November 26, 2014 § Leave a comment
When we lived in QLD, years ago, we began a family tadition called ‘Family Day’. It came about through a combination of my young-family earnestness to create intentional relationship building rhythms, the fact that we lived in a new city and wanted to explore it, and Sol’s unpredictable shift work.
He had every Sunday free, so that became ‘Family Day’. We wrote a list of all the places we wished to see, all the things we wished to do. And every Sunday we ticked on off the list. Now, ten years later, Sol still works shift work, and mostly on Sundays too. Saturday just doesn’t work for Family Day – sports, lunches with Grandma…. It does not have the same carefree energy that Sunday holds.
Recently Sol had a rare Sunday off – and the Spring weather was warm and breezy, so off to the beach it was! For both Sol and I, our favourite beach outings involve bushwalking and getting somewhere off the beaten track, so to speak. We have visited this little beach on Pittwater many times before, but the length of the walk is perfect for the little ones (two of whom we ended carrying up 400 steps anyway!), and the beach has lots of rocks and physical challenges for the older boys to get into.
I was left behind on the beach with Robin while the others went exploring/rock jumping, but I didn’t mind. I explored with my camera and had a swim, almost alone on the beach. Just the way I like it: just me, and the ocean.
November 1, 2014 § Leave a comment
A little while ago we were invited to the property newly belonging to some very good friends….virgin bushland, not far from Sydney. Unfortunately the weekend this gathering was occurring happened to be one of the busiest weekends for our family….culminating in a council cleanup that we had to prepare for.
Sunday afternoon came. Sol was at work, I was hard at work in the garage, getting things out for the cleanup. As I was working, I was inwardly lamenting not being with my friends in the bush, knowing they were revelling in the beautiful blue sky day and the restorative energy of nature.
Suddenly, I felt compelled to join them. I was almost finished my work….why couldn’t I just quickly pack the car and go?! This thought came at 5pm….a quick phone call to Sol and it was decided.
Well, as anyone may know, it is not that quick to pack a car with tent, air beds, food, nappies and clothes for three children (I had quickly farmed out the boys to stay at Grandma’s as per their wishes). It was 7.30 by the time I was ready. Sol arrived home from work, grabbed his thongs and we were off!
My plans to arrive before dark were completely unrealistic. At close to 9.30pm we drove down the incredibly steep driveway, across two creeks with half-submerged pipes as the ‘road’, up some very rocky, bumpy track and finally onto the clearing – having followed the light of the campfire for the last little bit.
Our friends were surprised but delighted to see us, helped erect the tent (a new one – the first time being used), and settle in for a glass of wine around the fire.
There is something magical about being way, way out in nature. No artifical lights, no hum of electricity. Just the fire, and the amazing stars above. The body and mind deeply, gently relax. I headed for a fairly early night with the children, while Sol stayed up a little later. In the morning, we walked part of the property, crossing a trickling creek and swatting march flies.
We finally left after lunch, stopping to admire a waratah and little cave on the way out. We headed to the nearby river, a favourite swimming spot of our family’s. In turn we were delighted to see other friends there, and enjoyed a social swim before heading home. The children promptly fell asleep, exhausted from the adventure.
The next day, it was the first day of school for the term. The house was a mess, the morning was disorganised and I had to drop the children at school and then head to the shops to buy them all sushi for lunch! But it was worth it, for those few, magical hours. Way, way out in the bush.