I love how I connect easily with some special people. They understand my view of death, they are continually working to separate themselves from the fears and conditioning of earlier life experiences, and they use our conversations to share the truths that are important to them. André is one special soul, and I’m so glad I got to get to know her on her property outside Tenterfield.

André Messina, Avelon, July 2014
When André comes to meet us while we're visiting Sage, she and I end up connecting on a special level and talking for hours.

Avelon, outside Tenterfield, NSW, July 2014
André and her partner Jan own a 2000-acre property outside Tenterfield where they hold a vision for making it a healing refuge for men and women who are dedicated to conscious self-work.

This property was the original site of the Tenterfield Rainbow Gathering in April 2012, one that we missed because we were travelling in New Zealand at the time. If we had been here, it’s possible I would have connected with André two years ago.

Brioni and a puppy, Avelon, northern NSW, July 2014
All the girls are thrilled to get to know André's dogs, but Brioni especially loves spending time with the animals. André is a registered kennel for various dog breeds, and she inevitably has puppies for us to admire.

Large kewpie doll statue, from Sydney 2000 Olympic Games' Closing Ceremony, now outside Tenterfield, NSW, July 2014
I'm fascinated to discover this large kewpie doll statue around the back of André's house. She calls it the Deity of Avelon — the property once called Rainbow School of Happiness — but I do some research to discover its origins are very high-profile. This is one of twelve such dolls designed by Brian Thompson and displayed as part of the closing ceremony for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Four-poster bed, Avelon, near Tenterfield, NSW, July 2014
In the summertime, André and her partner sleep outside on this gorgeous four-poster bed.

André's healing space, Avelon, near Tenterfield, NSW, July 2014
André is creating a healing space here and invited me to lie on the couch while she played the harp on my belly so its vibrations would resonate throughout my whole body.

Calista on a fairy-toadstool outdoor setting, July 2014
Calista loves this little fairy-toadstool set and asks me to photograph her on it.

André’s special energy — the way she works with the animals around her and the way that she interacts with my girls — is definitely unique. The girls feel really connected to her and are already asking when we can return. I think Brioni would have been very content to stay here indefinitely — all the animals would certainly keep her busy. It’s always comforting to have another “safe” stop on our itinerary, and André has definitely created it here for us!