Subject: Well, That Happened!

December 2016: Well, That Happened!
Hello and blessings to you, dear friends, on this last day of 2016.

I've been harnessing the energy of the Dark Moon in Capricorn which occurred a couple of days ago to help me to slow down and take a moment to reflect on the year that's been, How fitting that the Dark Moon happened right as 2016 is drawing to its final close. It means we will have a bright new crescent in the twilight sky to usher in the New Year. 
No doubt about it, It's been a heavy year for many people on Earth. On a global level, not only have a whole swag of beloved and inspiring artists crossed through the veil. but we've also seen an escalation in global conflict resulting in millions of displaced and suffering people. And of course, that whole crazy US political circus hasn't helped! I'm also aware that, on a personal level, many people have, like me, experienced a particularly challenging year

But it doesn't serve us to dwell only on the negative. It's too easy, too simplistic, to simply lump all the crappy stuff of 2016 together and try to flush it down the loo! We can do better than that. We can grow. We can learn. If we are willing to look beyond the obvious, then in amongst the turmoil we are sure to find many jewels of beauty, grace, love and kindness.This little wildflower in Western Australia reminded me of that. At first glance the landscape was just plain and dry, then a closer look revealed this single bright flash of magical colour. 
The Capricorn Dark Moon (and this time of year when the Sun is in the sign of Capricorn) has something to teach us about tenacity, strength and endurance. It's an earthy sign, aligned with the energy of bone, of beneath, of cave. Capricorn reveals the hidden, internal structure of things - the skeleton, the framework. In the Northern Hemisphere, by this time of year deciduous trees have shed their leaves, revealing the naked beauty of their frame. Here in Australia, we are blessed with our beautiful Eucalyptus trees whose bare limbs dance against a backdrop of sky regardless of the season. (Here's a photo I took during a recent visit to the Blue Mountains near Sydney) 

Like these trees, we have an inner core of strength that may not always be apparent, but is revealed in times of challenge. Just when we feel we are most stripped back, most vulnerable, we discover a part of ourselves that is tenacious, resilient, resourceful, hopeful. brave.  That's what I've gained from 2016. 
When I was recently in Northern New South Wales during my wonderful Australian East Coast tour, I had an incredibly powerful experience watching a baby bird take its first flight. I was staying at the home of my dear friend Sue, taking a couple of days rest from my busy touring schedule. Her back veranda looks out over valleys and mountains, and in the foreground is a huge Gum tree. She told me that for months she had been watching a bird couple nurturing a nest that balanced seemingly precariously at the far end of a branch high up in the tree, but at eye level with her veranda. Many times she witnessed the nest buffeted by winds and storms, but still hanging on. Before long she saw that a chick had hatched, with the parents fussing about it, back and forth with gifts of food. 

One morning while Sue was at work, I was doing some yoga out on the veranda, when I noticed the chick stand up on the edge of the next. I ran and got my camera (which has a pretty good zoom) and got the photo you see above. I kept an eye on the chick for the next couple of hours at it tentatively flapped its wings, and jumped a little onto the nearby twigs. Then suddenly, in one swift movement, it simply leapt off the edge of the nest and flew from its great height diagonally downwards to a nearby bush. I witnessed it's first flight ever!!!  I was so moved that I cried. I feel like that bird now, standing on the edge of its nest - the only world it has known - ready to overcome its fears and leap into a grand unknown. 
In fact, I felt like a fledgling during that entire tour last month. I'd decided to shake things up and travel by long distance train rather than my usual flight / hire car routine. It was fabulous! Since I was a kid I've loved trains. My mercurial nature gets such a kick out of boarding in one city,  watching the countryside go by, then arriving in an entire new place. ( I managed to take a half decent selfie when I first boarded!)

I guess I was practicing my 'beginners mind': approaching a familiar situation with fresh new eyes. it created so much energy! I'd like 2017 to be like that - a fresh beginning, an application of the many insights I gained while working through the seemingly endless mountain of personal loss and challenges that was 2016.  May 2017 be like this calm lake - full of depth and mystery and beauty, and smooth sailing! (I took this photo while canoeing one morning in Northern New South Wales). 
So, I'll sign off now with a quick note about some upcoming gigs. Firstly, I have my final Melbourne concert for the tour this coming Friday at Bar 303, Northcote. Then on Monday 9th there is a screening of 'Boys in the Trees' at Melbourne Central, followed by a live performance of the songs that I wrote for the film. (links below).

I then fly back to the USA on January 11th, and after hanging out in Portland for a bit, Tim and I will make our way to New Mexico. We have gigs booked on Saturday January 21st in Ashland Oregon, and on Friday January 27th in Reno Nevada. Possibly a gig or two in Arizona, too. I'll let you know if that eventuates. 

I wish you all a truly fabulous start to 2017. I'll leave you with a cute pic of a little baby Possum that I saw on tour. May we, like it, find all the support we need to help us grow into our full, wild and beautiful selves. 

Now, I'm ready for a party :)    

Love and Magic



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