How Composting Helped Bring Me Back to Life

It’s coming on to a year now since Tara, Pearl and I packed up and left the big smoke and moved up here to the Noosa Hinterland, on the Queensland Sunshine Coast.

Our story is your fairly standard one of a family moving for a “tree change”.  Despite all the wonderful things about living in a city like Sydney, we felt we had reached a point where we were no longer really “living” there.

Each year we set intentions to live more and worry less.  Yet despite running a reasonably successful business, we always seemed to be constantly paying bills and working too many hours. By the time the weekend came around, we all too often found ourselves needing to ‘catch up’, and then had little energy left to get out and actually enjoy what Sydney has to offer.

sunspace cafe

Out in the Garden at The Sunspace Cafe

Most of all we wanted to give our daughter something different. She loved her life in Sydney but we knew she would ultimately have all of that and and more, along with more of us, by us moving here.

For me, in the end keeping up with our city life had started to take away my ability to enjoy simple pleasures. Daily yoga and meditation had largely become merely more than “coping” practices. I look back now and realize that I was pretty much burnt out.

So after a year of planning, we finally threw caution to the wind and moved up here in December 2014. Apart from an acquaintance, we didn’t know a single soul upon arriving. Leaving behind family and friends was of course the hardest part. The only consolation we could offer was that they would have somewhere really nice to come and holiday when they came and visited. (Tara’s Mum, Dad and Sister have since decided to move here themselves!)

We now live on a 1 acre property in the Noosa Hinterland, surrounded by nature.  Everything is much simpler, we work from home, and have time and the mental space to appreciate just how beautiful it is here.

Finding my place

Whilst on the whole it’s been an easy transition to our new life here, naturally less than a year into it, we’re still finding our way. Pearl has settled well into her school in Eumundi and day to day doesn’t really miss anything from Sydney now. Establishing close friends is still a work in progress. These things of course happen though in their own time.

Of all the wonderful things I’ve discovered up here, finding The Sunspace Cafe has been one of my most cherished.

Since coming up here, most Friday mornings I’ve volunteered in the biodynamic vegetable garden which supplies a lot of the cafe’s produce needs. Having the opportunity to come in and work in the garden was a lovely community-building initiative the owners Tom and Wakako started around the time I arrived.

In coming along most weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to meet up with some of the nicest, most interesting people you could ever meet. Rob Birse the resident gardener is a fountain of wisdom in all things related to biodynamics and Rudolf Steiner.  I’ve learned so many wonderful, interesting things in the garden with Rob. Best of all though I’ve enjoyed simply being in his peaceful presence.

One of the things you often hear people say up here, is that the Sunshine Coast has lots of people who’ve moved here to reinvent themselves. There is no corporate culture, so many people are self-employed and making a go off their own initiative.  In my time in the garden, in the cafe and weekends attending events at Sunspace I’ve met lots of people like us starting a new life here. I think all of us deep down are drawn to connecting with something that takes us beyond the ordinary,  to something about not just consuming more life, but actually regenerating it.

When we build a new compost heap, it requires as many hands as you can muster up because it a big job. First we soak lots of hay, then we mix together left-overs from the kitchen, manure from Rob’s cow “Desdemona” and green waste from the garden. Finally we add Rob’s “biodynamic preparations” before covering the heap up with dry hay. Making a compost heap is the ultimate act of recycling love and life and and giving back to nature.  Its impossible not to walk away from it without a smile on your face and a sense of greater connection with those that have been a part of it.

Life will as always have its ups and downs. Finally though I’m beginning to truly understand that happiness is not the absence of problems, but simply the ability to deal well with them.  Putting my hands into the soil at Sunspace, has in many ways brought me full circle, I see and feel it teeming with life, and find myself wanting to thank the universe for the life it’s helped breathe back into me.

The Floor Is Now Yours

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Aaron Travers is author and creator of “ The Boda Cleanse– The 3-Step Intermittent Fasting Program to Detox, Burn Fat and Restore Vitality. ” Aaron writes at giving tips and personal insights on how to bring more health promoting simplicity into our lives .


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2 Responses to “How Composting Helped Bring Me Back to Life”

  1. Marie Stergiou September 11, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

    Hi Aaron, I loved reading the journey you, Tara and Pearl have encountered since your move up state. I’m so glad it has worked out and that Tara’s family have decided to join you in a beautiful part of the world. Michael and I are also loving our move from Sydney to Busselton and enjoying the quieter lifestyle and pleasures of the local wineries. Good luck with your life and business and I’ll be looking forward to trying you new products.

  2. Sandi Avery September 11, 2015 at 7:05 pm #

    Hi Aaron, What a wonderful blog. Yes, getting your hands in the dirt and being surrounded by ‘natural’, is something you can really get high on. I try to practice that “stuff” in my little patch of dirt and get great fulfilment from it….and composting and mulching is the way to go. So happy to hear that this has been such a great move for you all and that you picked the right place to move to.

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