Something Is Different Today.

It is an early spring morning. The sky is an incredible azure … But something is not quite right. The breeze is light and cool… But something is not quite right. The birds are twittering, today in a different tone… Something is not quite right.

Treelopping services are like busy termites everywhere – The buzz of chainsaws chewing through wood interrupts the tune of nature. The air is so dry when I breathe that I can only begin to imagine what the parched earth must be enduring. A fine grainy dust coats every surface. I can even feel it like sandpaper underfoot as I walk through the house.

We began our day just like any other. The morning chaos was as it usually is. The flurry of hugs, kisses and rushed goodbyes at the school gate were as frantic and enthusiastic as always.

Now that I have a moment to enjoy my morning coffee, I glance up again to notice that the incredible azure of that clear sky is tinged at the horizon with a suspicious beige haze.

I inhale deeply, expecting the rich aroma of those beans to be the perfect accompaniment to my musings… But there is something acrid in the background. Something more than just dust. Something is not quite right…

I can smell smoke!

Make Time To Take Time.

Finally, a moment to muse – It has been a while.

School holidays, visitors coming and going, a family member recovering from an operation… Not much time amongst the chaos for musing.

Life is starting to settle back into a routine and it made me realise how long it has been since I made time to take time. Just that ten minutes here and there for my own mental R and R.

My ten minute brisk walk around the block (my friend and I call it our “twirl”) – I didn’t realise how much I missed it. Especially at this time of year when the air is fresh, and on a fine day such as this, the sunshine is warm on my back. It can be so invigorating!

Working for myself, helping out a friend in their business, and being a full-time parent can be exhilarating and exhausting all at once, so those couple of self imposed “time outs” can be crucial to well-being.

When the house is empty and quiet, it is so nice to throw open the windows and doors, inviting our beautiful garden in. To sit quietly, sip my warming brew, and indulge in one of my favourite ten minute pastimes… A morning coffee musing.

Love Takes Up Space

It’s funny isn’t it?… In a family there are always squabbles, arguments, difficult moments, crazy busyness and chaotic messiness… But even when we don’t notice it, there is always love.

I didn’t realise until driving in the car this morning, that love actually takes up space. One child is away on an adventure, and the other two are missing her so much. They said the car felt strange without her in it, like there was an empty space that should have been filled.

It is amazing how when you remove a child, the family dynamic changes. Things tend to run more smoothly – which can be momentary relief – but at the same time, disconcerting. Routines are completed a little more quickly, but family chores take a little longer. The bathroom is a little less messy, but I am missing the scattered skincare and hair ties – crazy isn’t it?

Her room remains dark and quiet, and a little more tidy than usual. It’s quite obvious that the space taken up by messiness is also the space occupied with love.

There is an empty seat at the dinner table, a little more food left over, a few less crumbs to clean up… Love takes up space.

There was no jostling for the prime position at the breakfast bench this morning. In fact, that seat was left vacant. No waiting for what seems like an eternity for the kids to finish their breakfast and drag their feet to the car – usually one shoe on, and one shoe off!

She will be home in a few days – the squabbling will begin again, the messiness will be amplified, the chaos will return, there will be less food leftover and more crumbs at the table. We will probably run late for school… but there will be more laughter, more hugs, no vacant seat at the dinner table, at the breakfast bar, or in the car… Love definitely takes up space!

***

I have written these words from the viewpoint of a mother whose child is away for a short while, but depending on your perspective, these sentiments can apply to anyone in any situation… My heartfelt sympathies to those who are living with a permanent absence.

And The Days Go By…

I sneak away in the hope of a moment’s peace amongst the happy chaos of holidays and visitors. I need to gather my thoughts and muse a little… I’ve found it is good for the soul.

This morning is fine. The sky a pale clear blue brushed with light white wisps of cloud. The garden is lush, nourished with recent rain. Birds are chattering busily in the treetops. I love listening to Nature’s “white noise”.

I inhale the rich warm aroma of my coffee and feel the distillation of my thoughts begin…

My large black dog pads quietly to my side and drops onto my feet. A calm comforting presence. I breathe deeply.

Just as words begin bubbling to the surface, they are prematurely popped with the raspy mechanical rattling of a hedge trimmer followed by the shrill excited exclamations of the young boy shadowing his father as they clear away the new growth that has partially obscured my view of our garden. They know I love to be able to take in as much of our green space as possible.

My moment of musing is replaced with the appreciation of the noise and chaos that comes with a loving family.