Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Constellations

I spent a lot of time last week contemplating stars. We were away, and every night I sat on the deck thinking about how small and insignificant we seem under such a vast, star-studded sky. Infinite space. My dad pointed out Scorpio. When I looked up at the night sky and asked him if I would be happy - really happy - ever again, he put his arm around me.

And assured me that I will.

This was Immy's first trip to the Kruger Park. Although I am a mountains girl at heart, I wanted her to experience the bush, to see a real elephant up close. To laugh at a giraffe, wait for ages in the road for a zebra to cross, and watch the monkeys jumping from branch to branch in the trees.

Some pictures of our week. We drove through the park, jumped on the trampoline, slept and watched herds of buffalo drinking from the river in the afternoon from our deck. We slipped back into summer for a few days - short sleeves and sunscreen and sunglasses.

Whoever said a change is as good as a holiday lied. Nothing is as good as a holiday.



























I am enjoying so many things about Immy right now. Her insistence on doing her own pony tails. Which always look terrible but make me fiercely proud. Her easy smile and silly games that make us both laugh. Her sense of adventure and fearlessness. And how sometimes, in spite of her ever-growing independence, the only person she wants in the world is her mama.

My dad is right of course. I am already happy, in small pockets of time. I am grateful for this life, this family, every beautiful thing that I am learning not to take for granted.

Even butterflies with broken wings.

~ m




Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Invisible Tomorrows

Well, it's been a while. Plenty of things have happened, and nothing has happened. Every day holds an invisible tomorrow, which unfurls itself only as we live out it's seconds and minutes and hours. This is okay. It's the way things are meant to be, so that we are not crushed by the weight of all our tomorrows and the uncertainty they bring.

Time passes. I've been thinking. People say things like You are so strong. And I think, no. I just hide my weakness well. People say things about my husband and the choices he has made. And I think, no. There are always two sides to a story. Relationships, and love, and marriage - they are rarely black and white. Going through something like this means learning to listen, to take in, to absorb what everyone says - and then to keep what makes sense and get rid of the rest. I have realised many things. I have more friends than I thought probable. Or possible. My family is my bedrock. Being alone isn't the end of anything, or everything. There is always the hope of a new and better day if today seems black and yawning.

I haven't taken pictures in months. I miss it. But this evening, I found photos I took earlier this year of things around here that just spelled home for me. The irony is that I am looking for a new home. A new place for new memories, so that we can preserve the special and happy times we had here. Looking at these photos, I was struck by how much of 'home' is really in the details. The small things we surround ourselves with because they make us feel happy, or grounded, or peaceful. Because they remind us of good things, and good times, and people we love.

There are so many memories here that I will take with me. Immy's first steps. Late Sunday afternoons with the smell of wet soil in the air. Days spent under the tree in the garden, playing and learning and celebrating life.

And other things.

Summer afternoon sun.



And shifting shadows.



Drops of water cradled like pearls in an oyster.





















Endings are sometimes thrust upon us, without our permission or consent. Our only choice then, lies in our response. To choose to face the end without bitterness, or rancour. To try and let go with dignity, and courage.

To choose these things so that a lifetime of love, of good times and good things and treasured memories, are held safe forever.

Still breathing. Still learning. Still choosing.

Happy Wednesday.

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand 
that this, too, was a gift.

- Mary Oliver