A Turning Point!
I was 25 when Katrina and I married, it was what you might call a story book affair. First we lived together on the tropical beaches of Northern Queensland, Cape Tribulation mostly. We hiked and sat around giant campfires on the beach, we met new people and we started to plan a life together.
After we were married we moved into a tiny Sugar Cane Barracks that had been converted into a house. We earned money at the local tourist market selling fruit and artworks that we created, Katrina was a dressmaker amongst her other talents, she could make anything. I hand painted fabrics and she made wonderful cloths.
At around this time we discovered A Course in Miracles, we were walking past a church hall in Cairns and posted on the flapping wooden door of the hall was a tattered piece of paper with the word "Miracles" emblazoned across it. There were dates and times for a meeting so I made a note to turn up to see the miracles, I thought it was going to be some sort of magic show.
We turned up at the appointed time and filed in to the hall, it was a very simple scene, a center isle with church hall chairs arranged in neat rows on either side. There was a long thin table facing the audience that was covered by a green table cloth with chairs behind it.
We all sat down and before long a procession of very well dressed people walked into the hall from somewhere behind the stage. They were all Americans; the ladies had very big hair and wore enough make-up to paint all of Cairns.
"This is a Course in Miracles" one of the ladies announced, she held up a blue book with a gold embossed cover. I had no idea what a miracle really was and here was a Course in them, we listened to the talk and became more confused but these strange people from far across the sea had sparked something in many of those gathered in that rickety old church hall. We bought two copies of the course, (in those days it still came as a three volume set) and we went back to our tiny house and started to read.
It was confusing, the language was Christian and yet it wasn't like any form of Christianity I'd ever read. We joined a study group, there was a lot of discussion and very little actual reading of the Course, I was still looking at the material from the perspective of how it affected other people's lives.
Soon we began the Workbook for Students, much happened during those first years with the Course. I had regular fights with the person who ran that group about interpretations and finally he kicked me from his group. I was still not using the Course personally so that event woke me up a little.
Then we had our first child, WOW I'll never forget it, we named her Hope, because we saw her as the hope of the world. We moved into a nicer house that had a mango orchard so our income improved enormously. As Hopie grew we planned everything around her, she was the center of our lives and what a kid, she has always been a rock.
We moved again to a tiny town called Kuranda in the ranges behind Cairns, there we got involved in the local amphitheatre and markets. Before long our second child was on the way, a boy, a blue eyed, blond haired little ball of grace from God. He was a perfect little thing and his mother and sister adored him, they were like hand maidens to a prince.
We lived our lives and studied the Course for a few more years and then we heard about a community that was to be established in Northern New South Wales. We packed all our belongings into a trailer and put the kids in the car and headed South. It was a long journey and things weren't quite what we had expected when we arrived, so eventually after living in a caravan and tent for a while we moved to a nearby town and started buying a house.
We lived there for a few years studying the Course and raising our little family, I got the opportunity to work with the indigenous Aboriginals, that was a highlight of my life indeed. Then I had a stroke, 10 years had gone by since we were married, I was 35 and totally knocked on my ***...