This morning I woke to the sound of some modal wind chimes. They were gently swinging to the breeze as it swept up the small green valley to the little ramshackle hippy pad I am staying in this weekend with my lovely friends.
Anyway, I am here for one night only and am practically child free – yes! Just me and the bub. L is having the weekend with his grandparents and N is with his aunty, uncle and cousins. So I grabbed the chance to run away from the domestic duties and hang out in the lush hinterland behind Byron Bay.
It takes me back to when I lived just a couple of valleys over in the late 80’s when I was studying music at the local university. I chose to live out of town away from student life. It was a great time to be here. Bangalow was a tiny village where the shop shut at 6pm. Byron still had it’s seasons and winter was my favorite when it was just a small local community with a great arts scene. Everyone up here was a bit of a mad hippy back then. It took a while to get used to, coming from the Sydney music scene. I softened a little over the years, getting used to all the hugging and overt therapising, but never crossed over thank goodness.
Those days were a fabulous musical indulgence. Spending day and night playing, singing and writing, apart from a bit of cooking at the old Beach Cafe on a Sunday morning. It was a big decision to leave sydney and the various bands I played in to escape to the country to spend 3 years learning as much as I could about music and composing. But I wanted to be a ‘real’ musician, who understood what the hell they were doing and who had the chance of a career in music. Later on of course I had to try to unlearn a lot of what I’d learnt so that I could get back to that joyful innocence that got me playing and singing in the first place.
So there’s a lot of memories for me here, even though it’s changed so much. Staying in this little shack at the end of a dirt road with corrugated iron for walls, a chandelier in the kitchen and art everywhere takes me back. Luckily the vista hasn’t changed too much, even though I have.
Today I’ll go back home, pick up my kids, play in the backyard, feed then bathe them and get them into bed and tell them I love them with some fresh energy thanks to a few hours of rejuvenation and a peaceful, sleepy morning serenaded by birdsong and wind chimes.