Hellena Post - Creatrix

I've tried on so many uniforms and badges that now I'm just me - mother of 8 children and all that entails, flowmad, and human animal parent. Writer of this living book of a blog, philosopher, and creatrix of hand dyed and spun crocheted wearable art. I gave up polite conversation years ago, and now I dive into the big one's.....birth, sex, great wellness, life, passion, death and rebirth.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Living at the Big Bamboo

There's so much going on in my life right now.  Just when I thought my birthing toolkit was pretty full, I'm in the process of experiencing an Ectopic Pregnancy and chemical miscarriage.  It's kinda like the shortest pregnancy and longest labour I've ever been through, with pains and cramps in my belly like the first stages of birthing, but pains that never stop.  Been nearly three weeks now, and there's still a way to go, but I'm not writing about that now.  I'm still too in the middle of it to do it justice.  

I realised a little while ago, that when this whole bullying thing came about, it kind of side swiped my whole blogging vision, and ramble, and I got caught up for a while in dealing with it, answering it, learning from it, overcoming it.........  And forgot for a minute that I started this blog to be who I am, and share my life as much as I feel comfortable, because I know it's a life not often lived by the majority of westerners.  For all those people out there who have a very different life inside them to the one they're living, so they know that there are fairytales and wildwoods out there somewhere still, and if they ever find themselves at a time when they're ready to look............there's all sorts of realities to be found!

So fuck that, I'm back.  

I also noticed recently that I've kind of shortened my blog posts, and moved over to facebook.  Where I felt safer and more nestled in like minded souls.   But then I realised that there's a whole bunch of other folk, who may have been following my blog for years, and who don't do the facebook thing, and isn't that rather a shame?  And in the overall wash, I have to acknowledge that the haters have brought a lot to my life, not least feeling like I was part of a really groovy group of people who have answered them in a rather stylish way.  


And that my friends, is the last time I'm going to mention them.  I'm coming back to occupy my blog again, and tell you all the ramble instead of trying to squash them into Facebook statuses!  I'm also having very serious thoughts about creating a web page, where my blog can link in, but there's a home for all the other sorts of stuff I'm into.  Maybe even a page with 'Ask Hellena and/or Currawong', so folk can respectfully ask us any question they like.  And a links page, to all the other amazing people I know and incredible things happening in the world.  A good news page.  And when I get around to them, a page for all the ebooks I want to write.  About how to be a flowmad and travel with kids.  About what I've learnt from birth.  About our market experience.  

But for now I'm going to tell you about where I live.


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I live in heaven.  We're up in the cliffs of a sub tropical valley, 20 odd kilometers out of Nimbin, on one of the hundreds of communities sprinkled throughout the hills.  In the lap of the caldera of a massive volcano that was one of the monster volcanoes that shaped the land mass of this continent.  This whole area is hot and moist and FERTILE!  Everything is fertile.  Plants and grasses grow before your eyes, and ticks and leeches and all sorts of blood sucking creatures abound.  Where we live is called the Rainbow Region, and that's true in many ways.  Not least, being an area where a lot of queer and rainbow folk gather.  Nimbin for us is the soul of the region, where the great social experiment of living in community has been taking place in as fertile a manner as the environment.  

In Nimbin you'll see shops that you wont see anywhere else in the whole world, and not one single shop that you normally see in every town (as in a corporate owned one).  And folk in differing states of dealing with reality are equally cared for.  It's the only place I've been in our country where everyone is treated equally, and the indigenous folk are honoured as the caretakers of this land, regardless of the physical state they're in.  There's a fella who's calling is to paint around the potholes in the road, as a metaphysical quest, to illuminate the potholes in life, so that people can choose whether they want to go around them or not.  All the business's in town are owned by locals, and proudly kept that way.  There's a free pool and the most awesome skate park in the country.  There's a man who spends his days picking up cigarette butts and rubbish voluntarily, as a self worked out exchange with the government for the money they give him.  A lot of overseas tourists seriously think the whole town is a Theme Park, and we all dress up weird just for them, and then go home and get normal.  There's another man who raffles enough money to pay his rent every week.  There are beautiful Crones who know they are Crones, who run a basket making workshop in town every week.  There are all sorts of people working out all sorts of ways to create community, and trade, and relationships.  

