Lessons Of A Lifetime

Welcome to my new website and blog. I’m so excited to welcome you all!

It seems that it has taken almost a lifetime to get here. And on the other hand it feels like only yesterday when I sat wondering what I would do with myself and where would I head. Certainly the past two decades have been the most tumultuous and challenging, rewarding and confronting, wonderful and inspiring, and have brought me to this place where I now feel free and unshackled to be able to express, share, enquire, ruminate and generally ‘live’ the words and rejoice in being able to do just that!

Followers who have been with me over the past two and a half decades know the journey well .. from conceiving and writing nearly 40 issues of the beloved Australian Country Collections (once the nation’s largest-selling bi-monthly country decorating and lifestyle magazine); to the launch of my own title Rick Rutherford’s Country for nearly 10 issues, and then the translation of all those words, images and sentiments into the bricks-and-mortar incarnation known as Rick Rutherford’s Country – The Australian Country Collections Shoppe in Lawson in the heart of the beautiful NSW Blue Mountains.

And then it all stopped! Well, that was a mindset I had for a season and now realise that it hadn’t really ceased at all. I just needed to be brought back to base and taught a few very valuable lessons! And of course as one is being taught, one can either eagerly embrace the instruction or resist. I’ll admit that I’ve probably done both over the past year or so as I have slowly put my life back together and sought new direction and purpose. I think that’s been the big issue really … that word ‘purpose’ clangs like a gong! What was my purpose I wondered after living at such a level of striving and having had a sort of ‘calling’ to touch and share the lives of others for so long and to then have it all so suddenly ended with a fall that nearly took my life.

But now, on the other side of it all, and so very grateful for the physical repair that has been a 12 month journey, I can now make the declaration that – despite how bizarre it might sound – I’m grateful it all happened. Well, maybe not the physical pain and repatriation but certainly all the other amazing lessons and experiences that so unexpectedly came with it. I’ve discovered a whole new world of the most wonderful, beautiful people around me as I have had no choice but to face my vulnerability, my fragility and a need to reach out and ask for help. And there have been so many people who have actually wanted to respond. But in a variety of cases not the ones I expected at all. A number of the folks who I really thought were my kindred connections were, to a large extent, nowhere to be found. That hurt. But now, on the other side of it all, I’m so grateful because I have been given the greatest blessing of discovering a whole ‘family’ of souls around me who really do care and are here for me, unconditionally. And I for them … and it’s an incredible knowing that makes me smile every day!

Another valuable lesson – and this has been really hard – has been the one about stopping and knowing that it’s OK to do so. All that stuff about smelling the flowers was fine for everyone else but I’d long regarded it more as an idealised thought than a reality. Until now. I’ll admit I’m not quite there completely, but I’m better than I was. I now get that it’s actually alright to declare that the only thing on the agenda for the next two hours is to sit in a rocking chair by the window or in the garden under the arbour and read a book. I’m learning it and I’m grateful.

In the same vein, for the first time in decades I’m relishing in the joy of having weekends; of heading off on days out with beloved friends; of being able to help out others when they have a need; of answering the call of nature with endless pottering about in the garden; of doing the ‘royal family tour’ of four states in four weeks and undertaking all the visitations to siblings and the mothership that went with it; of being able to sleep in with Aloysius Jeremiah (my fur kid) tucked up next to me when the mood strikes. These are all such simple pleasures for so many but for me they have been such incredible experiences and ‘indulgences’ after not experiencing them for so many years. Indeed the lesson is to never take the minor things for granted and to always be grateful for life’s smallest blessings.

Maybe the biggest shock to the system has been going from ‘go to woe’ in such a short, sudden period of time and under pretty undesirable circumstances that have indeed changed my life forever. But as I’ve mentioned, I can now say that I don’t regret it all for it has brought me to this new place where I have discovered afresh a reason and a purpose and with that there is a direction ahead. I realise how blessed I am to have this wonderful opportunity to share and journey once more with you all … and I don’t take it lightly, nor will it be taken for granted.

So now the way ahead is pretty exciting, filled with lots of good souls and what I think is a far more acceptable balance between ‘doing’ and just ‘being’. The only warning I have for you all is, now that the creativity and the words have returned – like the revival of one’s spirit and the refreshing of one’s soul – I may not be able to stop! And no subject or issue will be off limits so, strap yourselves in because I’ve got a lot to say that’s been left unsaid for too long! And of course I’m more than eager to hear all your thoughts and responses too … that’s what the blog’s Contact Page is for.

Until next time …
Mega blessings
Rick xxx

PS: If you’ve missed them before, have a look at the fantastic House Tours and A Love of Christmas stories via the interactive bar above. There’s lots more to come!