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Byfield State Forest – Day 24

The kindness of friends

I’ve always thought that practising kindness was one of the most beautiful yoga practices there is. I’m not always good at it but kindness and generosity are my aims.

In this post, I’d like to credit some of the many people who have extended kindnesses to Daniel and me thus far on our northerly camping odyssey. Even though, if these people heard me praise them, these special people would probably declare, ‘Aw, it’s nothing.’

From the very first of our camp sites in the Coopernook State Forest, we’ve been pampered. Ken and Sal McGowan did everything for us. On our inaugural night, Ken brought us firewood so we could stay warm on a windy winter’s night.

Four campers around a campfire eating dinner

Daniel, Ken Eve and Sal

The campfire was our welcome companion as Sal served us a scrumptious seafood laksa soup. We sipped Moët champers, donated to us by our camper trailer’s previous owners to mark the launch of our trusty ‘Ultimate’. Who better to share it with?

When we were already full-as from appetisers, soup and Moët, Sal brought out her famous healthy chocolate cake. Thinking, ‘who knows what our next meals will be like?’, Sal packed up the remaining cake for our future happy trails.

(I had some for the next day’s breakfast 😍.)

Our next angel-hostess was Diane Davies in Urunga. As a camper, there are no more happiness-inducing words than, ‘Sure, you can do your laundry here.’ Diane has been so generous to us in the past and continues to be a lovely, supportive friend.

Then in Coffs Harbour, we connected with Sarah Dunk and Michael Brennan. Sarah lives in a gorgeous seaside village called Sawtell. She welcomed us into her home to enjoy meals and a warm bed. On the Sunday of the weekend, Michael took us sightseeing around the Coffs hinterland on a rather drizzly day. The ride out to Bangalow Falls was as close to a roller coaster ride as I’ve had in many decades–a little scary!

Bev and Eric in Lismore Heights welcomed us into their new home of only three weeks–their first guests. Daniel and I made up for some skimpy camping meals by enjoying breakfasts, lunches and dinners, as well as morning and afternoon teas with Eric and Bev. We hit the road again after two days with even more food–a bag full of sweet mandarins.

Four friends, Eve, Daniel, Bev and Eric, at a cd launch.

Eve, Daniel, Bev and Eric

Another unexpected delight was the visit to Dharmananda Community at The Channon, Jenny Ireland, a member of the community saw to it the we had a plentiful morning tea, followed by a tour of their large property. Then, lunch at her mountain cabin and a chance to hear about the loving industry that goes on at this 44 year old Bhuddist community.

Byron Bay, my old teaching stomping ground, provided a treat when I ran into Lakshmi (née Lee Farrant) at the Bangalow Markets. She and I did yoga teacher training in 1979-80, during which time, we shared a house in South Paddington. We decided that we’ve thrived as older women, as you can see from this photo, because of all the benefits of yoga.

Eve and Lakshmi at Bangalow markets

Eve and Lakshmi at Bangalow markets

My dear old. Byron friend, Libby Nelson invited us for a delicious home-cooked meal and we caught up on all the goss. She and I go back to 1984, when I met her on a flight to Poona, India.

In the Noosa hinterland, Robyn Kildey, made us thoroughly comfortable in a self-contained shed on her 2.5 acre property. She’s Daniels ‘boss’ and was a most generous and heart-felt hostess. She’s like a renaissance woman and has so many talents and skills. These show up in her fine aesthetic sense seen in her gardens, artwork and stunning Queenslander home. Besides theseaccomplishments, she’s an international entrepreneur, is computer savvy and knows how to be a firm friend and family member.

Colleagues Chris, Robyn and Daniel

Colleagues Chris, Robyn and Daniel

We took a little trip to the coast from here and visited my old yoga students and friends, Ingrid and Rob Aitken at Castaway Beach. Although the visit was all too brief, I thoroughly enjoyed Ingrid’s lovely lunch and afternoon tea. Most of all, I was happy to hear that yoga is an important part of their lives and sustains them.

Eve and Ingrid

Eve and Ingrid

 

 

 

 

 

 

The kindness of strangers

Night before last, Daniel and I camped in a caravan park but forgot to get firewood for our brazier. At the last moment before dark we ran around and tried to scavenge a little from the bush–unsuccessfully.

While we were away from our site, one of the neighbouring campers delivered a load of his firewood stash to our brazier. There have been many of these random acts of kindness from people we’ve just met along the way.

The next part of out trip will include fewer visits with old friends but perhaps more adventures. I predict there will be plenty of encounters with new friends and no doubt paying forward the kindnesses we have already enjoyed.