A celebration is a good way to get out of a slump and yet when we’re feeling low, who wants to bother? Thankfully, birthdays remind us to get out of our shells, show ourselves and shine. As my friend Tanya of Inner Astrology likes to point out, there’s a different mood that emerges as the skies change and constellations come into display, which inspired the signs of the Zodiac for our ancestors who didn’t have TVs, reality show celebrities or Hollywood stars but the real deal, the stars in the sky.

Cancer the crab exited stage left on the 22nd of July and Leo the lion rules the skies until the 22nd of August. Leo is a bright, vivacious, playful one for sure, just like the Leos in my life who tend to be magnetic women with a brilliant mane of hair. My Auntie Sunny, a model whose heyday was the 70s was a Leo, as is Cheryl, my very creative and talented mother-in-law. You can be sure to have a roaring good time when a Leo is around.

To celebrate Cheryl, we went to the Blue Mountains and stayed in a lovely guest house which would’ve been the perfect setting for an Agatha Christie style murder mystery. An enormous hallway, red curtains, rooms and bathrooms galore, it was a splendid way to travel back in time to a  simpler, calmer and more charming era.

An Abundance of Pomegranates

It was a misty evening as we travelled up to the Blue Mountains. The weather didn’t look promising and in a way it was perfect, very English. There was no rush and only an expectation that we’d see the Three Sisters, the famous Blue Mountains rocks formations, since we’d come all this way.

The bedroom Martin and I agreed on greeted me with two paintings of women and pomegranates by the artist Marian Rennie. The paintings were called “Fruit of Life” and how appropriate. Women and pomegranates are lifegiving. After a good night’s sleep at the house and delicious homemade omelets by Martin, our MasterChef, I discovered that the handwash was also made with pomegranates. I’d received my pomegranate fix for the rest of the year and had at this stage enough inspiration to carry me until “Live the Gift” project was presented to the community in Lane Cove at the Lane Cove Library.

We drove to Katoomba for coffee and unfortunately, Paragon Cafe, an art deco work of art was closed down, possibly never to return. It felt like the end of an era and though there was a Pomegranate Cafe, it was full so we found ourselves at the Ginger Bread House. Toy soldiers greeted us at the door. Inside there was a Christmas tree, a lolly shop and hot chocolate and milkshakes for the children. It was a crowd pleaser which got me into the spirit of the Yule, which is actually meant to be in June, on the longest night. The new me, who likes to celebrate everything, will take Christmas any month of the year, especially as inspiration runs dry in the cold mid-year months.

We drove to Three Sisters and the fog still hadn’t lifted. Our backdrop was an eerie sheet of white.

Lunch at the Leura Garage, sitting among pickles, gave me an idea on what to do with all the vegetables (those carrots and cauliflower) around the house. Sadly I’d been letting them rot and go to waste. Learning to pickle is my next project. I love a good pickle and an old garage preserved as a hipster restaurant gave me that idea. It’s good not to waste but rework and repurpose to add value to whatever we can.

Fog to Clarity

A day may seem short and yet so much can happen in just 24 hours. It can be the difference between no idea and no inspiration or drive to total clarity on how to bring together “Live the Gift”.

On the Blue Mountains, one day can be the difference between total fog to clear blue skies. On Cheryl’s birthday we got blue skies and a view of the Three Sisters. What an amazing gift.

Over to you..

How has celebrating something, anything, made a difference in how you feel about your life? What will be the next thing you celebrate?