And then in the hills around Nimbin are hundreds of intentional communities.  Some small, some huge, some communities, some multiple occupancies, some with requirements, all of them an expression of the macrocosm in the microcosm, and dealing with internal problems, just like the rest of us.  We happen to live on one of the oldest communities in the area, and it's styled as a multiple occupancy, which means that folks here can get bank loans to buy their houses, and they are individual houses on a big community, rather than community houses that everybody owns.  Closer to Nimbin the oldest community in the region is more of a traditional community, where you pay x amount of dollars to buy a share, and then hunt for a place to build your unique creation to live in, or live in someone elses.  Which is more of the style of communities that we've lived on in the past. 

But I gotta say, these multiple occupancies are a dream.  And there always seems to be a place here to rent.  On over 800 acres, and with 115 lots, we haven't even got close to meeting all the people and seeing all the places, and we've been living here for over a year and a half.   Most folk are on solar power, and are doing what they can towards living sustainably.  And we can drive for kilometres to visit friends and still be on the same community.  

We first moved onto this community in the way I related here and here, and around the beginning of this year we moved into our present home, that we can stay in as long as we like, and finally put our words into action.  Paul, who I called Tom Bombadill in this post when I was talking about moving in, is a total dude and groover.  And has been living on this community for a long time, as he has a few other places around to cycle through.  And I guess you'd have to call him a bit of a hoarder.  We're all consciously working together on keeping really open and honest communication, so that we don't bump into any sore bits, and we all kind of needed each other, so it's working really well.

And like I was telling you before we moved in, I was a bit reluctant about the work.  It was and is  a lot.  We all worked really hard to turn this......


Into this.....


In a day.  

It was actually the hardest I've worked in a long time.  Cause we had to clean the house we were living in, then move Paul's stuff out and clean up there (he was overseas at the time), set up a barricade on the verandah, and then make it liveable all in a very short time.  While it was pouring with rain and we all got flooded in.  Our welcome to our new home was to experience being flooded in on solar power.  But fortunately for everyone, this day of incredible hard work, was also the day that our Fairy Goddess Mother (or Jen as we call her, or 'Shen' as Merlin calls her) entered our lives.  She'd heard about us mob living down the road, and through extremely kind trade winds, heard we were moving and decided to help us.  Her eyes went a bit wide when she saw the enormity of the task we were taking on, but bless her heart, she stayed till the end, and till she knew the barricades would keep the babies safe, and we all had places to eat and sleep for the night. 

We also had the beautiful Snake, the resident black sheep and outcaste, mopping our floors.  He was the person we were most warned about when we moved onto our community, and taught the kids the most about judgement on the way.  We got to know him better just before our move, and all learnt a lot about how different we experienced him, to how other people described him to us.  It's been kinda funny how the fringe dwellers we've connected with in this little microcosm, have been so completely full of living community spirit.  And a beautiful friend who's fast become family looked after our little babies (all 5 of them!) for a day while we cleaned.

So that first night when we finally got to sleep in our new home, we were feeling pretty blessed to have been helped by two unexpected people who made it far easier than it could have been, and a dear friend who helps in general.  Jen continued to come over nearly every day for a while, and totally mentored us through our first experience of living off the grid.  She gave us advice about how to use solar power, how to keep our food fridged, ideas for gardening up here ( which is a totally different environment to which we've been used to ), and just general good sense from a person who's sworn off plastic, only buys secondhand, and is nearly completely self sufficient on her two and a half acre lot.  

