i’m back.
i’m so blessed.
that’s what i want to share.

i have just returned from a week with my sister and brother and niece and nephew, in a small mining town on the other side of the country.

it was so many things, that it is brimming at the sides with stories and imagery.

what to share of the 800+ photos i took of children, playing, art, family, adventures and women?

how do i choose from the insights i learned there, and the blessings i felt?

i had the joy of landing in mackay with my little sister. we found my dad’s ute in the carpark that he had left for us, and we set off into the sunset driving west, chasing the light and finding ourselves as sisters again.

we arrived in the evening to find my tribe gathered there: mum, dad, granny, brother, big sis, niece, nephew. we ate and shared, as families do.

the next morning i awoke early, the light seeping over the wooden fence. unable to sleep, i pandered out to where my parents slept in their campervan. i knock on their door softly. “come in joshy, come in alyssa” they called, thinking their early morning visitor was grandchildren, not their 23 year old daughter. i clambered into bed beside them, and not long after we made room for josh and alyssa. campervans make for good early morning giggle sessions.

i am so lucky to have this family of mine.

it was good to be with my womenfolk once more… how blessed i am to be a part of four generations of strong, fabulous women.

and good to be with the skin kin of siblings, meeting each other just as we are.

we wondered about the sunday markets, kissing each other and using the L word plentifully when granny:mum:dad:lilsis left to head back to their home on the coast. one thing about that family of mine ~ the love flows to find us wherever we are at. our response to i love you? “i know.” because we do. i do.

i spent my week helping my sister look after ten children. rather a huge experience for me considering i haven’t spent time with kids since i was one myself.

favourite times:

painting with josh and alyssa every night. watching them BE in it. learning from them, encouraging them, watching their art unfold without mind – just energy.

(i feel my art has changed from watching them.
i’m not afraid to get my hands drenched in paint now.
i’m not afraid of the presumption of art.
only the joy of discovery, of colours melting together)

being exhausted at the end of each day. so many children. so much life. learning lessons on a whole new scale now. kids don’t ask for – they demand balance. they require you to live wholly in the now. be present with them. witness those miracles of discovery. the whole world is unravelling with their why’s and their questioning. those little people – they are our teachers, reminding us of our own innocence and the necessity to play. and dang ~ it’s not easy. what a soul job it is to be a carer of a child. it presses all of our buttons and asks all we can give and sometimes more. what a potent lesson that was, and is.

i understand now why i was pregnant with possibilities the week before i left. i was about to give birth to that mothering part of myself.

i painted in stolen moments – while the children were sleeping in the afternoon. i painted more than i possibly imagined i would. i was involved in the creations of eleven canvasses. paint stained my hands and feet, and still it lingers there, in the crevices of my nails and toes.

it was art that was organic and real and earthy. art that was so a part of life. it was a necessity. an act of exhaling.

a large canvas in the still of moonlight. my brother and sister and i in delight, as we throw, squirt and spill paint all over it. i scoop my hand into a goopy tub of white and encourage my sister to do the same. she shrivels her nose but relents, finding delight in the texture/the sound of splattering paint/the wrinkled sploshes across the canvas, the waves of whittling through air forever engrained in them. the movement of art, the memory of pleasure.

the joy in their faces.

roadtripping with my big sister back to the coast.
stopping by the side of the flat plains of land, strewn with long grass,
to take photos and jump on delapidated tyres.

meeting my mum:dad:lilsis there to be with each other.

to teach my dad the art of ten pin bowling.

my friend sonya later comforted me with the words:
in ten pin bowling, there is always one REALLY good person and one REALLY bad person.

i was in service that day as that spectrum which perfected the art of six balls into the gully in a row.

walking along the river with my family to say goodbye.

my mum and dad playing instant dressups.

then stepping into that great bird again,
to flight in between worlds,
and back into the arms of my love and our new home,
leaving me to sink into the experience of being outside myself
and inside a new life.
a new way of being, a new way of creating, a new way of knowing.

i am so blessed to have this family of mine.
craziness and love are hereditary.
i am so blessed to have had this experience.

a paint strewn adventure into my heart.
messy, dishevelled, joyful, exhausting and rather marvellous.
don’t forget love soaked.

with love and light,