Saturday, October 17, 2020

She holds the sunlight

She is a third child, a second daughter, and received neither the intensive attention of a firstborn nor the cosseting of the baby of the family. And yet, neglected, she is our sunshine and our sweetness. Fey, dreamy and sweet she is my fellow Hufflepuff.  Her brother is wild, her oldest sister is a fierce diva, her youngest sister is a dinosaur prone to biting and scratching but she - holds the sunlight in her hands. 

Joy is one of her middle names - and she is our quietly wayward, gentle joy. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Light & Dark & Water

Evening by the dam and the air is balmy and the light is tender. The fading light reflects soft and gold from the water and the silhouettes of weeds and grasses become starkly interesting. 

There is a gentleness in the coming dark, a relief from the unrelenting heat and light of the day. Capturing the sharp edged spikes, curves and offshoots of the disregarded plants against the softening tones of light and dark of sky and water brings joy.


Of elves and dragons

By chance my youngest happened upon a patch of swamp reed and decided to explore, by chance she had dressed herself in an old elf ballet costume of her oldest sister, so it was chance that had her looking like a small fae child. 

I was delighted. Recent research has led me to reading about the Scottish and Irish stories of the fae. They tended to wear green, to be wild and unearthly, and to appear at the liminal places on the boundaries of wild and tamed. 

My littlest is presently obsessed with dragons, dinosaurs and eggs, and decides that she is searching for dragons. She will tame one, and fly away.  

As she searches through the lush and shadowed green (and o, how beautiful and soothing is the green of the swamp reed) I hold my breath, entranced with the way the last light falls on, as she tells me stories of her adventure and her quest. She is intrepid, imaginative, engrossed in her make believe. 

She reaches the end of the swamp reeds, and finds some springy, low lying green stuff. She picks some, lies in it. Laughs as she and her sisters throw it up and see it fall. She is fierce and joyful, independent, intrepid and stubborn. She holds some of the deeply green leaves out to me, 'For you, mama.'

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Sunlit Profusion

Summer is on the way - the days are heating up. We are starting to visit the nearby dam for water play - which will become increasingly necessary as the sun begins to bake us. While the land is still dry - a mockery of the green, blossom-scent laden springs of my childhood down south -  the dam at only 12% capacity, the kids still love playing. They swim out to a small islet with (or without a kayak), racing and splashing and enjoying the space, or swim across a deeper expanse of a clay-cliffed inlet. Earlier in the year the presence of blue green algae stopped us from visiting - now the levels are safe to swim being by an expanse of water is always rejuvenating. 

We watch the sun set and the moon rise, and map out the position of the planets. The breeze is balmy, scented with the light, sweet, hay scent of the multitude of different grasses. 

My Beloved attempts to catch fish. I am more successful in capturing the fading light. I love the softened light on the water, the golden glow, and the way the setting sun illuminates all the burnished stalks and seeds. 

There are micro worlds in each small patch - spiders webs, an abundance of seeds, the beginning of new life, beetles, ants. The time it takes to focus the camera encourages me to see the small details - the luxuriant tangle of the ordinary. 

Friday, October 2, 2020

Beloved, Best-Behaved Child

Gentle, responsible, always ready for a walk or a swim in the dam, Wolfie is, by far, my best behaved child. (We'll leave the lizard out of this equation - it's a different relationship with a reptile!) Wolfie's never met a dog he didn't like (although he's finally realised not all dogs will like him) and has only growled at a human once - when a stranger picked up my youngest girl. The stranger only meant to move my girl further from the streams edge - but he wasn't having it. 

While in human years Wolfie isn't old (he's grown up with my youngest girls, seeing them as his prime duty,) he's already middle aged. Like me, his joints are a bit achey, he's put on a bit of weight, he's not a fan of hot weather, and he lumbers a little, but he still swims into sea, dam and river after the kids and loves it when his pack is all together. 

My Wild-Boy has recently become dog obsessed and has realised what a treasure we have in Wolfie. My Wild-Boy is walking Wolfie every day and it is such a ray of hope seeing my Wild-boy outside again, where he should be, after too long inside. 

There isn't a day goes by that I'm not grateful for his sweet nature and loving ways. Happiness is a joyful dog!  


Friday, September 18, 2020

from a distance


Recently, I have been slightly (or not so slightly) obsessed with the macro, with the small, hidden things found underground in wet and hidden places. 

However, there is a beauty in the views around us, when I lift my gaze from the details of spiders webs, dew drops, grass seeds caught in morning light. There is beauty in the rounded hills surrounding us, the bronze-gold grass and silvered trunks of gums. 

We hope and pray rain will come soon, and the golds and browns will soften into lusher greens, I hope these are the 'before' pictures. Even floods would be welcome to fill the dams and make the streams and rivers run freely again. 

However, there is beauty in the shades of gold and bronze, copper and bleached silver, and there are still pools to be found along dried out streams. In the morning as the mist veils the pools the sight makes me catch my breath.  

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Small Details in Gold


It seemed far too early to wake, and I knew I had already missed the sunrise, but when I opened reluctant eyes and noticed my firstborn stomping through the house, I suggested we take the dog for a walk. 

We stepped through the garden gate at 5.54 and headed downhill, across town and to the beginning of the rail trail on the far side. As we left the town outskirts I was already in raptures over the mist, the light, the early morning freshness. My son was already asking if we'd nearly walked an hour. 

Mist clouded in pale pockets on the plane between the low surrounding hills and as we rounded corners new views opened up. We had seen the land from different angles when driving along the highway that wound out of sight slightly above us, but walking slowly (very slowly as I stopped and started to take photos and our dog waited patiently and my son waited impatiently) it seemed entirely new. 

I don't think I ever noticed the beauty of grasses, or how many there are, until the last few years. Possibly because this region is so dry the grasses are more of a feature, and thus I focus more, possibly I was just exceptionally unobservant. The different curls and spikes, shivers and outfalls enchanted me. In the early morning golden light the added layer of the golden grasses seemed abundantly luxurious. 

I tried not to dwell on the fact that the season is presently spring - we are only just heading into Summer and our surrounds are already dry, the earth hard, the dams near empty. 

Instead, I observed, tried to capture, the way the light fell, caught, danced upon the dew, the spiders webs, the gold grass stalks, constantly changing as I moved, as the sun rose. 

The days now leave me battered, we lurch from one small, or not so small, drama to the next, but this golden morning, these captured moments of exuberant light, will help sustain.