sign of the great light, every shadow will flee, because there was one willing to fight for me.

And there in the midst of the battle when all strength was gone, it was thy name I called upon.

You spoke into the darkness, your voice a piercing light.

His name perhaps you might know, but that’s a story to tell another time, for now – I must go

For there is a glow on the horizon and a change in the wind

My sails adjusted and bearing turned east, far, far away from that ugly beast.

Past the Breakers

I raced through the soft, hot sand to the waters edge, a most welcome wave of refreshment washes over my feet, bringing instant relief.

The sun sparkled and danced in Rhythm with the ocean, beckoning me deeper, and like a woman under a spell I followed the call. Inch by inch I resist the strength of the waves pushing me back to whence I came.

Like a beast it rolls towards me, mouth open to swallow me whole. I evade the hungry creature and skip past and under; for a moment I am surrounded by the silence of the deep. Stopping here I relaxed completely and gave my body over to the movement and tango of the ocean.

I begin to surface for air (my lungs weren’t made for this world) and as I do my face is tickled by the bubbling white water and remains of the wave that was. As it fizzles away into oblivion another of its friend’s raises up to avenge… under I go again and again and again until my feet could no longer feel the ocean floor.

I heard a taunting whisper in my head “There is danger out there, turn back, you wont make it, your feet can’t touch, you will sink”. I called the whispers bluff and swam head first into the huge swell. I could never swim out past the breakers with my feet still on the ground.

And finally, the waves no longer broke around me, for it was too deep. I lie on my back and felt the undulation and surge of the water, although my feet can’t touch the ground, my head is above water and I am filled with accomplishment and peace.

Maybe, just maybe, I thought. Perhaps when something pushes you back again and again, and plants thoughts of failure. If you push back, persist, face it head on and keep swimming past the struggle, there lays, a destination of Peace!

She is a sunflower

I originally wrote this for a friend and had it titled "my sunflower friend".  however reading it back through I thought that there are so many showers of sunflower women in my life. So this one's for you, to the strong women who uplift, encourage and shine, I adore you!

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Beautiful, bright and blooming – she is a sunflower

She stands tall and bold, rooted and strengthened in rich loving soil.

Her fragrance is a pungent perfume; all the other flowers want to know what water and soil she feeds from because she shines with passionate, vivacious joy. 

One does not have to see the flower to know that she is in the room, because she reeks of inner beauty.

She goes about tending her roots. She grows through the dirt and it makes her stronger and all the more beautiful.

She cares for her many precious petals, not one is missing.

She opens herself up to busy bees, curious butterflies and all the other wearied wandering souls.

She is vibrant, she is strong, she is rooted in love, she sings joy, she is faithful, she is gracious, she is beauty. In a sea of flowers she shines forth hope, she is brightest from the centre out.

She is grounded, the wind cannot move her, the storm cannot uproot her, the floods will not drown her, she fears not. For she knows the Sun is faithful and he will shine renewal day after day, morning after morning.

Beautiful, bright and blooming – she is a sunflower.