Oh dear, what happened?! It seems even slow life in Ayr has become too busy and I didn't even finish the last blog entry - sorry! Today is a beautiful clear Sunday, a cool winter morning with the promise of a glorious day. It is a day I will play with my children, plant seeds in the garden and enjoy slow cooking - and of course try to finish this blog! It is a day to reflect on the past and the future and be grateful for it all.

In early July I suddenly went to Japan, sponsored by the expo committee with lots of help from the Sloth Club. Being the first time I had ever been apart from my children for a long period of time I felt such a mix of emotions. Sadness and guilt for being apart from them, freedom and empowerment for rediscovering
my identity beyond being Pacha and Yani's mother. I was able to do so much and be completely present with my friends and colleagues - I realised that so much of
my being is absolutely dedicated to being a mother, my brain is constantly occupied with thoughts of them: Are they hungry? Do they need to go to the toilet? Are
they tired? Do they need me? Can they find their colouring pencils? Where are they? .it goes on and on and every parent knows what I am talking about!

Suddenly this internal dialogue was almost gone, and like a benign fog lifting I remembered other things about who I was and my life's mission. It was good to know it was still there so clearly! It was also good to sense that when my children have grown I will be
able to continue and increase my involvement in all the campaigns and projects for a sustainable future.

The first event I could go to was the candlenight event at Yoyogi Park - a dream come true! Thanks to Keibo, we were even able to sing the new 'candle night' song. And to top things off Scan, musical mastermind, came along with a new DVD of the candlenight song produced by Scan, Ohara-san and Taka-san - a lovely, sensitive and professional production. We were also able to record a few more songs in preparation for the upcoming visit in November, my deep thanks to this amazing musical team.

A sense of the yearning for reconnection stood out during concerts and events, a deep desire to 'feel' and release long suppressed emotion about what is happening to the Earth and to us as humans in this time seemed to emerge. Perhaps this has always been there, but this time it seemed more pronounced. Maybe the time is right to offer workshops to extend our sense of self. Hopefully we will be able to offer a Council of All Beings workshop in November or December.

Despite being only 12 days in Japan, it was a very productive and inspiring time and I look so much forward to coming back with Pacha and Yani in November. Returning to Australia and the arms of my children, all my appreciation went to my sister and her husband for looking after Pacha and Yani. They all looked happy and peaceful (maybe because they were all pretty tired!) - they had an action packed holiday that was recorded in many photographs of the good times they had.

Soon it was back to Ayr, with Elie coming to volunteer with us for 3 weeks. It was good timing for taking out the winter prickle weeds and planting sweet potato and pumpkin in the newly cleared areas. Elie was impressed by the school garden - it does look good - it seems everything we plant there grows so well!

As Elie prepared to return to Japan, I got ready for the visit of my brother and his family - two children under 2 years old. It was good to be able to offer enough space and to help them out a little. It is amazing how much easier it gets as children grow up, yet they still need our attention. Yani found it hard to lose his position as baby of the family and share his space, his toys and his own mother with two other little ones while Pacha was a wonderful helper and spent every spare moment entertaining the baby.

Reflecting on the deep impact that family dynamics have on our whole development as a human, I relived the role my older brother had and has in my life.

Someone I respect and admire deeply, someone whose opinion and approval means a lot to me and someone who doesn't hesitate to tell me what he thinks! Somehow, in my family, I am expected to live a perfect, pure environmental lifestyle - as well as bring up my children as an ideal parent. I am far away from meeting these expectations and this is hard for me sometimes. Being depressed about not being perfect does noone any good, so I will continue doing the best I can, but not pretending that there is not a lot more I can do to live an ecological lifestyle. So my mind goes to Ecuador and El Milagro and imagining our lives there in the near future. While physically it is a hard life, spiritually and ecologically it is so much easier to match the ideal vision of an ecologically sustainable lifestyle.

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