My dad sent me this photo on the weekend. We were chatting on skype and he just sent it through magically. Sometimes I like to dwell on the technology we have at our fingertips, it makes me shivery.
But the photo. It's my Nana and Pop, with their eldest, my Aunty, out the front of their home in Bankstown. Look at my Pop, casually leaning against the picket fence which he probably built himself. I wonder whether the idea of planting a row of roses behind that fence struck him at that point. Or that he would shoo his little granddaughters out of that garden one day. Look at my Nana, hair pinned in the same way I have always known it. I can hear the clip-clop of her hard shoes heading wearily down the driveway (would there have been a driveway there? Certainly no car in those days.) to put the kettle on, maybe change the baby and fix her a snack. Cuppa tea, Art? I wonder how it is, after so long, to not have that one person there to make a cuppa for.
And it's all just more of the same, isn't it. What I am doing, what all of us are doing, none of it is new, or different, or even that difficult. It just is. It just is, being a partner to someone, raising babies, trying to feed a family, bringing in enough money to provide shelter and clothing. Life just is. And it's a great privilege, and a challenge, and is beautiful and hard. And worth it. The hard bits are hard, but they aren't poverty, or war, or prolonged absence, or illness, or rations, or outdoor dunnies, or washing in a copper. So, tonight I am grateful for a whole lot. But mainly for the same old, same old. There is comfort in all things familiar.