Perhaps I am here to write. But at the core of that, at the core of my words, at the core of my message…I’m here to love. I always have been, and it’s more clear to me now that I’m allowing my love to be seen.
I can’t help but feel great waves of empathy, particularly for those who are struggling in life. Those who are scared. Those who are being unfairly treated, by those who don’t even recognise the wrongs they perpetuate (as a result of their own messy humanity.)
It’s all a bit of a mess.
It’s all a bit of a mess.
So maybe I shouldn’t waffle at you about love.
Maybe I should be writing something of substance: something about the politics of what’s going on with the floods in eastern Australia, maybe, and how they’d want me to say it’s got nothing to do with the way we treat the planet (when, actually, I believe that Mother Nature was the very first woman who learned to powerfully speak her truth.)
But I’m not going to talk about natural disasters, or about who believes what.
I’m going to talk about love, and how I feel it, and how I feel for everything and everyone, and wish that more humans did.
Because underneath every natural disaster, lives love. The rescuer rowing a family to safety while their own home—a home they have loved and cared for with everything they have—drowns behind them.
That’s not politics.
It’s not who made the wrong choice about dam management and should be fired because of it.
It’s not who is right and who is wrong about the effects of climate change on a struggling earth.
No one would have seen it coming, least of all me. His death was inevitable: that part we all knew was coming.
But no one would have foreseen my reaction to it. Not the way it happened, not the way the emotional slideshow of me slowly played out like a blocked garden-hose building in pressure, waiting for the almighty explosion that eventually would come.
My Dad told me: ‘Aaron’s died.’ We were on our way home from our shared workplace, an hour and ten minute drive from the city to the country, where we lived. He did a good job, my Dad. Quiet. Calm. Matter of fact, but caring. My Aunty was the one that received the news. He’d been ill, which on top of the cystic fibrosis had finally proven too much for his already fragile body to handle. Someone should tell Brooke.
I’m not sure why Dad chose an hour long car ride to do it. Perhaps he and Mum felt it would allow me time to let it wash over me, I’m really not sure what they had expected. But one thing I do imagine they expected were tears.
There were none.
Not a single one.
When he’d broken up with me, I’d constructed a wall about a million miles high, and equally as wide to protect me from both the feeling of being rejected without proper means, and the feeling of loss I’d surely feel in the face of losing him. We both still cared for each other very much. Very much. Though, for family reasons that are a little too personal to share, here, he felt it best he protect his final years as best he could. By saying goodbye to me. I understood. Still, it hurt.
On New Years Eve (his very last one, as it would turn out) he called me at my Aunties house, where I’d escaped the boring walls of home for a much needed holiday. ‘Is Chookie there?’ he asked, to my Aunties amusement. I took the phone, smiled at my Aunty, and fell into our world, again. He’d missed me. I’d missed him, too. We laughed and chatted for a bit. Finally, we said goodbye.
A few months later, Aaron was gone. He was about twenty, from memory: I was eighteen. And I didn’t care at all that he was gone, and I absolutely would not be attending his funeral, so they could all just go on and forget about that, ridiculous nonsense.
The day of the funeral came. I got up, as usual, and made the long trip in with my Dad where I began my daily routine. Pick, pack, tape up the box. Pick, pack, tape up the box. I’m not sure what part of the work induced the explosion. Perhaps it was the ripping sound the tape makes when it whirls off the tape gun, or perhaps it was simply the fact that I was at work, in the first place. All anybody knew was that one moment I was fine. The next, I was wailing. Sobbing in the most out of control fashion I could muster.
My Dad took me to the train station. If I caught the early train, I should make it to the funeral on time, and so I boarded the V-Line back to the country and off I went to say my last goodbye to Aaron. Technically, not my Aaron, anymore. But, according to my heart…still very much, my Aaron, apparently.
The train ride was interesting. The poor lady across from me did her very best to pretend my dark sunglasses hid my tears (and quietened the accidental sob that sometimes escaped me. Meep.) The dusty town I arrived in was quiet, too. No one would notice as I wandered along the streets, searching for a church I’d never been to before, in a town I’d never been to before.
I wouldn’t ask for directions, either. More accurately, I couldn’t ask for directions, on account of me being that odd girl: too shy to talk to any human outside of her comfort zone. So I asked the universe for directions. My plan was (and this is no joke) to follow whichever direction my hair blew in the wind, because certainly whatever higher forces I was connected to would get me to the funeral. Bonus points if they got me there on time.
I walked. And walked. And walked.
Finally, and with no thanks at all to my hair, I found the church. A little late, but early enough. The funeral had just begun.
‘Chookie,’ Aaron’s beautiful Mum said, after the service, as she wrapped me in her arms, and thanked me for coming to say goodbye to her baby boy. She seemed happy to see me (really, really happy) and in that moment…I knew the explosion of me was meant to happen, that I was meant to be there. For Aaron, but for his beautiful family, too.
