Friday, February 15, 2019

with arms full of flowers

Last Friday at around 5 in the afternoon my dad came home from a trip to Melbourne with my fixed up and updated computer. 'Are you going to write your blog today?' he asked me as he handed it over. My computer had been sitting in a shop in Melbourne all week and I'd barely thought about it at all. I knew it was coming home late Friday and assumed I wouldn't have time to create a blog post so I planned my whole day without it, and when he asked I replied 'nope, I'll be back to blogging next week.' 

It's interesting how powerful our mindset is. Only after I'd thought about his question later did I realise that in retrospect I probably could have knocked something together. If I'd known it would be back in the afternoon I could have done everything early and then sat down to write it late. And more than that I would have been thinking about it and collecting stories and thoughts all week in preparation. But my mind wasn't in that state, and I had nothing, so I didn't.

But now that it's a week later, and I do, I am.

Last Saturday after an argument with someone in my family, I was presented with an apology and a big bunch of flowers picked from my own garden. One of each variety of flower and seed pod that we grow. I've made and received plenty of apologies in my lifetime, but I don't think any has ever felt so meaningful and looked so beautiful. 

Last Sunday, actually every single day, I have this routine where first thing in the morning and last thing at night before it gets dark, I walk up and down every row of the garden. I admire the new, I deadhead the old, I tie up anything loose, I harvest the ripe, I watch for any pests, I squish caterpillars and slugs, I sing, or chat or just listen, I try to take it all in and notice everything, I breathe, I fill my cup.

Last Monday I was walking back to the car-park after the school drop off with a mum I'd just met. Her oldest just started his first year of primary school this year, while my youngest just started her last. As we walked we swapped little details of our lives; how long we've lived here, our other children's names, what else we juggle along with mothering.

As we arrived at her car she slid open the door to reveal a row of child seats and it surprised me. Then it occurred to me that it's been ages since I've buckled one of mine in. It's funny how something that's part of your life for so many years can look so strange and alien when you've gone past it and left it behind.

And then I went one step further and thought that not only has my back-seat booster-seat period disappeared, but now I have a child that could legally drive that car. Wow!

I'm not sure this story feels so profound a few days later now that I'm writing it down, but last Monday after we'd said our goodbyes and she'd driven off, I sat in my car for a few minutes and contemplated the stage of mothering that I'm in. It all feels very grown up and big.

Last Tuesday, and every other day, Indi has been texting us stories and sending us photos of her wonderful worldy adventures. It's a crazy feeling to live with someone under the same roof for 18 years and then watch as they travel off to make an independent life on the other side of the globe. It's wonderful to watch the world through her eyes, it's interesting to see her style evolve as she captures her surroundings, it's heartwarming to see her beautiful smile, it's fascinating to hear her stories, and as with all her firsts - it's taking me back to the people and the places and the adventures I had when I was her age doing a similar thing. Of course I miss her like crazy but much stronger than that is my sense of joy and delight for her, and pride and awe of her.

Last Tuesday one of us decided that the new dynamic of four in the family was too difficult to navigate so she went down the hill to stay with my parents for a few days.

It's funny, while the bare bones of our family life are still the same - schooling, farming, eating, home-working, preserving, growing, music-ing, driving...the details are all different. There's one less plate on the table, there's one less pile of washing, there's one less story, there's less drawing, there's one less guitar being played, there's one less person in the shower queue, there's no-one to tell you which shoes to wear, no one talks about Shawn, sometimes there's just no-one else who understands.

It's early days still and I'm sure we'll all get used to our new normal I just hope our little wanderer knows how much we adore her and miss her. And I'm also ridiculously grateful to have my parents at the bottom of our hill to pick up the pieces and to spoil the runaways when a little bit of extra love and care is needed.

Last Wednesday I sat together my farmer boy in the sun-room and had a discussion about all the things we're struggling with. Nothing major, just the day to day stuff like water, and farming, and aging, and sickness, and time, and moods, and housework, and caterpillars, and wanting to be 18 again with nothing but a backpack traveling the world.

Last Thursday morning we dropped Jazzy at school and caught a train into the city. We ate breakfast for lunch, we visited the Escher x Nendo exhibition at The NGV, we strolled around holding hands and people watching, and then we headed back home feeling lighter and brighter and more capable of dealing with things.

It's amazing what a difference a day made.

Which brings us right back to Friday, today!

I'm reading and loving Preservation by Jock Serong, a few days after Indi left I cast on a pair of socks as knitting comfort and I'm slowly working away on them, I'm listening to It's Not A Race podcast, we finished the last episode of Russian Dolls last night and wish there was a second season, we're listening to a lot of very old James Taylor, and we're eating loads of tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, carrots, onions, lettuce, plums, apples, zucchini, silverbeet, berries and herbs.

It's pretty nice to be back here. Sitting up on the daybed looking out on the forest, typing away on my fixed up and quiet computer, thinking about my week that's just gone.

Thank you for your messages and your kindness and patience.

If all goes to plan I'll see you again next Friday.

Until then why don't you fill me in on what's been going on for you.
How are you feeling about things?
Have you settled into the new year's routine yet?
Do you sometimes get a glimpse of who you are and get a surprise?
Do you have something fun planned for this weekend?



Friday, February 1, 2019

love + sunflowers

Hello my sunshiny friends,

I hope you're doing well.

I posted all of these photos onto my blog last Friday before it overheated and I had to turn it off and walk away.

Today I am writing to you while my my computer sings a haunting gravelly crunchy sounding tune as back-up to my typing. I'm trying to ignore it and quickly get my thoughts tapped out, but I fear that at any moment there'll be a puff of smoke, a spark, and then everything will disappear into a cloud of smoke.

It feels ironic that as soon as I weighed the pros and cons and decided to continue blogging this year, real life in the form of technology got in the way and made it impossible.

I have so much to tell you; Indi ticked another rite of passage off her list and got her driver's license, then she had a farewell party, packed her bags and flew off to the other side of the globe and we four came home from the airport overwhelmed with the thought of trying to find our rhythm without her. A few days later Jazzy and Pepper picked bunches of flowers for their teachers and went off to start their new school years - Jazzy in year 10 and Pepper in year 6. The flowers are at that exciting stage where there's something new to see every time you walk down the garden rows, and there's finally enough produce to pick to fill our baskets and our tummies. Today we ate cheese, sliced tomato and cucumber on crackers and it finally felt like summer...yum!

And I've been reading a lot (just finished The Clever Guts Diet by Michael Mosley), listening to podcasts, trying to find a show to watch after finishing Shtisel (which we LOVED!), I haven't spun or knitted for weeks but I have watered and weeded and picked and planted, and I've spent a lot of time thinking about this year and what I want it to look like.

Ahhhhhh just as I had a few moments of quiet from the computer and contemplated writing a proper blog post after all, it started up with its loud crunchy noise reminding me of who really is the boss.

So I'm going to say goodbye for now. Hopefully, if all goes to plan, we'll get this problem fixed up early next week and I'll be back to regular programming by next Friday. Fingers crossed.

Until then, I'd love to hear about you.
Have you got exciting plans for this year?
Are you obsessed with gut health?
Can you feel my panic about my computer from there? Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

Sending lots of love and sunflowers,

Kate xx

Visit my other blog.