Last night. The car is packed ... clothes - check, sleeping bags - check, gumboots - check, children - check, dog in a travel box... etc. The kids and I wave back at Dad as we leave, drive out the driveway ... then back in to pick up forgotten essentials. The trip was smooth other than the reappearance of a dinner unexpectedly. Thank goodness for the spare pyjamas I had carried absently to the car, (not quite sure why).
Today my father has driven kids around in the trailer with a load of lucerne, then on the back of the tractor to go down to the dam. He has carried baby boy to soothe his crying. He has made us lunch and dinner and distributed kind and gentle words throughout. He mowed the lawn and sat with me to enjoy a quiet winter-sun cuppa.
I have talked with my step-mum (who welcomes conversation and drinks it in), and she made me an espresso coffe and offered me a glass of wine with dinner. I have stepped into an oasis. A quiet place where the demands of home and life seem slower and less insistent.
I read part of the weekend paper. Somehow that seems an enormous achievement.
Today I give thanks for...
923. 2 days in the country
924. kids on the back of a tractor
925. feeding the animals
926. ibuprofen and paracetamol
927. a father's love
928. meals prepared with a desire to serve
929. dogs playing and racing
931. playing in the shed
932. long afternoon baby naps
933. my father's quietness and gentleness
934. reading Spectrum and Good Weekend
935. savouring the moment.
Stop. Sit. Soak in the slanted rays of sun on my skin, on the dark denim cloth as it rests on my legs. See the dapples of light on the freshly mown grass. The bare branched trees with their bumps of pre-leaves, hinting at shade that will be. Breathe in the shorn lawn smell. Notice the memories that drift in my mind of these smells, these sights, sounds and tastes. Notice the feel of a dog on my lap, leaping up as the baby slides down to wander a little. Safe and settled. This moment is a gift from God to refresh me.