Now please keep in mind that the following pictures have been taken in the few minutes between having everyone work hard to clean the whole house........and our seven delightful little dumplings wreaking extreme mess and havoc and foodscraps everywhere, so you'd never know it had been cleaned.  One of these days I'll post photos of how our home REALLY looks for the majority of the time.  You have no idea how much mess seven lively critters can create......  But then again, some of you do!

But over these months we've been cleaning up, and moving stuff around, and realising that even though folk might think we're hippies or unschoolers or homebirthers or anything like that........we're actually Wombles.  I call this place our Hippy Womble Mansion.  We've been making do from what other people throw away or leave behind for a very long time now, and it's an art.  We have our special things, and stories and furnishings that we've carted around with us for years, but when it comes to the big stuff, we make do with what's around us.  And here, there is a lot of stuff to make do with.  Quite an elegant amount in fact!

Believe it or not, a huge wooden table with chairs was left, that happens to fit our whole family and even some guests.



  

And enough furniture to put together a kitchen with an island bench.  Always wanted an island bench.  At the moment we're living with a tap and hot water outside, and we bring water in a container inside, and drain the sinks into buckets underneath.  Which can be a bit miserable in the rain.  As soon as we've finished building a verandah, the next project is a bamboo kitchen, with enough shelving and room for everything, and a tap with running water into the kitchen, draining out into the rest of the plumbing.  


We had all sorts of crazy things as barricades on the verandahs, but as I write Currawong is cutting down bamboo to finish off the beautiful fence that he's building.  One of the first things I did was put up my big spiderweb.




And we very quickly made a beautiful cosy nest of a bedroom, for us and the four little boy pack that's at the end of our tribe.  None of them can be tempted away from our bed, so our bed has just had to grow.  Some people have flying pigs or ducks going up their walls?  Well we have flying handspun and created baby jackets.  One out of aplacca, one out of rabbit, and one out of goat.  And we have our king sized bed in the middle of two singles, where the four little boys sleep when they're not pushing us apart from their spot in the middle of our bed.  It's amazing, that no matter how close I think they are right next to our bed, it's still not quite close enough for them, and every morning we wake up to a baby scrum, as they all try to get in the middle.  





And I was a bit impressed with myself when I came up with the idea of mozzie proofing the whole room, by hanging mozzie nets over the doorways and big glassless window in our room.  Unfortunately it means the bats don't come in flying at night anymore, but sleeping mosquito free is worth it.



And we have this awesome, huge, and generously be-muralled living area.  With you guessed it, a lounge big enough to fit us all, and room for all of our pursuits.






I've been experimenting with the basket cane that grows here, and made a hoop with wrapped raw fleece, and a silk wrapped circle, and then a yarn wrapped person from all the leaves.


My felted people have a table with a view, and somewhere comfortable to sit and observe our goings on.


And we've got an awesome muralled bathroom, with a bath, and open windows (that we're going to have to come up with something to cover before winter) that are so luxurious to sit by in a hot bath, while wind whispers over wet skin.


There's crocheted artworks on the walls wherever they can fit between murals and doorways and windows, of which there are a lot.



And another big verandah bit near the kids rooms, with a seat at the end where I can sit and see a valley on one side, and cliffs on the other.





 A little side entrance where we did some paving, and you can see our composting toilet in the background under the curved tin roof.



And there's a gorgeous grassy little hill where the photo above was taken from, where the kids love to play.


And on beautiful misty mornings, in fact on any morning at all, I look around me at all the abundant green, and know that we're in heaven.



I even had a crack at making a bamboo garden surround, using palm leaves as decoration like I was making a huge basket, but it ended up not being in a great space, and being better as a learning experience rather than a permanent fixture.  But it's given me ideas for how I can better make them elsewhere.....


But the most exciting thing we've been getting into is building a bamboo fence for the verandah.  Bamboo has won our everlasting respect for being an easy to use, and abundantly renewable resource!  With the amount growing here, we have enough building materials to make anything you could name.  And here is the start of our bamboo fence, that we're making with bamboo cut down with a hand saw, and then held together with cable ties and pea vine wrapped over the top to add extra strength.  As the pea vine dries, it shrinks and tightens, so it's a beautiful, practical, and strong fastener.  Here's the beginning of the fence that Currawong is still working on all these hours and days later....





