I confess that the picture I carried of you before we met bears no resemblance whatsoever to the Real You.You are so much deeper, more beautiful and more diverse than the pixelated mugshot of you I picked up at my vanilla neighbourhood travel agent.
I have loved getting to know your exquisite landscape, your regal but embattled history, your wild taste in food, and your wonderful people: poised, hardworking and immaculate by day, loud, neon and irrepressible by night.
Although we spent these full weeks together, I feel like I have only just started to get to know you. Leaving feels premature. Like a coy lover, it feels like you have lots more to reveal. We will be back, I’m sure.
It keeps playing over and over in my head like a movie… the “accident” scene where everything changes in the blink of an eye.
Last night, one of our closest friends fell and fractured his back. One minute it was pizza, laughter and sunsets… the next, we’re dialling 000, gathering the kids, and praying our hearts out.
Fortunately (thankYou, thankYou) there was no damage to the spinal cord, so although it’ll be a while before he’s play-wrestling his kids again, he will be fine.
We are so grateful.
Grateful, too, for the startling reminder – clear and sobering as a slap – that life in this physical world is fleeting and wildly unpredictable. Any confidence I have in my capacity to protect / control / manage it, is utter delusion.
Instead, I want to dwell, moment by moment, in that only sure, enduring thing… the Deep, that ocean of love that undergirds and throbs and woos and holds everything, way beyond our capacity to comprehend.
Oh that I would remember this night, this lesson, and remain in this confidence, no matter what comes.
Say hello to The List.
When she started, she wore five a1-sized pages.
At yesterday’s weigh-in she had slimmed down to a single leaf.
I don’t think it’s humanly possible to make her disappear completely before we go, but we’re giving it our best shot.
71 hours until take-off. Let’s see what happens.
Today is the last “official” day of homeschooling our daughters for this year….
And I just want to acknowledge, with enormous gratitude, the love, intentionality and creativity that my mother has brought to this experience for our family.
I don’t think any of us predicted just how perfect our decision to teach our girls at home would be.
They have absolutely flourished this year. And, truth be told, it is largely to do with my mum’s investment.
A gifted teacher with 40 years’ experience, she has been involved since Day One, approaching this ‘experiment’ with an incredible mix of professionalism, grace, structure, nurture, freedom, expectations and flow.
Thank you @grannysmith66, for making the decision to pour your life into your grand-daughters this year. Every single day – whether they have been at “Grandma School” or learning at home – we have been grateful for how you are helping shape this next generation.
What a legacy you are leaving. Thank you, mum.
We’ve been doing life with these same beloved families for more than a decade.
Every December we camp together, catch up on the year that was, marvel at how the kids are growing, and launch the festive season.
We’ve seen a lot of weather together over the years, both literal and figurative. This weekend was no exception. Unseasonal cold, driving rain, whipping wind, scorching sun and dazzling blue skies mixed with deep talks, belly laughs, heartfelt encouragement and servant-hearts to make another wonderful weekend… And the perfect farewell. Our last full weekend in Oz. We’ll treasure these memories.