Days are pretty simple here in the country. There’s no need to wear a watch. Time can be told like this:
First Light Early Birds
Every morning, we wake up and meditate. Actually, we wake up as the sun pops up over the mountain into my window. With those first rays of light, the crows and birds start singing. Sometimes the flocks of pink and grays, ibis, finches, magpies and kookaburras are so loud in the morning. They scream over one another. “It’s a new day now!” they holler. “Wake up!”
Perhaps it’s nicer to think of the bird song rather than a spat of yelling. This is why we call it choir practice. Indeed, it’s like everyone is trying to hit that note over one another, holding their one ear and singing, “Me me me me meeeee!” and clear their throats. Is that from a movie? I don’t know how choirs work. It’s been a whopping 31 years since I’ve sung in a chorus, unless you count everyone singing along at a Grateful Dead show.
There’s a crazy heat spell at the moment in New South Wales, but in the mornings, before the sun really starts to bake everything, it’s surprisingly cool. We’ll lace up our shoes and hit the road. We live on top of a hill, and it’s about a mile and a half into town on a fairly flat road that overlooks cow pasture and, in the distance, Nimbin Rocks. You’ll pass the free community swimming pool and the community center where I once printed out a document I needed for 60 cents AUS. You pass a whole string of graffiti: Someone spray-painted red and pink hearts all over town. Once you head past the skatepark, public toilets and a mandala that someone painted in the road with the word, “Nowmaste,” you’re in town. Men who are smoking joints and discussing what they’ve read in the newspaper say hello as you pass, and tourists are having breakfast from the bakery. We do a lap and head back, trudging up the hill and back to our primo spot in the mountains.
Back home, I make a cup of coffee – when Aaron’s here, it’s his pleasure – and cool down while getting into the day. We follow intermittent fasting, with six hour or less eating window, so no brekky for us yet. If it’s super-sweaty, we’ll wash off before settling into our work. I like to work either in the tiny home or our friend’s porch, which both have the gorgeous vista with only a spattering of homes in sight. We’ll take time to break fast and continue on, depending on what tasks we’ve set for ourselves. I use my Gratitude Diary to track my activities of the day.
Like I mentioned, there’s a heat wave going on in New South Wales at the present time. (By the way, this is what scientists were talking about when there’s massive snow storms in the other hemisphere and temperatures so high that roads are actually melting here. You know, just in case you actually don’t know that climate change is a real thing that is happening. I’ve been running into seriously delusional people on social media lately, so don’t take that aside personally. I know YOU’RE not really like that.) Anyway, we’ll hit up that pool at some point in the afternoon. I love swimming laps!
Siesta and Supper
Back home and cool, we’ll finish up work – or maybe take a siesta in the hammock – until we realize it’s time for dinner. We’ll make some yummy vegetarian delicacy, perhaps to some relaxing music, and whoever didn’t cook does the dishes. Even though we have a working sink in the tiny home, I like to do the dishes out on the patio. It’s so quiet and peaceful.
Around this time, the sun starts to set and the show begins. The first act is Golden Hour, one of my favorite times of the day. This is when the light of the sun hits the Earth at such an angle that everything shines a yellow tint. For us, this means that a forest of green turns golden and comes alive with vitality. It’s called Golden Hour, but it doesn’t really last that long.
That’s because right on its heels is Red Moment, something that I’ve only experienced in Australia. It’s really interesting. Things definitely turn from gold to red as the sun gets a little lower. This is as dusk approaches. It’s equally lovely.
However, it’s the beginning of the end. This is when the mozzies come out in full force. You have to think ahead here. Those dishes better be done. You better get up out of the hammock and back inside – anywhere! – and tightly zip up the screen before Mozzy Minute because you really only recognize the change when you get bitten. As the sun sets, you may hear some strange and dark flapping in the sky. Those are the huge bats that live in Australia. Mosquito Minute is their favorite time of day. When the full moon rises over the mountains and the bats fly off to the horizon, it’s a pretty picture.
The Orchestra Performs
When you live in a tiny home, you don’t watch TV. I haven’t watched television in years – I don’t think I’ve even owned one in at least a decade (My friend Megan gave me the last one, an old wooden paneled box that I would watch a DVD on occasionally. Now even that seems crazy.). Instead, you get ready for the real show. All the light effects, all the choir practice at the beginning of the day, is the set up for the real orchestral performance, which takes place once the sun is fully set. Insects, frogs, birds, kangaroos, cows, horses, roosters and who knows what other creatures sing at full volume, trying to drown out the others. Sometimes a neighbor will play some old-timey, romantic and dreamy music from a radio that sounds far away. It’s the song of life. We put on the solar lights, do a little more work on our personal projects or read.
There are a few good habits we knock out at this time. We take vitamins and supplements, including CBD hemp oil, which is really wonderful if you haven’t tried it yet. We brush our teeth and floss, drink a little extra water and tidy up. Once everything is settled, we settle ourselves in to our meditation seats, where we sit for another 15 minutes.
At the end, we may share our experiences before cuddling up for bed. We’re never up very late, since we don’t have curtains and that sun’s going to rise again tomorrow. And then the phases of the Nimbin clock begin once more!