A little over 6 years ago we moved from the then semi rural town of Bangalow to live in the beautiful hills of Eureka. We fell in love instantly with the land and although there was much work to do on the partially finished dwellings we took on the project with vigour and all the naivety of any love struck couple. If we’d known then what we now know, would we have done things differently? Maybe. But hindsight is a wonderful thing once you’re on the other side.
Mostly we wanted a wholesome upbringing for our children, space to run, places to explore, animals to find and study. We grew our veggie patch, raised chickens & ducks, picked fresh mulberries and even had our fourth child, all the while renovating the dwellings and establishing our little business.
The years swam past, the veggie patch became overrun by rabbits and frost, our children grew into teenagers, and that baby is about to start school (but the dwellings are still a work in progress). Time passes you by sometimes in an unforgiving manner and if you don’t stop to smell the roses, all the petals are dry and dead before you’ve had a chance to breath in their sweet perfume.
The Bangalow Market had been cancelled on Sunday, and I’d done my taxi run into Byron to collect child no. 3 from a sleepover. Johnny was fairly well exhausted after weeks of work on ongoing custom orders, and he’d also done his weekly Saturday night stint cooking in a friends Restaurant up the coast. My plans for the afternoon revolved around preparing for the coming week, doing the laundry, finishing off long overdue paperwork, mulching the garden & restyling the Showroom.
But when my eldest Son came to me with that look I don’t often see anymore, that “I’m feeling like I’d really like to hang out with you” look, which believe me is fairly rare in a 15 year old boys eye. I thought, “Fuck it!” I flung on my wellies, popped a roast in the oven and took off on an adventure with my biggest and littlest boys.
It was one of the most rewarding afternoons I’ve had in a very long time. We climbed and tramped and splashed through creek crossings, discovered birds and flowers and little waterfalls. We laughed and joked, and he patiently waited for me while I took photos and picked through old cow bones. He led me through his wonderland, showed me
the way, advised on the safest spot to cross the creek, which rocks were slippery, which plants stingy and spikey. He held his little brothers hand and carried him over fallen trees. My Son was free to be the Man he is about to become, and what a privilege to watch him in his element.
We explored for hours and I felt a calmness that I rarely feel from fresh air alone.
Everything and everyone is growing and changing before my eyes and sometimes I don’t even see it. There is so much beauty in this land we are so lucky and so fortunate to have. And so much beauty in these Boys of mine, of ours, who will one day trek through with their children, and I hope I can show them to remember to take the time to smell the roses.