I'll show you photos of the finished verandah when it's done.  So our home is beautiful and slowly getting sorted, and the gardens have abundant room for growing all our veggies, the fruit already growing and what we're planning, as well as chooks and maybe even goats and a pony down the track.  Not to mention a huge kids/adults playground, with cubby and tree houses, swings, sea saws, nets, slippery dips, sand pits....got a plan for a big crocheted bell jar swing that an adult can sit crosslegged in, and trampolines, and fenced gardens and crocheted garden cosies..............

But what's really sweeping us off our feet is the community we're experiencing here.  It's all we ever dreamed of and more, and I'm so glad that we never gave up!  Our beautiful friend Emma has taken our kids (lots of the young ones!) regularly, loves them to bits and vice versa, lends us her car if we ever need it, and during this Ectopic Pregnancy I'm going through, has babysat our whole brood while I've been at the hospital with Currawong.  She also has amazing parties.  And Jen, our Fairy Goddess Mother ( and she's got the outfit, and the wings, and the cape, and the hat and wand to prove it!), has fast become one of our family.  It seems that her and her older daughter and son, had 9 person spaces in their hearts, that were just waiting for us to come along and fill them.  Every time I start talking about her I want to gush, because she's brought so much wealth to our lives. But I'll tell you more about her later.

There's Paul and Snake who are ever ready to be helpful and attentive, and Yollana who I mentioned when she came and played in Ermintrudes Tree Cosy, and a whole heap of other people who we've met along the way that also live here.  There's also Gary who has very special relationships with animals, and happens to breed pet rats, which has been on Lilly's wish list for years now.  When we first went to visit him, he had a wallaby baby in his lap, and he explained that the babes mother was a wallaby that he'd rescued when young, and she'd grown, and since had a few babies, and always brought them to him to babysit, while she had a bit of time off.  We all traipsed out to the backyard where she told him she wanted more time ( I was there!), and hopped off, leaving us with her baby.    We all got a chance to sit with a baby wallaby curled up calmly in our laps till she came back again.  We also met the butcher birds who sit on his shoulder, and heard about the love story between his adult rats.  It appears that Ratsack, his big male rat, had another girlfriend before Minnie, the mother of his children.  And his first girlfriend was a lot bigger than him, and treated him mean, and had her evil way with him.  But she got out one day, and ate rat poison which was out for the pest rats (and has since never been in the house again), and died.  When Minnie came into his life, he was delighted that she was nice to him, and was all affectionate and gentlemanly with her.  And while Gary was telling us this story, the two rats being spoken about were literally cheek to cheek in their cage watching the sunset.    Gotta love a rat love story.  Gary has generously gifted Lilly and Spiral-Moon with 4 rats and a cage, and brings Ratsack over for play dates.  And when we went over to pick the first two, one of them snuggled under Lillys ear, and let her know quite clearly she was picked.  The whole experience has been gorgeous.  And connected.



