Friday, January 1, 2016

Senses of 2015 and onward!

In 2015, I have seen the human spirit recover and thrive again and again, even after the worst that can happen, and it has given me hope for better times ahead.

I have heard all of my adult children tell me they love me, and knowing that I did not always make life easy, and knowing other families where forgiveness and loving familial feelings are not so readily given,  I am humbled and grateful. My love for them knows no bounds and I am endlessly proud of all four. They’ve overcome their own battles, they’ve proven to be decent people and they are my heart. 

I have smelled the bright, sharp, earthy eucalyptus scent of a koala in its native land and it lingers in my mind and infiltrates my dreams. It was a moment for me. The koala looked bored with all the endless tourist photographs, and my beautiful son was laughing, and I was laughing even over the huge and unexpected lump in my throat, as the incomparable Aussie sun beat down upon us. Funny what our minds pick out as being so note-worthy. There were a thousand little moments during my trip to Australia this year, and they often replay in my mind, but this, this was just…a moment.  

I have tasted my Mum’s pumpkin scones, her fruit cake, her date and walnut slice, her sublime pastry in a perfect pie. I have savored them and have understood what chefs mean when they say the secret ingredient is love.  But there’s love in those goodies from the taster as well! I had a much greater reaction to all those things than just yummy sweets on the taste buds, for sure!

I have touched my mother, when only a year ago, I wondered fearfully if I had missed that opportunity forever.  And I have touched my son in Australia, whom I see so, so rarely. It is my one great sadness, so it meant everything to me.  Just everything! And, so there’s no more to be said!

I have felt great sadness and great joy. There was a loss in 2014 that had a deep and long lasting effect on me, and I learned how to sometimes do the old ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ routine to get through to the next day. I have felt the joy of family gatherings, though seriously marked by the absence of some precious loved ones.  Sitting in my Mum’s lounge room, I have felt the old music coursing through my veins like lifeblood as my siblings and cousins performed the oldies, and I was lost in nostalgia as we all sang the familiar choruses. 
I have felt the urge to pick up the guitar again the last couple of days. It hurts my bad neck and the finger that I once stuck under a mower (yep!) is not as strong as the others – AND I’m pretty sure the guitar resents being relegated back to halting beginner status after being the instrument used in a boozy night of rollicking Irish folk tunes played by someone who REALLY knows what she’s doing! (Loved it SOSOSOSOSOSO much, Pat!! What a great night!) But….I shall continue, and perhaps one day I’ll figure out what I’m doing!

And I have learned that I’m an artist. A wonky artist, where things are often almost right, or nearly as I pictured them!  I have returned to the crazy colors, with secrets or poems or songs scribbled somewhere on the canvas. It’s what I did as a kid, not that anyone knew, as music was the art that mattered most in my family, and I don’t think anyone really knew that the colors and the words were my music!  It’s ok though. I was a bit of an odd-bod as a kid, I think! Spent a lot of time sitting up a tree ... 
These days, people actually teach that way of painting, considering it a form of freedom, a expression of inner truth.  To me, as a kid, it was just bad art, never to be shown to the world!  Haha! This is my favorite of the moment – called ‘Secrets in my Garden.’ Indeed, there are secrets galore hidden under all of that color and I look at it daily and feel all kinds of emotions coursing through me. 

I have learned that I have no attention span and it’s getting worse!  Haha!  No sooner I “master” (hohohahhahahahaHAHAHA) one new craft/art, I’m bored and onto the next. I mean – I may never wrap wire again, but I’m rather in love with this evidence of a few bored days! Lotta wire in there....LOTTTTTTAAAA wire! :0)

And a little more evidence of a bouncing mind – here is one of my home-made’s for the girls this year. Rachel, in Florida, photo-shopped (ugh, very badly. Must work on that too!)  in because I always want to imagine her here with us!  All that design and applique was fun, for sure, but will I ever do it again??  Who knows?  :0)

Yep, I am an artist!

I have felt the love of my husband in every moment, in every action, in every word. I have seen the love he feels for my children, as complete and true and real as the love he feels for his own child, who also accepted us all as her own family, and even readily allowed me to be Nana to her kids. We don’t use the prefix ‘step’ much around here.  We are a family! How impossibly lucky are we??  

Happy, happy new year to all family and friends, here and away. May your year be peaceful, joyous and filled to the brim with all the excessive love I’m feeling right at this moment. Nothing like a morning of quiet nostalgia to get the cup overflowing!