This girl is a wild one. Her wispy limbs are faintly painted in shades of maroon and purple from tumbles aplenty and band aids often adorn her knees. She plays hard and wears her bursting heart on her sleeve. Animated, passionate and at times, fiercely stubborn she is striding out into this world with confidence and determination. Caring little for what others think she dresses herself with abandon with one thought guiding her choices, adventure. And for that, I'm so thankful.
We've done our utmost over the years to shield her from advertising giants and the hard to avoid "Disney" effect by dressing her mainly in second hand clothes peppered with beautifully hand made and fair trade pieces. But as she grows the style of clothing available both retail and in op shops leaves quite a lot to be desired. Where once we could find delicate florals and a muted palette, there is an abundance of slogans, garish colours and sophisticated shapes and cuts more suited to teenage night clubbing than five year old adventures. I fear that at such a tender (and impressionable) age she is already being coerced into a particular genre of dressing; one that isn't fitting with her vigour for life. One that doesn't let little girls be simply that, little girls.
This Summer she will climb trees, wade in forest creeks hunting for yabbies and inevitably scrape her knees. Her gender won't govern what she can and can't wear and we will refuse to let consumerism dictate her choices. She will wear cool, flowing garments that encourage rather than hinder her adventures and she will feel lovely in them.
All has been quiet amongst these parts lately. Initially with a strong and growing baby constantly wriggling inside I couldn't summon the energy to string together a sentence of any worth. And then came the chaos and mad to-ing and fro-ing that comes with major life decisions. So I stepped away for a while. I needed a time of recharging albeit brief amidst a haze of to do lists, momentous cleaning tasks and many, many signatures.
You see, we're selling our house. This cottage that we've tirelessly renovated over the last years has provided at its most basic, shelter and warmth and at its deepest, memories, community and a solid foundation from which to build our gentle rhythms upon. But it's time to chase new dreams and write new chapters; it's time to move on.
I've talked about a tree change and although this next chapter isn't quite there, it's one step closer. The wish list is short and simple; close to the bush and preferably a creek, a distance shorter than the current thirty minute journey we make to school each day (another story altogether!), run down but with good bones and the potential to extend. A decent backyard with room for chickens and enough sun for vegie gardens...and maybe a dishwasher. And fingers crossed, we think we've found it.
As building and pest inspections are ticked off and finances sorted we now begin the task of working through our belongings, culling superfluous things no longer in keeping with this new path and lovingly packing up those dear to us. It will no doubt be a slow process as my belly blossoms but one I'm strangely looking forward to. No the timing's not perfect but life's tide is anything but predictable.
I've come to understand that living fully is not about convenience and comfortability but adventure, and what an adventure this will be.
I found an old box of my childhood treasures the other day. Baa Baa the sheep, my gem collection and a tower of well thumbed Enid Blyton books. Fondly I recall memories of burnished halls and thatched barns. Of plum cakes, brown bread and butter, and treacle. Such beautifully descriptive texts telling tales of simple days; simple lives.
And so I created a new (and already much loved) ritual with Bijou. Each night after our family story time we tuck Remy into bed and I snuggle under the covers with my girl and read to her. We wander under cherry trees in full blossom,wipe eggs clean for market and we crank heavy wooden butter churns and marvel at the resulting pale yellow.
Housework and sibling squabbles are forgotten as she and I walk hand in hand into a world of innocence, gentleness and simplicity.A world that I know so well but one I am delighted to be exploring again with my wide eyed girl. By lamp light, tucked under woollen blankets we quietly walk together; just my honey girl, Enid and me.
connecting - In the daily to and fro of raising a toddler and a school aged poppet I've found it harder to indulge myself with baby thoughts throughout the day. Come evening when all is quiet in the house I draw a deep, warm bath, light candles and turn my awareness inwards. Buoyant and relaxed I have found the perfect place to watch this new life squirm about within and connect with my thoughts. I follow with a slow, tender belly massage using an organic coconut oil and then head to bed. nourishing - We've been quite literally through the wringer with nasty end of Winter germs. Chicken brothwith tiny cubes of vegies have become an at least once a day meal; sometimes there's ramen noodles, sometimes rice. Always, there is plenty of garlic and a grating of warming ginger.
reading - Spring is the perfect time for picnics and I've got a long list of cakes from Love, Bake, Nourish that I'm eager to make (and eat!). Tell me, do you read cook books like novels too? creating - Finding inspiration here I've have begun the momentous task of collating (and finally printing) family photographs. Poor little Remy doesn't even have a baby album!
nurturing - Sandals are beckoning as the weather turns warmer and Winter toes are not looking their best. While I am still able to reach them I am giving my feet a good slather with a homemade sugar scrub and then adding some vibrant colour.
listening - I'm waking earlier lately and rather than jumping straight out of bed and getting the day started I'm listening to morning bird song as the sun comes up. Welcome Spring!