And Jen has taken us all to heart in a way that's helped us to realise that the dream we had of community relationships has always been possible......we just did it with the wrong people!  In all our years of being parents, we've never really had anyone helping us much, or looking after our children.  My mother would only ever take one at a time, unless it was an emergency or special occasion.  And we just didn't have the kind of friendships with folk that ended up in them spending time away from us often.  A beautiful couple we knew took them all for one night and it was just wierd.  We never had meals given to us, or shopping done, or any of the things that folks with extended families take for granted.  We just got used to doing it on our own.  And not only has Emma taken large mobs of our kids to her place for plays to help out, but Jen has stepped into our lives in a deep way, and loves to spend time with all of our kids.  She asks us if she can borrow them because she loves their company, and they're helpful.  We've all had a sleepover at her house, and different groups of kids sleep over there regularly.  We helped her deal with her empty nest syndrome, and she kinda needed us as much as we needed her.  She gets a bit of vertigo sometimes, and the kids go round and prune her trees and help cut firewood and garden, and clean out the chook shed and pick fruit and nuts.   She's also taught them to bake bread, muffins, cakes and biscuits, make pasta, gnocchi, dumplings and chapati, make yoghurt and cheese, and has them kneading dough like experts.  Because they all love her so much, and their friendship is so easy, they clean the house and wash up afterwards, and help with all sorts of jobs in-between sitting round watching her big screen telly and getting spoilt.  She sits up late at night with us sometimes, and joins in the conversations we nearly always have after they're all asleep, about all our little darlings, and what their special needs and sensitivities are.  She's got a big daughter and son who have become beautiful big sibling role models for our kids, (which they've been missing in Jess) and we all fit together like we were made that way.  And she very seriously offered, and we very seriously took her up on being their caretaker if anything should ever happen to Currawong and I. And for the first time ever I can relax on that one.  We've always been mildly horrified about what would happen to our children should that ever happen, and they went to either of our families.  I know that if that eventuates and Jen is around, she'll keep them all together, and give them about as close to the way we want them raised as you could get.  And since Jen came into our lives, we've had quite a bit of time with only a few kids, and we can even go shopping without the ever adventurous toddlers!  It's quite a revelation.



And just like I've realised that I'm not really a hippy, unschooling, home birthing stereotype, but really a Womble, I've also realised that I could throw away all learning philosophies and reduce it all to one very important foundation........that of Authentic Relationships.  I've been thinking about it a lot in light of our newfound abundant friendships, and trying to work out where it all started for me, and I think it was when my first daughter Jess was about one year old and I'd started her in day care for the first time.  I did all the things I was meant to do with Jess, and going to a childcare centre was part of it.  And she hated it so much, that one day on the street when she saw one of the childcare workers out of work, she burst into tears.  At that moment I decided I had to find something else, and checked out family day care.  As a lesbian at the time, I also knew that being able to deal with men and having healthy male role models was almost more important to her than other kids, and after hearing about a day care dad called Robert, I decided to go and meet him.  We got along instantly, and I explained that I was very bonded to my daughter, and if she was going to be cared for by him, we would have to become family.  He was a bit surprised, but took me very seriously, and we went on to become the best of mates.  Jess called him dad, and his home was her other home, and his daughter was her best friend, and it was all totally gorgeous.  There was a funny moment one day when I walked in all dressed in black leather, and picked her up and chucked her in the air, and he said 'Oh be gentle with my baby!'  

This was the beginning of my desire to search out authentic relationships for my children.  After this gorgeous experience I did send her off to school, and she did get horribly bullied, and we did try to homeschool, and tried all different schools to try and solve it, and she still suffers damage from those days.  I didn't manage to keep on that path of searching out authentic relationships for her, or rather we did, and she did really connect with a lot of her teachers and friends, but there is so much else going on in a school, that can overwhelm those beautiful relationships.  

And now, from my perspective right here, I can say that I think Authentic Relationships are the key to it all.  It's taken me years to obtain them and care for them and create them and believe that I deserved them, and I guess I'd like to give my kids a bit of a leg up.  I've never wanted them to feel like they have to endure other people, or that other people have to endure them.  When there's enough gorgeous people to connect with in the world, why should any one of us settle for anything less?  I never wanted my kids to feel like I couldn't wait till they were out of my hair, and that people had to be paid to be nice to them.  When I really look at it, I've always sought real connection for myself and my family, and maybe our only flaw has been that we've sometimes looked in the wrong places.  And with the wrong people.  

