Travel

Recharging My Weary Soul in The Backyard Garden

I am writing from our a cottage called Captain’s Retreat, along the Mornington Peninsula.

It was a last-minute decision to book the Airbnb. I have been needing a break from the life routines and responsibilities for weeks, if not months. So after the local government lifted the 25 km travel ban last weekend, there was no reason not to do a little country-side weekend getaway.

We reached the cottage way past our check-in time and quite buzzed from the ten glasses of wine tasting, and two generous serving of Pinot Gris from a hidden gem on the Peninsula called Kerri Greens.

An old man who lived in the front side cottage greeted us. He then instructed Fafa, who he called Frederico for some reason, to park our car in front of his boat.

Short pleasantries later, we were in.

The cottage was as described on Airbnb, complete with flower wallpapers, nautical themed and a series of thriller novels by Clive Cussler neatly stacked in the bookshelves.

What was not advertised, and to my absolute delight, is the garden at the back. The huge shabby backyard supported an elevated patio, four seating areas, a hammock, a tended rose garden, various trees including a fully blooming orange tree.

The minute I stepped into the backyard, I could feel my weary soul starting to heal.

I spent some time in the hammock, swinging and reading the Belonging. Afterwards I went in to make a cup of tea and then back outside to slow-journal and soak up the evening sun accompanied by the resident cat.

This place, especially the garden — with its weathered down furniture, two sheds displaying various types of equipment, spiderwebs and messy pots laid around, is definitely not Instagram-able.

But sitting here for hours, watching the clouds passing by, hearing the birds chirping, I was reminded of what Sandra told me during my first ever tarot reading. To:

“Find a pocket of nature and ground yourself there. As often as you can, darling.”

This was the advice she gave to me in my first year of moving to Melbourne. Before then, I have lived most of my life in the urban jungle, Jakarta.

As a hard-coded city-folk, being in nature was not normal for me. In the beginning, whenever I tried to connect with nature, I would feel the need to “wrap things up” so I can get back into living my normal. That normal included Starbucks, high-rise buildings, paved balconies and malls. Even writing about it makes me cringe, but that was the truth.

It took me a few more tries – both intentionally and unintentionally – to relearn to connect with nature.

Its’ nurturing, and healing power slowly seeped into me when I stood at the Byron Bay beach, while sunbathing in the Sunshine Coast and when I walked alongside Fort Kochi, India.

Maybe relearn is a wrong way to say it, perhaps it’s more about reminding myself what my soul already knew intrinsically.

Ever since, I have been inviting more nature related energy into my life. From keeping fresh flowers in the apartment, to collecting crystals to tending to my house plants. From growing my own herbs to drinking herbal tea daily.

Ever since, life has been getting better.

I will write more about the place and our time here soon. For now, I going to plant my feet on the bed of grass and let mother earth recharge me.

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