My caring local librarian sent home an unsolicited book for me the other day: Inspired by Light & Land: Designers and Makers in Western Australia 1829-1969. Why yes, I am inspired by just that, Life and Land, I thought smiling to myself as I thumbed through the pages, uncovering the fascinating cultural and artistic heritage of colonial Western Australia.
The old photos reminded me of how different the world we live in today is, less than 200 years later. The south west of Australia is quiet and remote compared to the rest of the world, yet, we are more mobile and connected than our forebears could have dreamt. At least, we have the potential to connect. It doesn’t mean we manage this most necessary of human needs to our best abilities, and indeed, navigating the complexities of our modern world requires more than a little nous.
Life and health coaches abound online to help us with that, pitching ten-week turnaround plans and a designer life that looks superb on instagram, with unlimited online support and bonus silicon cupcake moulds. Some, not all, offer useful information. Other work is misleading, and could be harmful if not taken with a grain of salt and additional research conducted across diverse and reputable sources. I’ve been contemplating that lately, as I attend to healing some health issues, through eating very well on the GAPS protocol, which I didn’t have to sign up for, by the way, I bought a couple of books, and read free articles online. I also found an xperienced naturopath to work with me. For my health and general wellbeing, I need physical places, people, and connections I can experience with all my senses. The internet is a marvel, yet with its presence, more than ever we need to consider how our physical environment can nurture us.
From the beginning I wanted Stellar Violets to become a physical place for inspiration, learning, creativity, and connection. I want to encourage people around me to lead healthy, fulfilling lives, at the centre of a beautiful space, out here in the real world. We began collecting books early on, books about how to live well and flourish, inside and out. Our collection includes many books unavailable through Australian inter-library loans, having only been released in America. I knew at some point in the project, we’d have a chance to create a library. Enter stage left two vintage train carriages, and an idea. An idea shared by a 9 year old girl called Abby who lives just down the road.
We’re seeking a librarian, by the way, if you know of one. Or at least, a book enthusiast with some time on their hands. We hope to convert part of one train carriage to a library. That had been decided. Over apple pie and tea we were discussing the marvellous carriages with friends when one of their girls exclaimed,
“Imagine if you put a library in it, that would be awesome!”
I looked at her, stunned for a moment.
“Well, that would be totally amazing, I think we will do that! Can you draw us a design?
The late Dr. Wayne Dyer said ”Don’t die with your music still inside you.”
For us, it’s more a case of don’t die with your library books packed carefully away in boxes, especially when you could have built a train carriage library. There’s still time to compose a few library love songs!
If you’d like to help make our library dream come true, read more about Placemaking at Stellar Violets, and if you can, make a donation.
If you love reading and learning, check out our book review Listening to the wise woman’s call, healing for jarrah. On Shades of Green: finding a middle path through the forest by the late Chrissy Sharp.