Because when I see what they can learn and do and think about and ponder and create with a person who genuinely loves them for who they are, and how they remember every detail because it came from someone they love, and how much joy they can bring to people who delight in all their interests and creative expressions............I realise that there's far more fertile learning in these interactions than in any they could glean from a class room of emotionally immature folk being bossed around by somebody paid to be there.  Learning is associative.  And what better way to enhance learning, than to experience it in a safe and loving environment, from someone you really love.  

So we've got our home and are finally working towards our self sufficient dreams, and our close family community, but there's also the broader community here, with nearly 70 other kids who our kids hang out with at different times.  Griffyn and Lilly have two really good friends each that they swap sleepovers with, as well as the broader communities kids that they play with, the kids they know in our Nimbin community, and also a twin family that lives up the coast a bit and who we're trying to see as much as we can.  That beautiful family and the dreams that lay with them are a whole other blog post though.    Spiral-Moon tries hard to get on with other kids, and does in bits and pieces, but when the chips are down, Spiral likes women friends the most.  And they love her.  From the moment she was born, Spiral has had an aptitude for strong and deep friendships with adults.  Mostly girl/women, she's had so many awesome connections that we've lost count.  Spirals favourite experience apart from hanging out with us, is to be off on her own with an older girl or woman, having deep and meaningful conversations and doing make overs on each other, or doing just about anything.....as long as it's deep and real.  Women have gone off with her for an adventure, and come back with awed looks on their faces, saying that they'd remembered what it was like to be a child again.  She adores playing with other kids too, but for the moment, some of Spirals favourite places are in her own private fantasy world, or with an understanding older friend alone.  And our young boys tend to be their very own boy pack, that love to play with others, but are always happy to play together and alone.  

Our kids lives are full of learning and Authentic Relationships and performing practical tasks that aid in survival.  We're even working ourselves up to creating a brood of chickens, and killing and eating the ones that need culling, and using the feathers for pillows and doonas and mattresses.  And now we're watching t.v. they're learning a lot from the documentaries and programs we're watching.  We're only doing the ABC and SBS and National Indigenous Television though.  And funnily enough, after 10 years away from telly, I'm liking a lot of what I'm seeing on my return.  But that's another post again.

This is where we live.  And how we're living at the moment.  And some of the people who we're sharing our lives with in person.  I'm happier than I can ever remember being.  I feel accepted and loved for who I am and for our whole family as a unit.  I'm proud of who I am, and what I'm doing with my life and family.  I feel like I'm actually becoming the one that I was waiting for.  I love my body and it's incredibly sturdy loyalty, and I know that I'm a beautiful woman. I'm so profoundly greatful that we didn't live up to our threats, and never moved onto a community again.  I feel so blessed to have relationships in our lives that are so much better than I ever dreamed of.  And this is just the beginning.  

There are so many other dreams and plans and ideas that we're hatching collectively, and because I have this wonderful thing called a blog that I'm now fully occupying again.......we can all go on this adventure together.  

I'll keep you Posted.






























24 comments:

  1. Sounds like a dream...When can I move in?

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  2. What a lush reality you are living in. Your words evoke it so deeply for me that I know it as my own, on some deep intrinsic level. And I would like to gently remind you that you have all been held with deep love in other communities, and that meals have been brought to you and foods gifted to you in abundance, but they may have seemed like mere drops in the ocean. And for me it was an exercise of expansion and growth and expansive growth to feel the extent of deep love for all of you, way beyond that which I as an only child of a single parent family could ever conceive in my own lived experience. But then you know some aspects of this story. I am thrilled that you have landed in a home of majesty and satisfaction and abundance.

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    1. Oh beautiful Ellie, you're totally right, and I'm glad you brought it up, cause the distinction needs to be made.......our outer community back in SA was the most lushsome, creative, accepting and loving folk we know, and I'm sorry I haven't made more of a point of that!! I'm more talking about the actual communities that we lived on, and actual people that we lived with and tried to work out community family connections with in our time in SA. Which was only a very few people, most of who you know. And even in that inner community of the people we lived with, there were amazing times and supportedness, but how it all ended and how it panned out in the long run has been such a traumatic thing in our lives, that we're still healing from.

