Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Broadening my horizons

On a happier note …

Since I conceived Lulu three years ago, our lives have circled inward. For me, this has been a choice, informed by the emotional vulnerability of pregnancy and parenthood, and a state enforced through physical problems carrying Nell in particular, finances, time, feeding and sleep routines. We’ve been happy, on the whole, with our micro-focus. But lately, we’ve begun to look beyond our backyard.

This past weekend we took our first holiday unconnected to family obligations and support. We went here, Cradle Mountain, and it was glorious.

Lucy chugged about, being a train along the track, charming trail mix off other walkers (“Mmm, apricots. So delicious”), and making an argument for an attempt on the summit (“I can climb it, I will fly to the top like a fairy and play in the snow. I will do it by myself”). Nell bobbed along behind me, pulling my hair and spitting up her milk with abandon.

Things have changed in the past three years. Al and I are not outdoorsy but we have on occasion ventured into the wilderness. Back in the day, anything less than a five hour walk was a bit soft really, we spurned boardwalks and touristy circuits, and we always returned well under the estimated times. Hell, we’ve even camped in a tent and peed in the grass. But now, a Parks-designated one to two hour walk at a ‘relaxed pace’ takes us two and a half hours, most of which is heavy slog; anything uphill makes us grit our teeth and look for a rescue helicopter; and a gravel path can feel like rough terrain.

And camping? Well, that’s also in the past. We stayed in a cabin with a spa and easy access to cold beer (project eat clean was suspended for civilised post-prandial drinks) – the Tasmanian wilderness experience at its most inspiring.

As we walked along, I kept lifting my eyes to the mountain, which is a remarkable presence, towering over the track. But more often, my eyes would drift downward to the child in front of me, gambolling and bossing and make believing, and the one on my back, cooing and bouncing; even under the broadest of horizons, my focus is pulled to the tiny things at the centre.


Kez said...

Beautiful post & beautiful photos!!

nutmeg said...

That is a truly lovely (and spectacular) picture of you, Nell and the mountain. Yes - things like this while slower, are probably really better for it - you do stop and see the "small stuff".

And in relation to your previous post and the young girl's thinking "feminism may have gone too far" - ha, ha, I say those young women/girls, ...just wait till the youth inspired "cute" runs out and its effects and see where that leaves you without it (feminism, that is)!

Kate said...

Oh, I want to come back to Tasmania.

You made me laugh with your description of pre- vs post-kid bushwalking. We're exactly the same -- always wondered why such long times were given for walks, until we had kids.

traceyleigh said...

I have really enjoyed CM when I've been there too. I'm always in awe of the starkness of the landscape that surrounds it on the drive into the Park. In places it looks quite bleak.

Have you been to the Leven Valley yet? There is this awesome little wildernes spot there that we have stayed at... http://www.ozhorizons.com.au/tas/nw/mvalley/mv.htm
It's just gorgeous and perfect for little ones and big ones alike. The drive there is lovely too.

bluemilk said...

Lovely post, you took my mind away from everything.

Suse said...

Ah lovely.

We stayed in one of those cabins with the spa for two very precious nights on our honeymoon!

Three years ago we returned with our three children, and stayed in a tent. Bit different.

Susan said...

what a stunning place to visit for a holiday :)
We too laugh about how we prefer a good cabin now days over a tent :)