Our house smells of lemon zest and beeswax this morning as I make a big vat of lemon beer and render beeswax to make it a pure, rich, yellow for candles.
I love mornings like this when winter sunshine streams through the kitchen windows, animals snooze happily outside, and Bear and I potter away at projects with breaks for chats and cuppas.
The last couple of weeks have been intense for me with huge writing projects that had me tapping away on my keyboard until the wee hours of the morning to meet deadlines. By the time Saturday morning arrived, I was relieved but knackered, and in dire need of being outside.
So Bear whisked me off to town for the morning, and we looked at the amazing trees around Warwick that were garbed in vivid jumpers and scarves and all sorts of knitted, crocheted, and handmade items for Jumpers and Jazz. We looked at plants and picked up food for the animals and got lunch at the bakery. It was lovely.
Then we came home and I spent the rest of the day outside, basking in glorious sunshine as I shifted the geese and chooks into new pens and got them all settled in with water, feed, and armloads of greens from my gardens. I felt like my old self again as I clambered into bed that night, sun-tanned and wind-ruffled and deliciously tired.
Yesterday we had errands to run in Brisbane, so we decided to make a day of it and have fun together. We took a twisting back road past towering cliffs and meandering stream beds, basking in the utter gorgeousness of the bush coming to life again as spring inches ever closer.
After an early lunch, we drove around until we found a park we’d never been to before, and pulled into Oxley Creek Common. Bear settled in for a snooze and I grabbed my camera and went exploring.
I had the place to myself, save for a bush turkey rummaging about in the underbrush, and I descended leaf strewn steps to the creek. I just stood for awhile, watching the creek flow past nearly silently, sunlight dancing across ripples that formed as it eddied around tree roots and branches that trailed in the water. It’s a lovely thing to experience such places in utter solitude.
Finally I got back to the trail and strolled past sun-dappled bush land, admiring clusters of golden flowers and edible vines and huge leaves that showed every vein when the sun shone behind them. I do love the variety of gum trees in Australia, and the pale, papery bark of this one just might make it my favorite so far.
I made my way back to the car, ready for a snooze myself, when I spotted this sunny glade not far from the car, awash in golden, afternoon light, with fresh, green grass underfoot.
So I lay down there instead, letting the sun warm me as I listened to birds twittering all around me and watched the brilliant blue sky through the lacy branches of the gum trees.
All the pressures of the previous weeks dissipated in that little oasis of light and warmth.
It was just what we needed to perk us up for the next leg of our journey, visiting our dear friends, James and Farina.
They welcomed us with hugs and gin and tonics and we spent a wonderful afternoon and evening on the veranda, visiting for hours and feasting on tender meatballs and broad beans served over incredible Persian-style rice mixed with rose petals, chopped pistachios, and toasted almonds. Delicious. I can’t think of anything that cheers my soul more than gorgeous nature, scrumptious food, and the company of loved friends.
Now we’re home again, and I’m spending the whole day getting home in order after sorely neglecting it whilst meeting my writing deadlines. There’s honey to bottle and bread to bake, animals to feed and gardens to water, laundry to fold and more laundry to wash. It’s good to be home.
What restores your spirits after a busy week? xo