This is Emerald beach and it will hold a special place in my heart for many reasons. When I was 15 years old I dreamed I walked on a beach exactly like this one and on the rocks stood a Hindu woman wearing an orange and red sari. This dream was so vivid, it was as if I was there and it left a lasting impression on me, that I even created an entire art installation for my Fine Art degree in my mid 20’s, in honour of that dream and of that woman for it really cemented my spiritual practice. I believe in dreams, destiny, synchronicity and every day magic.
Emerald beach was the first place I saw, on my first day trip in Coffs Harbour, Australia. I was taken for a walk on the “Look at Me Now Headland”, home to wild kangaroos. Whilst seeing kangaroos for the first time was spectacular, I couldn’t stop staring at the beach below and I had an incredible sense of knowing that place and I whispered to myself “I’ve been here before”. My friend Josh, whom I was staying with was a little puzzled and spooked by my reaction and story about my dream.
We later discovered that there was a special tree with Indian prayer flags gently wrapped around its branches and blowing in the wind. Originally hung there to honour a young woman who tragically died, the tree seems to have become a sort of blessing tree, because passersby have added their own trinkets and totems to the branches over the years, whilst others have created a small altar of shells and crystal quartz which I find so beautifully moving. But it was the Hindu prayer flags that tugged at my heart because to me, they were a direct message from the universe or physical manifestation of the Hindu woman I met in my dream, therefore physical proof that this is the beach I walked in my dream all those years ago. In honour of this magical moment, I had to make something to leave in the tree, so that a part of my spirit lives in the tree.
It took me a few days to make six small dream catchers, each with two feathers and a shell. My last day in Coffs Harbour was magical ,and joyful yet heartbreaking. I didn’t want to leave, I felt that this place was calling to me, its energy was so powerful. Being back on the beach and hanging the dream catchers on the sacred tree felt mystical, I felt like a child, climbing trees and make believing in the magic again and I also began to have flash backs of building my final installation for my degree show too. It was heartbreaking because I had fallen in love; fallen in love with the place and with a person so leaving these dream catchers in the tree was leaving pieces of my heart with him. And I hope every time he walks that beach, looks up at that blessing tree and sees my little dream catchers dancing in the sea breeze, he thinks of me?
I imagined myself as a mermaid sitting on the rocks to make dream catchers whilst singing the Om Namaha Shiva mantra like a sweet lullaby to the tree and to the man of the sea, the man I fell in love with. These dream catchers were my prayers and physical representations of my love.
I hope others will enjoy my creations and feel inspired to add their own totems and ribbons to the tree’s branches? Perhaps it will inspire a community project and will over time grow into a local monument of love? Pagans in the UK and parts of Europe already practice this and call them “wishing trees” or “Blessing trees”. It would be wonderful to find this tree on Trip Advisor one day as something to visit and add your own trinket to?
Leaving little pieces of my heart has inspired me to do this more often and I want to continue leaving little dream catchers in trees every where I go for people to find and maybe take home or leave there as public art in nature? I adore bringing pockets of magic into every day life and so leaving sweet totems in trees may make people smile and imagine fairies created them at night to be seen by humans in the morning!
It has also inspired a possible new career path involving sacred beauty. Using my gift of crafting beautiful things with my wisdom about yoga and mysticism, I am considering a path of plants and flowers somehow? With my new knowledge of Ayruvedic yoga I want to expand on that and learn about healthy living and herbalism but I also want to expand on skills in botanical illustration, dream catcher wreaths, flower installations and much more. Imagine a yoga studio that is much more than white walls and wooden floors? Imagine bringing the earth element into a yoga class or women’s retreat? Perhaps I’ll train as a florist or floral designer for events and occasions which I can then incorporate in my yoga workshops and women’s circles? Who knows? What I do know is- I want a life and career that is both yogic and whimsical.
All Photos by Joshua Cook