A most beautiful May

Has May not been the most lovely month! I trust you are enjoying this glorious weather, crisp mornings that put a spring in your step, brilliant clear days full of sunshine and evenings perfect for snuggling up with a good book, a puzzle or just some time out with your thoughts.
At the beginning of May we had a treat that’s been on my wishlist for sometime now. We enjoyed the most beautiful Opera in the Vineyards recently – an annual Rotary event at Ballandean. It was simply divine, music, fashion, breathtaking views, gorgeous weather and a great cause (raising funds to accommodate rural cancer patients whilst in the city for treatment). An event that could definately become an annual pilgrimage.
It must be the month for personal rewards because I also had a week in Melbourne recently which was wonderful – it was just the time out I needed with lots of long drives in the countryside, wandering the laneways, galleries, a day trip to the inspiring CERES environmental park (a community driven 10 acre environmental space 7km north of Melbourne CBD) and some special discoveries one of which was a beautiful town in the Yarra Valley named Marysville. As I came over the crest I was overcome by it’s raw beauty and felt tears warm my cheeks. It was not until I was reading a historical plaque telling the story of a family that had resided in the valley for over a century, that I realised where I was and suddenly felt as though I was standing on sacred ground. I spent the afternoon hiking and pondering these amazing people that from the ashes of such tragedy, had found a way forward together as a community to rebuild homes and lives. It reminded me how precious our relationships with others should be to us and as I hiked upon her hills, amongst the trees standing tall with blackened trunks, Marysville whispered to me of the secret that one must discover to live in the fullness of life’s beauty – the courage to be vulnerable, to fall again and again, but to keep the faith and despite all… rise one more time.
“To appoint unto them that mourn ….. to give unto them beauty for ashes.” (Isa 61:3)

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