      Because the community you describe is the community that we're used to living in wherever we go, which has made it all the more incongruous that the actual living situations have so profoundly not worked out. Really sent us on a search for what was wrong with us that it didn't work. But we were just trying to make it work with the wrong people. For us. At the time.

      I guess the big deal for me, and the point I should make more clear, is that the two realities finally reflect each other - the community we feel with everyone we meet, and the community we feel in our inner sanctum.

      Thanks for bringing it up!

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  3. Hellena Post you do write wonderful posts ! It is lovely, being 'brought in' to your world ! To hear about the family's new 'home' with supporting community around, and lots of exciting adventures .....gives me joy ! Blessings to You and Currawong for bringing forth such a tribe !
    (ps...I must try and get 'back in' to my blog..... I gave it a revamp ages ago, and seen to be locked out ?? now and haven't had the stamina or patience to understand why/how/etc ...... )

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    1. Ah beautiful Meg, so lovely to see you here! And so glad that it inspired you to get back to your gorgeous blog too. We'll never forget you and Jeridus (?) for being our first mentors for living on the road! You gently nurtured us and inspired us and gave us such an awesome example of being a Flowmad......

      Thank you!

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  4. HOw cold does it get in winter ??.Im so envious of your lush green. We are dry dry dry here and nervously awaiting rain to start sowing (oats wheat)
    Thanks for coming off facebook ( I dont feel comfortable friending people I dont know -feels intrusive but I do like your stories)

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    1. It gets really cold for a really short time, but even then it's still warm during the day. And I've been living in dry dry dry for the last 13 years, so I can relate! Still blissing on the green.......

      And you'd be more than welcome to be friends on Facebook, but I'm back :)

      Thank you!

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  5. AS A TRAINED SCIENTIST I endorse this experiment. if only Billen itself could be like H&Cs BigBamBoo, well we might not have peace, but we'll have at least a ceasefire and come to understanding. but one correction to your otherwise excellent if not just a little rosy dissertation: Billen Cliffs is NOT a MO it is a STRATA PLAN. this is in fact a crucial difference. sorry to quibble

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    1. That's allright Snake. So there you are folks, now you know we live at Billen Cliffs, and it's actually a Strata Plan community (which is very similar to a Multiple Occupancy ). The main difference for me is that the houses aren't all community owned, they're privately owned.

      And I'm allowed to do rosy, it's my 'thing'.

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  6. Hey Hellena-
    Great to see the changes you guys are making in the home I grew up in. It makes me really happy to see it cleared and being used by an appreciate family- its been too long without kids and colour instead of chaos. (But I loved and understood that chaos, too). The mozzie nets are the best idea, and look great! Same with the bamboo fence. I'm happy you guys are there to progress our house into the way Dad saw it through his clutter-free goggles.
    You should have a fire bath in winter outside, its one of the best ways to appreciate Billen's starry skies.

    - Lucia

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    1. Must be wild to see your home and furniture being arranged all differently Lucia! I'm getting a real appreciation for the chaos too.

      And I've got to say that your dad has been awesome. When we first moved in, there was a bit to clean, but there were also little love letters all around the house ( I think some came from you too!) of beautiful clothes for all of us cleaned and folded on a rack, and toys and books and things left thoughtfully in spots all round the house. And since he's come back, he's done a tremendous amount of quiet and huge work around the place, clearing areas and moving stuff round. I've come to really appreciate that every single thing, no matter how discarded it may look, has a story, and a memory, and a potential use, sometimes many. And he can lay his hands on just about anything you mention too. I'm starting to see that he's got a huge amount of space in his heart and head for a great catalogue of stuff, all of which is equally important to such a deep and thoughtful soul.

      I like to think we may be able to help clear and polish some bits of his psyche through being here, and helping to actualise some of the amazing and generous dreams he had and has for this home.

