“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring” said David Bowie. That’s me, as I start this year of surrender and unknown paths. 2023 has begun slowly but with intention. In January it was to find a house sit for a week or so, nothing too far away, maybe three hours, so we could be back in Melbourne for our son’s birthday.
Three home stay applications later and no response. Not meant to be. Then came an unexpected last minute listing in Wodonga.
Perhaps I shouldn’t say “unexpected” because when we picture with intention it usually eventuates. it’s all in the timing. The only thing unexpected is the way it arrives.
The assignment was nine days looking after a home on half an acre while the owners were away. The pets? Two dogs, eight chickens and one rescue galah. It was three hours away and the dates fit perfectly.
Don’t you love it when the Universe responds.
A few messages and a phone call later and it was arranged. And when I met the owner, Stacey, we hugged like we were already friends. I felt at home right away. Complete with pets.
A Cast of Characters
Meet Captain, a one eyed rescue Kelpie who, will chase a ball 24/7. It’s his favourite pastime. And Rosie, a sweet natured beagle, much older, and much slower. Her big soulful eyes say “love me “ or maybe it’s really “feed me!”
Hampton, the one year old galah, is the resident bird, rescued after being injured and Stacey, softie that she is, tells me it would have been put down (like Captain) if they hadn’t taken her. Whilst I don’t like seeing birds caged an injured galah wouldn’t survive long in the wild. Hampton seems perfectly content in her large enclosure. She squawks, chats and says the odd choice words but mostly it’s “big wings.”
The chickens, (all named of course) well, they do their own thing but I’m reminded of why I love them. Not only for the fresh eggs but because, in giving them scraps from the kitchen, there’s so little waste.
Exploring the Area: Back to Yack
Wodonga is a perfect spot for exploring the best of the High Country. The historic towns of Beechworth, Yackandandah, Tallangatta and Myrtleford are all close by.
It was great to head back to Yack, a favourite place of ours. The trees have grown and there’s more cafes but otherwise it’s the same. Same charm, same wide streets and historic buildings, same friendly hospitality. Of course nothing truly stays the same, not ever.
“The one who travels like a lover searching for a new passion is suddenly blessed with new eyes, new ears, new senses.” Anais Nin
We did find a gin distillery with a new cellar door that we’d never tried previously, Yack Creek distillery. It’s nestled by the creek and is a gorgeous place to enjoy a beer and a gin.
But there was more than beer brewing.
No plonk could ease Doug’s back pain which had been building up over the week, and hit with a vengeance that night. Fortunately I got him in to see a chiropractor in Wodonga. Our slow pace slowed even more and the sumptuous king sized therapeutic mattress in the house was a blessing.
Beechworth and Woolshed Falls
On day five we headed into Beechworth, famous for many things including the old jail (which now houses outdoor movie nights) the scrummy Bakery and Billsons Brewery.
But it’s the Woolshed Falls I love the most. It’s one of my favourite places we visited with our kids a few years ago. Now, all grown up, forging their own paths, it reminds me of our journey as a family and now this, our next stage. My motto at the moment:
Less doing, more being. Don’t fight the flow, be the flow.
It was the perfect place to be on a hot day, sitting amongst the rock pools at the top.
Simple Joys and Little Guests
One day a blue tongue lizard crashed the homestay dynamics and caused quite a commotion. Captain was curious to the point of being a pain in the butt and the lizard seemed to not care about anything. But it was vulnerable so Doug relocated it out the front.
Captain’s favourite pastime slowly became mine. And inadvertently after I’ve thrown the ball a dozen times I’d end up on the trampoline, not jumping on it so much as basking in the warmth, under the shady backyard canopy. Captain often joined me.
Lying back, gazing up at a brilliant blue sky, with Captain and Rosie nearby, I felt the knowing. It’s ok to just “be”. We often feel we have to be busy all the time. But dogs know when to play and when to slow down.
From Wodonga we headed northwards and spent four blissful nights camped by the river at Mitta Mitta. Close by The Witches Garden weaved it’s magic on me. Then it was back to Melbourne.
On the horizon I see more home stays, more giving, more connections, more adventures and of course more writing and more stories.
I see lots of love amid the mess and madness of the world and I also see a big blazing light at the end of this tumultuous tunnel we’ve been in. Believe in yourself this year. Let’s all step into our personal power and potential and create the best year we possibly can.
Shine on in 2023. With love and peace always.