Wednesday, June 20, 2012

found: i am a caretaker

I had the most gorgeous conversation with one of the volunteer ladies last week, at my regular oppie. She is there, every Thursday morning, when I pop in for a quick look after the School/ Kindy dropoff. She goo-gaas over my littlest one, ever on my hip. She encourages my habit, with comments like What a find! or Such lovely treasure!

Last visit, I took some little plates to the counter, shaking my head. I don't need them, but I can't leave them. I said. And then she told me

It's people like us, we are the caretakers. It's important.

And I know you know. It really is.

A cute-as-a-puppy baby ensemble, sadly too small for my small. I'm looking at you, Miss Christina.

A beautiful hand-crocheted cot blanket. Perfection.

An incredible needlecraft book, published in 1946. The ladies working on the treadle singer in the front of the book reminded me so much of my Nana, my heart ached a little and I took the book to the counter without looking at the price ticket. Sometimes you find things, other times, they find you. My Nana used to tell me the story of going to her Aunt's house every evening for a few months to work on her wedding gown. I would pick Christmas crumbs out of her lace tablecloth, and she would tell me how she travelled by bus after working in town as a telephonist all day, then sit and sew with Aunty. Her wedding gown was beautiful, as was my Nana- a true classic beauty. My lucky sister has inherited her high cheekbones and strawberry curls. She was glad that I am a needleworker, I think.

What are you caretaking? I seem to be developing quite the taste for vintage books. Something about preserving the printed word in this modern era strikes me as important. I'll be looking at other caretakers, here.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

a new season

Well, in the last month we have had sickness, general glum, birthday parties-that-weren't-really, and tumultuous seas. Oh! The churning water and howling winds!

I sent out an invitation to the universe. And then I surrendered. And waited. And you know, I'm not very good at that. Asking, and waiting.

And then, as I sat watching those rough seas, waves crashing over one another, I saw my little friend, hopping about the grass. Willy Wagtail.
In the hours before the births of each of my babies, I saw a Willy Wagtail, visiting me. I only realised afterwards, of course. The first was walking around the block, ten days past baby's due date. Willy hopped alongside me for the whole walk. The next was having tea on the veranda of my mother-in-law's house- Willy was hopping amongst the pink camellias. Then Willy visited me as I had coffee with my friend, by the beach. She had just taken photos of me and my belly, and I knew that I would meet this baby in the next day or so.

So, in the absence of any impending birth, I wondered what news Willy was bringing me.

And the phone rang. It was my darling, telling me to get packing- a house we had applied for, but had been unsuccessful, was now available. And (I'll forgive you for thinking I'm making this up, but I'm not) a rainbow appeared.

So, now I am putting our things into boxes and looking forward to stretching out a little. Having a yard for the kids to play in. A space in which to sew. Our giant table, made with my love's hands, to fit friends and family around. A bit of earth for a veggie garden.

A new season.

I'm not a religious person, but feel myself becoming more and more spiritual as I get older. I believe there are subtle ways the world speaks to me, and that Willy Wagtail is a messenger in my life, letting me know good things are coming. Do you believe in signs? In animal spirit guides or totems?

Monday, June 11, 2012

found: pretty and warm

Three little cake plates (or sandwich plates?). Such pretty colours.
Some balls of lovely brown wool, ready for my next project (whatever that may be!)

Friday, June 8, 2012

in stitches: birthday frock {in blues}

A special, hand-made gift for a little birthday girl, born just two weeks after my own. Made from vintage fabric gifted to me by her mum. A sweet peter pan collar and vintage pearlish buttons. I hope she loves it!

In other projects, the knitting continues, limited to the school run. A stash of cloth nappies is underway for my little girl, who has out-grown her vintage style set. There seems to be less and less opportunity to sit at the machine lately- both time and space are a little restricted right now!

Goodness me- look at the fabulousness over here!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

this morning

This boy smiled a wiggly smile. I wonder if that tooth will still be there after school today?
This boy informed me that Soolky Bunny is, in fact, a girl.
And this girl, she pointed to a toy on the floor, which I picked up to pass to her. She made me kiss the little fairy first.

And I stopped at the beach between the school run and swimming lessons. I got out and let the wild, strong air invade my lungs and I invited all the good things the universe has to offer. Last night at yoga I bent and stretched as the wind howled and brought the sea crashing against the windows. And I felt more calm than I have in a long time.
I will be kind, loving and compassionate.

Monday, June 4, 2012

winter wanderings

Winter began over the weekend, here. And with a new season out there, I hope comes a new season for me, within. This sea change, it's the best thing we ever did. But it's also the hardest thing we ever did. We seem to have hit a season of challenge. I could write the list of challenges for the past two-and-a-half years, but what would be the point? They have been worth it. It's all been worth it, to live here.

But it doesn't make it less hard.

One of the tricky things is that we moved into a small house, temporarily. We are still there, two-and-a-half years later. And our family has grown. It occurred to me on Saturday, that my little boy, who was only a baby when we came here, has never played in his own yard. This place is set on a steep, steep hill. The yard is all the way down there, and comprised of construction fill, which has become more and more exposed as the heavy rain has washed soil away. And it occurred to me that I haven't made the best efforts to find alternative outdoor play solutions.

So on Saturday afternoon, we went for a little walk, just up to the corner, to collect some beautiful Autumn leaves. The walk got longer and longer, as we searched for puddles to jump in. I examined a little corner of our town with a child's-eye-view for a change, wandering slowly, careening back and forth, looking closely at droplets of water clinging to grevillia leaves. My baby girl got heavy in my arms as the rain started to fall, and the boys' gumboots filled with water as they stomped in tiny lakes.

And it didn't matter. Because it all doesn't, really. We just have to patiently wait this season out, a new one is coming. I know it.


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