Wednesday, August 13, 2014

... on out and about and the little things.

Sometimes we get cabin fever and the squabbling reaches fever pitch and the nerves fray a little faster when the husband is away and it's solo parenting for over a week. Then it's time to rush everyone out of the door and no we are not staying home, and no, you cannot take electronics in the car and please put on your shoes even if you really hate the farm and can you maybe screech a little softer as i cannot find my keys ?

And then we are there and it's just down the road but it's a change of scene and we are out. The mood shifts and our feet crunch gravel and there's music playing, and so many people, it feels quite festive here today. We wonder down the path where the farmer's market sits and drool over pastries and freshly baked bread. We buy honey sticks and the kids bite into them at once. Fresh honey and i tell them about how we had beehives growing up, and how no honey ever tasted better. We eat our lunch in the shade of the grapevine and listen to the band playing country beneath the tree. It's Sunday afternoon and the sun is just perfect and we crack jokes and smile at each other again.

We stop to smell the flowers and watch a butterfly drifting up and down. The day feels slow and warm and full. I dream of one day growing my own wild jungly flower garden, behind the fence where the deer can't reach. We walk along the familiar path to see the lambs and talk about having a black one of our own, to keep the lawn trimmed. And because I love sheep.

We drive home, happy to have been out. Just a change of scene.

Like the carnival the night before, with candy floss and lots of rides. A stripey tiger was even won and cuddled all night long.

And tonight the skies opened at the end of football practice, I the only mother not prepared with umbrella or jackets even though it rained on and off all day long. We clung to each other in the downpour and stumbled muddily up the dirt track from the field, now a running torrent of brown. Not an inch of us was dry but we were laughing at the adventure and there was something healing on a rough day that today was, to be all scrubbed clean and pink, eating egg on toast and drinking tea around the kitchen table. Feeling English. The sky dark outside and moths beating their wings against the screen door. The three of us warm inside, flowers from the garden bringing color to the table. Cuddles on the couch and quiet peacefulness in the house when sleep time came. 

It's the little things sometimes. Just the little things.


Friday, August 1, 2014

On heaviness and beaches and escape is a good thing (sometimes) ...

This year has had a heaviness to it. It has dragged and bumped and ground it's way along instead of soaring weightlessly like an airborne kite. It has left me tired and wanting to stay low to the ground, out of the way of gusty winds and high places. Quiet, retreating, re-assessing. Not like the busy fullness of last year, this one has had a weight to it, i carry it on my shoulders.

I've watched family and friends around me suffering in too many different ways ... broken hearted twice too many times. Illness and life challenges and unplanned changes in direction and battling the head winds ... and i've had to stand by helplessly, hoping everyone finds their course again, hoping for gentle landings and healing and new beginnings and for things to come right again. 

I watch the news on the Middle East and think how sometimes I only see grey, and not the black and white - not wanting to take sides ... i think of history and the pain of generations and how hatred and misunderstanding can so easily grow and become entrenched until it's such an integral part of a place, a people, a culture. How history can define us and how hard it is to break free. How i see no sides but only suffering and violence and I think of the children and the mothers and the tears and the losses. On both sides.

Sometimes when the weight becomes too heavy, it's time to run away for a little while and that's what we did. Just for a week, just up the coast. A few hours driving but a world away. Our first vacation in over two years. Long overdue. Quiet gardens and soft rain, gentle beaches and a slow soothing week away. For me at last a chance to stay completely unplugged (by choice), just time for early morning walks and bidding each day goodnight on the beach, feet bare and sandy and counting shells. Books and naps and ice-creams and windy waves. It was good for the soul. Just a reprieve. A chance to put the weight down for a little while and then, when it was time to come back home, the weight felt just a tiny bit lighter than before, or maybe my shoulders stronger and able to take the load again.

Sometimes that's what we need, a reminder of what is beautiful and quietly blossoming in the world. A chance to breathe and collect ourselves again. To remember the good that people are doing in their own ways everywhere, the unexpected surprises, no matter how small ... the lovely words being sent out daily into the ether from all corners of the world ... the books and poems and songs and blog posts and funny quirky jokes on Facebook. They restore our faith, they help us take deep breaths and carry on.

Sometimes we just need to sit quietly on the edges of a water too big to fathom, so that we remember that we don't need to have all the answers, all at once (or ever!), that not everything will make sense, that sometimes we're so confused and lost and we wander blindly but then we turn a corner, unexpectedly, and find something light and new and wonderful. Sometimes on that beach we see the beauty in the sunrise and a white shell fresh from the sea and it's enough just to be sitting there, salty air and cool breezes. Just that.

Wishing all of you many moments of lightness and airborne kite flying, and a lot less of the heaviness in the months ahead.