I've been really feeling the cycles of the seasons lately and the way nature ebbs and flows, and the process of time moving along. I'm feeling the relentless push and pull of change, the 7 year cycles of life. I just feel like this is such a special time in my life, maybe not any more special than any other moment so far but I think I'm noticing all the little miracles every day. Just tiny things like the joy of drinking tea, eating fruit you've picked yourself straight off the tree, waking up at dawn and driving on an adventure, warmth after being cold, the surreal magic of taking a photo and what that says about time, skimming rocks, hugging a dog, making food that fills you with good energy, writing stories, writing your own story.. The list goes on and on and on.
I had this moment the other day when I was meditating and I was thinking like what do I want more than anything in the world? If I could have anything what would it be? And what I picture in my head is having a veggie garden and an ochard on a piece of land somewhere in nature. I want to watch the seasons change and live close to the land in peace with my love eating food made from plants. I want to have a camper van and travel Australia. I want to fly all over the world and see magic and rainforests and deserts and cacti and lakes and rivers and bears and pine forests and ancient places. I'm already creating this reality through all my choices that I'm making now. There is actually something so incredibly satisfying about living a life that causes no harm to any creature and the least impact on the earth. Just the other day I was picking mandarins off a huge tree near my Dad's farm and eating them right then and there, and I was thinking how therapeutic it is, how I felt like it could heal my sadness. I think there is a secret truth hidden inside nature that western medicine can't really comprehend.. About 6 months ago I decided to go off the pill after 8 years. What I didn't realise was how much it had been dulling my emotions and thoughts in that time and how diminished my connection to my body had been. It has been one of the main changes I've made this year which has helped me find myself more grounded and more connected than I had been. When I first gave up animal products I felt sort of embarrassed about it like the stigma of being vegan was falling onto me and all the judgments that people have for vegan people would weigh on me, which is ridiculous but it's the truth of how I felt sadly. As time has gone on though, that embarrassment has faded away completely and I've become passionate about it rather than being ashamed. By allowing myself to really feel empathy for all creatures, and see them as equal beings instead of a commodity, it completely changed my life and made me more caring, happy and grateful than I thought I could possibly be. I was always a caring person, and I truly did care about animals before I was vegan, but I realised that I could not morally have any creature's life on my conscious anymore. I think there is such a humble joy that can be found in becoming more conscious of what you are putting into your body and where it comes from. By helping other creatures and the earth it helps to heal you.
"I became a vegan the day I watched a video of a calf being born on a factory farm. The baby was dragged away from his mother before he hit the ground. The helpless calf strained its head backwards to find his mother. The mother bolted after her son and exploded into a rage when the rancher slammed the gate on her. She wailed the saddest noise I'd ever heard an animal make, and then thrashed and dug into the ground, burying her face in the muddy placenta. I had no idea what was happening respecting brain chemistry, animal instinct, or whatever. I just knew that this was deeply wrong. I just knew that such suffering could never be worth the taste of milk and veal. I empathized with the cow and the calf and, in so doing, my life changed." ~ James McWilliams
This year will mark 7 years with my love and that in itself is an incredibly odd thing to try to describe. This 18 year old human being who entered my life in a whirlwind when I was a lonely, lost soul with green and black hair, and in one night lying on the floor of one his friends places on our own listening to John Lennon, created a whole future of possibility. When I met him I never once thought this was the person I was going to spend the rest of my teenaged years with. I never thought this was the person I was going to start a life with. But young love is intensely brutal in it's own naive way. We didn't really spend the start of our relationship in the 'honeymoon phase', we jumped straight into awful arguments and screaming fights, hours spent on the phone in virtual silence because neither of us knew what to say but neither of us wanted to give up. It was a haunting, nostalgic time spent walking on the beach on misty summer nights, then autumn afternoons, then winter at dusk. Every day, we would walk those beaches. That sand holds the washed away footprints of our teenaged love. I think these times really built up our strength in each other. We came to the verge of the chasm and never fell in no matter how hard the earth shook around us. Nearly every time we go to the beach he picks up a beautiful shell or rock to give to me. I think the foundations of our relationship are built from all those little rocks and shells. Little rocks that hold their own unique beauty to him. This is so precious to me. I have collected them all and keep them in a jar. They are a part of our ongoing story; our home.
I wish I could explain the feeling that I have at the moment.. It hasn't been an easy 7 years. From 15 to your early 20s are such important years of life for any person. Things could be a lot worse but this is the every day struggle of a lot of youth. The struggle of finding independence and financial stability, a home and enough money to afford food on top of dealing with crippling depression and anxiety. It is harsh and it is so brutal to live through because it can be relentless and go on for years. It saps your strength and self confidence. I think there is a real humble beauty and strength in struggling through these times, especially trying to maintain a happy relationship while dealing with little money and the difficulty of living in a shit situation. During this time there have been so many moments when we could have fallen apart instead of holding together. Every moment I'm so thankful that we have pushed through. I think our love has been like a warm fire in winter time.. In the coldness outside we have drawn warmth from each other; sleeping next to you cuddled in bed in your warmth, my face smooshed against your back, sometimes waking up to realise we've drifted apart in sleep, arms reaching out to find each other, entwined against your chest. Amidst all the chaos of our lives I have found a home in the nook of your shoulder blades, in the green of your eyes and your comforting indescribable smell.
Here's to the next 7 year adventure.