It is funny, this time last year, we were being beach bums in Costa Rica. The whole experience is so surreal and removed from where I am now, that it often feels like I dreamt the whole thing.
In my life, I rarely plan things. I have no idea of how I ended up where I am now. I used to say that I would not change a thing. But I think when you have suffered a devastating loss, you are a little wary about using sweeping statements like ‘I would not change a thing.’ There are lots of things I would change now, I don’t think it would affect the outcome, but there are still a few things that I would do differently. I often wonder though if our fates are written down somewhere with the Moon Lady or the Bearded Man in the sky. Maybe it doesn’t really matter what you do, you would end up in the same place. You would take a more circuitous route to get there, but perhaps the destination would be the same.
Another thing I used to say regularly is that I would never return to study. It was not something I could ever really contemplate. Again, life continues to prove that I am full of shite. Right now, I am busy going through my preparation modules before I officially start as a Plantlab student next week. There are times when I wonder if I have bitten off more than I can chew. Working, studying, solo parenting and doing everything else that is involved in my little house of five. The good news is that since my Telstra debacle that resulted in streaming no longer being an option in my life, I have even more time on my hands than before. If I don’t get things done during the day, I have hours in the evening, when I can be finishing assignments of doing whatever else my course will entail.
I hope my course becomes an obsession. I do so love having obsessions. Starting the day with something beautiful and filling my kindling box. Every time I walk past my beautiful old wooden kindling box it fills me with a sense of accomplishment. Every morning I pick up a handful of twigs to put in the box, the kids can’t quite get my enthusiasm. When it stops raining and we light the fire drum in the backyard, I bet they will get it then. One morning my enthusiasm was so unbridled that I tried to snap a rather large stick and half of it slapped Rissie round the side of her head.
The wounded look she gave me as her eyes filled with tears was enough to make me think that maybe I should think sometimes. When she stomped her little foot and demanded that I put the sticks down, or at least look where I was going, I wondered if our roles had been reversed. I keep collecting sticks, I just make sure Rissie’s face is nowhere near any of them now.
Every time I look at my kindling box, it makes me happy. I have no idea why. Maybe it is the age of the old wooden box that I am sure could tell a million tales. Perhaps it is because that pile of sticks whispers of a future bonfire with marshmallows. Every handful of sticks reminds me that even when I did not want to, the kids and dogs and I still were out at the crack of dawn, searching for something beautiful. I love the old wooden sash windows that sits above it. The dirt underneath it that still gives up the occasional metal treasure for the kids. It speaks of history and age and permanence.
I love my kindling box. It reminds me of the beauty that can be found in simplicity. I am sure that box has weathered a thousand storms and had many new beginnings. If my kindling box can do it, it is a very basic reminder, that so can I.