      Your dad rocks. And you're more than welcome to come and visit any time at all. And I'm totally with you on the concept of a fire bath. Paul has already suggested a few spots and possibilities, and we'll certainly get there.

      Thank you so much for giving me your feedback!! Big love to you and your family :)

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  8. Hi Hellena,

    I must admit I have mixed reactions to your blog. On the one hand I see a passionate and intelligent woman who hasn't quite fully actualised the extent of her potential in this earthly experience [and I certainly hope you do!] and then i get frustrated when I learnt that you left Uni etc - I was wondering why you didn't channel your talents into the mainstream world in the form of education or medicine? Imagine the real difference you could've made! And on that topic I was wondering if you will allow your children to attend university? Please say yes! The sad reality is that we need meaningful qualifications in order to made a meaningful mark on this world and to achieve that we need formal education. Just imagine the results of formal education mixed with your free-thinking hippy ideals? Your kids could make something really hot manifest down here!

    Looking forward to hearing your response,

    PS I'm naturally suspicious of dichotomised thinking ie formal schools bad/unschool good ... it just seems so intellectually lazy and unimaginative, i know you have commented previously that you avoid binary constructs so I'm sure your response will be lengthy and thoughtful ha ha

    Also as a mother I want to know your daily timetable for homeschooling and if you use the correspondence kits ... i am a mother too and can't imagine where you find the energy!

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    1. Thank you so much for taking your time to give me such a lengthy insight. Ever since I read it, I've been thinking and my response has actually been cogitating round at the back of my head, and there's actually a blog post being created as we speak as a bigger answer to this.

      I must admit that I kinda prefer my experiential based learning to what I could have learnt in university that anyone can and does learn......and feel like I have far more to offer the world from my unique perspective, than I ever would have been able to, trying to tote somebody elses line.

      And when it comes to my children going to university, of course they could go if they wanted, but I'm hoping that by the time they're ready to go, there will be a lot more on offer. I actually believe that we need less qualifications, and more people living the unique reality that they were born to live, and experiencing meaningful relationships and occupations that lead to our continued evolution and survival. And healing our planet so that there's an arena in which to play out all these possibilites.

      I believe my children will manifest really hot realities no matter what they choose to do, cause they have our complete admiration, respect, and support to be themselves.

      I think we're at the point where we can all collectively travel beyond dichotomised thinking alltogether, and come up with a whole heap more possibilites, technologies, communities, and societal structures than ever thought possible.

      And I don't do correspondence kits. I like to be consistently inconsistent like Osho recommended, and let life and everything be our constant teacher.

      Thank you again for your feedback, cause you've really inspired me to think about a lot. And because of the timing of this all, it's actually inspired a lot of creative ideas about how to progress into this future that I'm dreaming so hard of!

      Peace and love to you.....

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  9. Your world inspires! I long for that sense of deep, authentic commnity too. Your house is so homely and colourful. What amazing memories your kids are going to have :)

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    1. I reckon it's pretty special. I'm loving where we're at. This is the best house we've ever lived in together, and we're all pretty damn happy. Thank you so much for taking the time to connect!

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  10. Hello,
    I am originally from the Rainbow region and dreaming of returning from "exile" in tasmania, curious about living in Billen cliffs community or that region and I stumbled over your blogs... you mentioned currawong and something twigged and seemed familiar and then I remembered reading your blog post about birthing twins when I wan pregnant last year. I wondered if I had twins and was planning on birthing at home... actually I just had a very tall giraffe of a mountain boy inside me, doubled in 2! Hopefully when everything falls into place we will cross paths somewhere in the village. It was encouraging to know there are often places to rent, as we'd love to do that before we settle down somewhere more permanently.

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    1. So when you get here darlin, you should come along to Nimbin Market, and meet us all, and we'll help you with finding the places that are available and where to look. :) Look forward to having your mob in our community again :)

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    2. Thanks! Will do!

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I love your comments, and your feedback......it makes this whole blogging thing worthwhile. Peace and blessings to you!