When Fairy Lisa first proposed to ask her friend Dave to host us in his warehouse, we imagined a huge warehouse full of tools and machinery, and us amidst the technology camping out. Upon staying with Lisa we find out that Dave turned an old Volkswagen service station into his home. It is meant to be a treasure for junk collectors, filled up to the top with thousands of LPs, antiques, and things that no-one wants anymore. It accommodates Dave’s lifetime collection of junk.
Meeting Dave on Sunday evening gives us a blast. We are shaking the hand of a man aged 65, proprietor of bright sparkling eyes, with a head full of long dreadlocks, a Hawaii shirt and beach shorts covering his body, and walking the grounds with bare feet. His voice has an inspirational, calming character, and his gestures and sayings invite to feel home. “Easy-Peasy”, “Good on You!”, “Faaa-n’Tastique!”, “Make yourself feel at home” are expressions that put us in place like being the missing piece that just needed to come along.
We put our roots down, placing our tent amidst the “living room”, and enjoy hanging out inside and in his garden. His garden was formerly the Volkswagen car park, and resembles now rather a piece of jungle. It is full of green leafy plants, cactus, and succulents. Big trees and bug nets provide shade around the fire place, providing carpets for greater comfort of dwelling on the ground. The trunk and wooden benches around invite to close our eyes, let the smell of roses, lavender, and frangipanis flatter us. The bugs around us, the spider’s squeaking while repairing its net, the snails plopping on ground pull us deeper into the magic jungle world of Dave’s garden. Although the warehouse is close to the huge and busy South Road, the garden pushes the noise far into the background.
We accompany Dave to second hand shops and the Wednesday swim, and enjoy his offer to bring or pick us up around town whenever he has got time. “Just give me a call,” is all he says. And we call. Being a hippie at heart Dave wanders around in his own world, leaving us space and time to do exactly the same. “Don’ts” are absent in his vocabulary. He goes for what he wants. He follows his desires. Wherever the energy flow tends to, he is curious to find out what awaits him there.
His dread locks came all alone by stopping combing his hair. People do the same. They pass through his home frequently. When we stumble upon strangers in his house, he calls it normal and nothing to worry about. Being such an open place, and at the same time an island providing peace to irritated souls invites to simply be. Worries don’t follow here. The junk in his warehouse holds immeasurable treasures for creative souls, and invites me to dream, imagine, create, and feel truly free. It’s atmosphere made me actually finish a beautiful piece of art, which I was carrying with me since Malaysia (August 2010). No surprise I named it “Faaa-n’Tastique!”
It’s somewhat funny to learn that Dave has been a business man most of his life. He successfully run a bakery, first in partnership with his father, later together with his wife. Sleep was a luxury for those 30 plus years. Working at nighttime, and caring for his children and friends at daytime, left few room to hit the pillow.
Dave’s family is big. He himself has eight siblings, and grew up in the country side, somewhere in Queensland. They kept sheep up there and lived in hard conditions, until they moved to Adelaide, where Dave’s father opened a bakery. The summers, though, they still kept the farm going. On this vast dry lands Dave’s diet consisted of few things: sheep milk, sheep meat, and sheep meat soup. A piece of bread was a welcome change, but rare. Vegetables or fruits came just in cans. Fresh produce was unavailable.
Every Wednesday Dave has one must on his to do list: going for a swim. No matter the temperatures, Wednesdays Dave hits the waves in Sommerton. Going for a swim means to him catching up on life with his family and friends who join for the swim, intensively recharging his energies in the nourishing ocean water, running and walking along the beach, and sometimes an after-snack with more chatting. He departs to go off to follow appointments with friends, or simply doing what comes at this moment to his mind. No matter what is on for the day, though, he always finds space to squeeze in something else interesting, focusing on the pleasures of life today.
Some when in the ’90s Dave studied art design and history for 4 years. Around the same time Dave began to read, which he hadn’t much done before in his life. Realizing the treasures hidden in books, he now enjoys literature of all kind of sorts, and can sit for hours, if not the whole day, with his nose deep inside the pages. Books are actually everywhere in Dave’s warehouse. Even though his library is not visible in such at once, when I go out to stroll through his treasures I find huge collections of them hidden under dust.
Dave owns a tepee, which formerly embellished his garden. Now it stays put on his land outside Adelaide. It’s situated in the hills, surrounded by wild, pure nature, and most of the year accompanied by Dave’s old mobile home. The magic of this place resides in the direct contact to mother nature, and the nourishing spirits of the universe. Dave has often invited friends up there, to pay tribute to the well-wishing spirits around. One day in the warehouse he took out his rain-stick, and gave us both a head massage. It was a beautiful experience, which made me feel to be one of the tiny little pieces that fall freely down the inside of the rain-stick.
Summing up my knowledge about Dave, it is amazing to see what he has chosen to be in this part of his lifetime. And I am grateful I had a chance to be part of it. Dave with his huge loving heart became very familiar to me. Spending so many weeks here, where unconditional love, acceptance, and allowance are core attitudes, I feel having found another place to call home. It is not the first in all those years, and it might not be the last. But it definitely is one of those special places that I call a precious home along the road.