Every year we go to a special place. We only go there once a year but we all look forward to it as a touchstone, a yardstick by which we are can measure our lives as this little family grows up.
One year I felt very queazy while I was there. The next year we had a small pink bundle who was carried in a pouch to all the special places we have accumulated in out joint family memory. One of these was always the thong fence out the front which has been commemorated in the house with this wonderful photo. The thong fence was washed away this year but the picture is still there.
The rock pools have been explored in great detail for years, since this one was younger than Shorty. Every year we revisit the pools where they carved their names the first year they could all write and build towers out of rocks and we reminisce about the year we found the huge (dead) inflated puffer fish that drifted in the pools all week.
I repeatedly take photos of the rocks, the patterns carved by the water and sand and give the bare feet a good work out in the sand. The patterns barely change but every year our family is profoundly different in some way, be it small or enormous.
We make castles, they swim, we stare at the ocean...we stop. Stopping is the most important part, the part that makes it so sublime.
We stop all play dates, school, work, kindy, soccer training, rugby training, music lessons, rehearsals, homework and, best of all, packed lunches.
Last year it was hard to stop. I had to come back at the start of our special week for chemo. There was a beanie on instead of the sea breeze combing my hair. A lot of the favourite haunts were inaccessible to me so none of us went there. It was rainy, I was sick and we were all very fragile.
We stopped, as always, but in a different way to regroup and feel there was some constant in life.
This year was for me the best year there ever.
We spent time with the dearest of friends and family, got to retouch all the old favourite haunts I was too sick to get to last year and felt rested and calm and happy. Everything was back to "normal". We all felt it. Even the weather was ridiculously beautiful for Winter. Last year it sympathetically rained almost the whole week. This year we basked in the gentle sun and the light of the Supermoon. If there was ever a sign that life goes on, there it was.
|Me photographed by Boy 2. Nice one, son.|