Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Comings and goings

When we were in Brisbane I looked at this photo a lot. I love the way it shows the baby still left in an increasingly kid-like Lu, who is all muscles and big words. But I love it more because it was taken in our backyard, just before all these comings and goings began five weeks ago. Throughout Canberra and Brisbane and then Brisbane again I've been home sick. I've missed my house and more so my garden, and most of all the rhythms we have as a family. The girls had a pretty good time in Brisbane - Grandad and Meema have a pool and a dog and there's a park down the road. Al and I were not so happy - even without the sadness of Grammy's passing we were at a loss outside of the home we've created together.

Getting back was so lovely, even though I was faced with a garden that had collapsed without watering. It's not going to be a season of plenty, more a season of grilled green tomato chutney and composting (which are both indications of plenty in their own way, I guess). But last night we ate well: a free range chicken from a place down the highway; and corn, boiled potatoes and a salad of lettuce and cherry tomatoes, all from the sad-looking garden. Eaten at our own table, it was a delight, even with the food on the floor and the screaming and shrieking and spitting out of food with bold declarations of 'Yuk', that are part of the fine dining experience down here. It was soul food and a reminder of why I live where I do.

Also, Nell can now say 'potatoes', and can eat about five in one sitting. I just love her commitment to food.

Today it's up to Sydney for a few days, to sound knowledgeable about stuff and to make awkward conversation over fruit platters at morning tea (I don't think I can stand many more fruit platters - it's been a year of fruit platters). I'm not super-keen because I just want to work in my garden, but then I'll be home on Friday night and maybe then we can get some of those rhythms back again.

I think I love that photo of Lu because she looks how I've often felt these past week: wistful and hopeful and looking to somewhere else. I'm happy that very soon, I'll be looking to where I am, not where I want to be.


kate said...

Good luck with getting back into the rhythm of the day at home. Your dinners sound like many of ours.

Except when Dan decides he's ready for dinner at 5pm, and I hastely defrost something and shove it at him. On those nights the early rush results in a post-baby-bedtime grown up dinner, where no one takes food off our plates and very little ends up on the floor.

Daisy said...

Oh your garden sounds like mine. Its that time in summer I think, when everything has just had enough of the heat. My tomato plants look dry and wilted, The zucs and pumpkins have powdery mildew and the lettuce have gone to seed. Time for the chook tractor I think.

Lost in a reverie... said...

What a beautiful pic of your beautiful girl. Wistful, hopeful, yearning.

On first glance I thought she was standing in a wooden cot, and it reminded me of Llewelyn's poem about the gorgeous child throwing herself into a mother's arms. Lovely.

Hope all went well in Sydney and that the conversation wasn't too awkward.