They may not have noticed my absence if I’d not gone: the church was overflowing with hundreds, all of whom, apparently, Aaron had touched with his cheekiness, joy and boundless wisdom, too.
But I was there. And his family did notice.
I was grateful.
Grateful the morning had brought about the most unexpected emotional explosion, ever to have rocked my world.
I think about her, sometimes, when my heart turns to sun. Nan. Her heart used to shine like that, too, which is why I can’t help but think of her when I feel intense love radiating from my own chest. As an off shoot of the kind of love she gave to me (and, let’s face it, probably genetics) I am who I am. And I love, as deeply as I love.
We fluff our ways through life, bothering about the silliest of things: when really we should hold the beauty, longer. Feel the love of our loved ones, longer. Express our love to others, without fear: give them the beautiful gift of sun that Nan gave to me.
I often think of Nan, and when I do I wonder why I loved her so deeply, why I still feel her today just as beautifully as I did when she was here. I loved her because she loved me. I loved her because there was never a question when I felt her energy how much it meant to her that I was alive. What a gift to be given by someone. What a gift: to know that you have touched their life, that you have meant something to their moments.
I shine when I look at my children with the same kind of love my Nan did when she looked at me, and I can only hope the depth of that love sinks into them as deeply as it has me.
I’m waffling a bit today, and that’s okay. I’m in my love place. I’m in my world of grateful and I intend to make the most of it and spread Nan’s sunshine, while I’m here.
She would have loved that.
She would have loved that I’ve given her sweet sunshine to you.
How are you all? Well, I hope, and if not: that’s okay, too, because even rain is beautiful when you look at it a certain way.
I’m so sleepy but I wanted to say hello. I’ve been a little disconnected from here of late, and though most of you may not have noticed, it’s been weighing on my mind. There are some busy, happy reasons for my disconnection, which I’ll share over the coming months, but for now I’ll just say this:
I’m here when I am, and I’m not when I’m not. (Those of you who’ve been with me a while will know I’m a bit like the wind. Full on one day, not so much the next. This is a bit of a quiet season, I think. I hope that’s okay with you all. xx)
Anyway, I’m about to fall aslee…
Sorry, where was I? Oh, that’s right, awake. Good. Okay, good, I’m awake. But not for long so I’ll say goodnight.
Until we meet again. (Which may be soon, or not for a while, says the wind.)
Maybe I’m sitting in a tree, somewhere, looking down at it all. I’m sure my feet are dangling, and I’m probably whistling in harmony with the wind through the branches.
What do I see when I look down at my life? I see myself sitting quietly at a little white desk, typing away, visualising a peaceful version of myself up there.
Peaceful me would look down at the small children running circles around the house, see me wincing at the too many seconds of loud for comfort and she’d send a little caring my way. An invisible hug, maybe. Whatever I might need to soothe me.
She’d also look down and see me laughing to the point of holding my belly. The six-year-old. The most HILARIOUS trick anyone has ever played on me. He’s managed to pull it off, and I highly doubt he’ll be able to top such brilliance in both wit and execution again, but I’ll remain on guard, just in case. Peaceful me would know that’s the first time I’ve laughed like that in a long, long time.Then she’d send a great big smile my way.
Peaceful me would see the good and bad of it and whisper to me: it’s all good.
Australian summer and there I was, sipping a glass of wine beneath the gumtrees, wrapped in my best winter scarf and topped with a little woolen hat. The wind: shocking.
It’s not unusual for the country town we’re holidaying in to reach these frosty temperatures at night. I’m certain we’ll look back in years to come with fond memories of swaying gums and whirls around the caravan park on bikes, but I also think we’ll marvel at Mother Nature and her wacky sense of humour. During the day, it is not unusual for the temperature to reach forty degrees celsius and beyond, some years, and yet the blankets come out when the sun falls. It’s quite funny, really.
It reminds me of Melbourne (my hometown) and her ability to display every single aspect of all four seasons in one day. The rest of Australia laughs at our expense, but the truth is: Melbournians gladly identify with this peculiar trick of the weather. We happily declare it one of our most impressive party tricks.
I’m breezy and happy, today. After a solo journey back to Melbourne, earlier, to celebrate my beautiful Grandma’s 90th birthday (and a nice big heart-opening drive back, listening to music) I’m so grateful for all the experiences that have brought me here. To this place in my life, I mean. Not just to this dodgy little caravan park in the middle of nowhere.
I am reminded of the worth of life experience each time I feel the beautiful glow of wholeness beneath my skin. Each time I feel the spirit rise within me; the times I’m ready, and quite able, to speak the truths my heart knows to be absolute. I am not perfect. Life is not perfect, and never will be. But I am here, and I am grateful for these exhausting family days (and even you lot fall upon the grateful-o-metre of me…aww, sigh. Like, really, you guys. x) so a girl couldn’t ask for much more to help drift me through my days.
Right. Off to drink my tea and snuggle up with, what is turning out to be, one lovely heart-filling book.