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Our Private Bush Retreat

Log cabins at the edge of the Central Highlands

Rosie and Lynn are now the 'owners' of a 300 acre protected bush reserve at the edge of the Central Highlands, in the heart of Tasmania. We use the word 'owner' loosely, because in our minds we are more the stewards of this land, even though we officially purchased it from my mother's estate less than a year ago. We chose the sale closing date in honour of my parents; December 17th was their wedding anniversary. We spent that day poring over 40 years of log books, with every activity, event, animal sighting, tree planting, weather pattern or rainfall, noted in the hand writing of generations of Lawrences and their guests.

It made us acutely aware of what we had taken on - the family history, and the hundreds of people who had experienced the exquisite quiet, serenity, bird life, and the occasional big event (an Artwalk for my 94 year old mother, our daughter's wedding, Lynn's birthday celebration). I had decided not to continue the log book, but immediately changed my mind that day that the place first became 'ours' - I promised myself I would continue it as long as it didn't become burdensome. It has since become a completely natural part of the routine of being there.

Sunrise over the Jordan river valley, Tasmania

The place is hard to describe, as there are many places in Tasmania more beautiful than this land. But the views over the edge of the escarpment, the birdsong, the quiet, the cloud patterns painting the fields in the valley below, the sea breeze that just barely touches the place on a hot afternoon, the sun rise over the mountains, the morning fog in the valley - there is a magic to it that takes your breath away. Or, as someone pointed out, gives you breath rather than taking it - the natural urge to breath and be present is unavoidable. And at night - the stars, the stillness, the wallabies hopping silently, the wombat grazing with absolutely no concern that humans are in his space.

The log cabins are handcrafted from California redwood trees that my father tended during his career as a forester and then purchased (well, my mother technically purchased them) when it was decided that a log cabin would be his retirement project. He built the "little cabin" on weekends and enjoyed just three years of retirement. Ten years after he died, Lynn and Rosie and their three children (aged 8,10 &12) came from the USA to live for 6 months and build the "big cabin".

So we have a deep connection to this land - as a place for connecting with nature, the earth, the trees, and our selves. We have plans to share the magic of this land with others - retreats, workshops, getaways, gatherings. Watch this space for further updates.

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