absolute child

I don’t know exactly where it’s all coming from…(maybe the space for dreaming that I have been allowing myself recently)…but I’ve been re-struck by some beautiful memories of my childhood of late.

As a young adult I thought I grew up in a perfect family. But then, with the loss of my beautiful Dad, I removed my rose tinted glasses and saw a few chips. Apparently there is no such thing as a perfect family. I found this hard to accept and spent years trying to understand and accept my, our, weaknesses.

But now, I’m experiencing the joy of slipping the rose tinted glasses back on.

And finding again in myself those moments of absolute child.

The hours in the garden concocting stews from petals, mud and greenery. Was anyone there with me? Watching me? I haven’t got a clue. I was busy.

And free.

The pine forest across the road was a place of adventure for myself and for my brothers.

Dress ups.

Music.

Dancing.

Puppets.

The sprinkler.

Slip and slide.

The yearly trips to the coast – bush walks, swimming, board games. Shell collecting. Possum watching.

Clue-do.
Monopoly.

Cards with Marnie.

Treasure hunts with cousins.

The willow tree.
Friendship
Tree climbing.

Dolls. Dolls. Dolls.

The dresses hand made by Marnie.

Marnie and Poppy’s garden. The cubby house Poppy tailor made out of a leafy bush.

Poppy’s garage. Full of mystery and history. The scent of paper and type writer ink.

Nana’s suitcase of dolls.

Pa’s birds.

Marnie’s dressing table…the black and white photos, the antique perfume bottles, the jewels.

Nana’s wardrobe. The textures, colours, scents.

Switzerland. We went on weekend bike rides as a family. On evening walks to say “bonjour” to the cows. Colouring in unicorn pictures on the balcony while Mum sketched the landscape ahead.

Dinners as a family outside. Snow men. Ski trips. Hikes.

Zoro. I really was Zoro.

Big brothers.

My brothers have always played a big part in shaping me. They are very different to each other and I always looked to find the perfect balance of their strengths.

They loved me unconditionally, played with me, protected me.

Pets too. Wow. Pets are such a lifeline for a child. They listen, they cuddle, they understand.

Unconditionally.

And nature. It frees a child’s wild. It invigorates their dreams, inspires ideas and builds boldness.

Mother Nature. She holds you and loves you unconditionally.

I had all of this. Good brothers, a big backyard to play in, time to explore, pets to love. Real friends, imaginary ones. Mother Nature embracing me. Environments to roam. I even remember having the dog from ‘The Never Ending Story’ with me, everywhere I went.

And don’t forget. I was Zoro. The Zoro.

There are so many aspects of these childhood treasures that I long to offer my son.

We, as adults, seem to have an innate desire to give the best of our childhoods to our children…or is it for ourselves to relive the best?…or is it that we never should have stopped the best from happening by getting overwhelmed by the more serious aspects of adulthood?

I will never forget watching my 40 year old brother drag out the ‘slip and slide’ to share the joy with his 4 year old son.

My son, the dog and our back yard, though tiny, is a place where dreams are made.

Cloud watch, moon search, bee listen, petal analyse, mud make, dig-dig, seed plant, growth see, ant observe, bird watch, sit still and breathe type dreams. Or pull out weeds and sweat, sort and shake off type dreams.

And right now, I’m obsessed with fabric in the garden.

My heart glows at the simple sight of pretty fabric blowing in the wind. Or strung up over us in tent like fashion. If you can’t find me. I’m lost in meters of sari as I try and pin it to the fence, the roof, a tree so that little one and I can delight in it’s above-us-ness.

It feels so good to play again.

To obsess over such a simple, odd, pretty thing.

I hope little one is watching me and giving himself permission to do the same, forever.

Just as I am watching him and giving myself permission to do what he does best, now.

Play passionately, intensely, daily.

Hello my little child.

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So far so good….

Daily pages are happening, and so is a little movement and stretching.

Before 10am.

Tiny, tiny steps that are big, big achievements to this solo mama.

It is about grabbing it when you can. And letting it go, if you can’t.

That moment little one wanders off to play with his train for 5 minutes, I grab my book and write my 3 pages.

I am also grabbing moments to pick up a book and read…and what I read helps me in my search for my rain dance.

I think the biggest revelation here has been opening up space. Physically, mentally. Space for my creative dreaming mind (that brave young teenager part of me).

I had to start doing this in a literal sense by going ‘shelf by shelf’ as Gretchen Rubin would say. De cluttering, spring cleaning, letting go, making room, simplifying, finding a place for what we use or what we love aesthetically. Fixing broken things. Getting organised. Finding clarity.

This has also been happening to my calendar. Creating space, letting go of the things that don’t feel right anymore for my family, and making room for the things that do.

I still have a few shelves to go, but how about I start embodying this. Dust off the cobwebs in my bones, awaken my liver, dance my heart free, stretch, move for 10 minutes each day, before 10 am.

One of the best things to come from this so far (ironically as I type into a blog) has been my de cluttering of technology.

In her book ‘Happier at home’ Gretchen Rubin sets a goal to open up her time more for the things she loves, and it got me doing the same. Like her, I usually make calls while on the way somewhere or check my emails etc while I am waiting. I’ve stopped doing that. And it has reminded me of how ┬áit’s those moments that can be your most creative and/or that allow the creative dust to settle and/or the observations made during them provide fuel for creative ideas.

Internet was only becoming a ‘thing’ when I first started studying dance at uni. I used to just book a computer once every couple of days…but now, it’s just here…in a knock,knock, knock at the door to your little world, all the time sense….of course this has many pros, but I think it hinders my creative mind a lot. I had forgotten how much I need to give my creative mind the space to digest and to dream.

It was a bit daunting at first – the idea of falling behind. But it’s again about de cluttering and organising the inbox. And booking in the time that’s right to open the door up.

From this overall process so far, I’ve made a wonderful change to little one and my routine. Simple, but wonderful.

Since he was a baby, I have cuddled him to sleep to the same piece of music. A beautiful piece that is soo inspiring, but that ends too soon. Now we listen to an entire CD each night – CDs that evoke dance in me. Nothing better than cuddling your child, closing your eyes and dreaming up dance.

This was the part of me I had lost.

This music dreaming was something I used to do as a teenager while I drifted off to sleep.

I am glad to have it back. And I hope little one likes it too.

I look forward to seeing what else I find as I make space again for my dance.