Autumn, Hello + Practising Non-Attachment

 

It’s late and a school night, but I’ve been trying to get here for days (weeks, months) and there’s no time like the present. It’s Easter Monday here. This afternoon we arrived home from Mum’s new hideaway, an upgrade from the caravan we have known and loved for so many years. The new place can fit us all in (my three sisters and our respective partners and children) with space leftover to run and play and plant vegetables and think and walk. The new place is deliciously isolated, on a long dirt road, tucked away in a valley surrounded by farmland, rolling hills, big serious clouds, a farmer called Kevin and not much else.

Over the four days we picked the last of the tomatoes and armfuls of lemons from the lemon tree which was absolutely dripping with fruit. We walked around the property, we talked, we drank wine. Simple things like putting the children to bed seemed so much easier than usual. The dishes, the washing (most likely because Mum kept doing it). Folding things and keeping things in order. The carpet was new and the house was neat. The evenings seemed to stretch on for hours. I tried my best not to whinge on my way back to the city. I tried not to look around at the cars and the houses and the dull ring of smog around the horizon and feel as though something had ended. I’ve been trying my best to practise non-attachment in my daily life. The more I read about it, the more I agree with Leo Babauta, and find that many of my own personal struggles arise from being strongly attached to something, be it a person, an idea, a concept or a structure.

So when my Mum grabbed longingly at my sister, and told us she was going to miss us so much and have separation anxiety when we left, and when I too began to feel that familiar flatness of a good time coming to an end, I tried to let go. I tried to accept that the weekend was finished, and that it was time for the next thing, the now. Yes, it’s true that my daily life currently incorporates stressors which were greatly lessened while away this weekend, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t many other things to be grateful for in amongst it. And, let’s face it, no matter how fast technology advances I’m not going to have the ability to rewind or fast forward time any day soon, so acceptance rather than struggle seems to be the logical way forward, don’t you think?

When we came home and I felt swallowed up by our little house and the walls began to encroach on my space, I took a moment to remind myself of all of this. I brought out the lemons we had collected over the weekend. The girls sat up at the kitchen bench while I made lemon butter. Bird helped me roll oats, coconut, honey, and lemon into lemon bliss balls to share with her class tomorrow as it was her birthday over the school holidays. I made some bread rolls with chia and sesame seeds sprinkled on top and a pot of tea. I packed lunch boxes with homemade rolls lathered in lemon butter, lemon bliss balls, carrot sticks, dates, strawberries and hommus.

Tonight we watched the most magical sunset from our back deck, it was all shades of purple, pink and blue. We all got up from the dinner table (dahl, no surprises there!) I held the baby up and she pointed at it, repeating “Wow!”. The Pixie stood on a chair and shouted and pointed out street lights lighting up across our little suburban valley.

They aren’t the rolling hills of the country-side, but we are lucky enough to call this patch ours.

Private Lives

I heard the family next door fighting the other night. Loud, deeply upset shouts. A child crying. Mama and Daddy yelling. I couldn’t quite make out what was being said. Anger. Tears.

It’s strange, the way we live. All tucked up in our little boxes. Minding our own beeswax.

Last night seemed to be just an argument from where I stood, probably no more than twenty metres away, in the cold, under the full moon, with a blanket wrapped around my shoulders, peering over my back deck into the darkness between my house and the one beyond. Clearly not minding any beeswax whatsoever.

It’s bad luck, I think. The house next door I mean. The last family that lived in it did a lot of fighting. This family appear to be similar. In actual fact, I thought it was the same family, with all their yelling and crying, until Prince Charming pointed out the mama that lived there when we were up the street. Certainly a different one to the lady that was there a few months ago. I didn’t even see the others leave or these ones move in… Mind you, the block next door has three units on it. The middle unit is the only one that alludes me. I know the lady that lives behind us enough to chat to, the ones on our other side enough to go in for a cup of tea. I know the front and the back units enough to recognise the people and say hello. But that middle unit… Always there, but I don’t see them coming and going very often.

I do hear them sometimes though. In the night. I hope they are ok.