For professional photography sessions please visit www.redtentphotography.com

Different, Better: The Delusion of Belonging In Another Life

I see them as we drive west – a few dotted along the roadside to start with, tall, delicate, sunshine yellow. Soon the buildings disappear and my view out is no longer obstructed. I can actually see a horizon – that point the canopy of the sky gets spilt from the green of the earth. The clouds are white, fluffy, like fairy floss, and the sky they hang from actually feels like a roof. I look out the window and I can finally see far ahead, yellow wildflower fields meeting rolling mountains meeting wide blue sky. Nothing but space, and my body feels like it opens up and expands to fill it. When it does — like it always does at the first sight of open country — I immediately wonder if I belong in a different life.

IMG_8387

IMG_8380

IMG_8395

IMG_8397

Farmhouse floorboards, so weathered the polish has worn off, creaking underfoot like a thousand stories being told. Long dirt roads dotted with flowers, kids riding their bikes barefoot. Pots of tea bubbling on an old brick stove, fish pie baking in the oven, wildflowers plopped in a vase on the kitchen table. Fires at night, the smell of smoke clinging to children’s hair as we kiss the tops of their heads before bed. Chutneys and relishes filling our pantry shelves, kale and parsley plucked from our garden. A different pace, a peaceful view, a quieter rhythm, a more wholesome life — away from traffic and shops, buildings and blocked horizons: the never-ending chase of all the wrong things.

IMG_8779

IMG_8751

IMG_8758

IMG_8738

And then begins the all too common descent from what I’m grateful for in my life to wishing I had a different one altogether. Oh but all the things we’d do. All the things we’d feel. All the ways we’d be fulfilled. All the things that would be different, better.

IMG_8570

IMG_8676

IMG_8750

IMG_8674

Maybe it is a calling. Maybe the country is where my heart will always reside. Maybe I’ll always wake up a little whenever I see horizons and rusty sheds and farmhouses. On the other hand, maybe it’s a romantic affair, taken at a superficial level. Maybe all the baked pies and wooden floorboards take precedence for awhile, but like all long-term love affairs, start to expose flaws soon enough. The isolation, the distance from friends and family, the lack of opportunities to grow businesses.

Always, there a million different paths to take: live here, live there, have children, don’t have children, have this job, have that job, marry, don’t marry, marry this person, marry that person, study this, study that.

When we have the ability to chase any life we want, the options overwhelm, the ‘what if’ question burns our souls.

But would we be happier? Would we ‘belong’ in our lives if we chose B instead of A? Would we stop imagining ourselves in a different life and stand firmly in the one we have?

Maybe.
But probably not.

Because contentment is an inside job, grounded in concepts like gratefulness, creativity, awareness, positivity, inspiration. It comes from in, in, in not out, out, out. And that mother baking pie in her farmhouse kitchen still feels bored sometimes, uninspired, lonely, ordinary, wondering if there was, perhaps, a different, better.

That’s life. That’s what it is to be human.

And so we analyse our dreams and we find enough clarity and courage to chase them, but we grow wise enough to go inside, right where we are, where gratefulness and awareness and inspiration reside right now.

IMG_8486

IMG_8398

IMG_8331

I have a dream farmhouse checklist and it’s been tucked away inside for as long as I can remember. I’d still love to try out that life and maybe we will, maybe we won’t. The most important thing is erasing the different, better line of thinking. Different, yes, but the ‘better’ is what I bring to it. The ‘better’ – in a long-term sense – comes only from inside – once the view and the space and the change wears off. The ‘better’ is me.

Always me.

*

Some highlights from our weekend trip to Stanthorpe to celebrate my brother’s birthday.

Coreopsis fields! Everywhere! I made everyone stop every twenty minutes and forced them to be in pictures!

IMG_8782

IMG_8816

IMG_8794

IMG_8573

IMG_8631

IMG_8538

IMG_8358

IMG_8352

IMG_8389

IMG_8367

IMG_8409

IMG_8406

IMG_8393

Girraween National Park – easy, child-friendly walks, gorgeous rock pools to swim in.

IMG_8304

IMG_8335

IMG_8314

IMG_8318

IMG_8323

IMG_8337

IMG_8491

IMG_8485

IMG_8431

IMG_8482

Favourite walk — The Pyramids. Steep scramble at the end but the view and the feeling of being so high on the rock face is worth it.

IMG_8436

Steep!

IMG_8455

IMG_8479

IMG_8465

IMG_8468

IMG_8454

IMG_8441

Wineries, olives, jams, relishes, cheeses. I’ll take them all, thanks.
Favourites: Jamworks (zucchini relish — to die for), The Bramble Patch (ice cream and chutneys – the best), Summit Estate Winery (shiraz/pinot blend…and the port! Christmas in a glass! We got a bottle for Christmas eve), Ballandean Estate Italian yum cha — rich food but such treat.

IMG_8836

IMG_8840

IMG_8502

IMG_8510

IMG_8839

IMG_8843

IMG_8847

IMG_8531

And, as always, family time.

IMG_8526

IMG_8575

IMG_8649

IMG_8651

IMG_8657

IMG_8659

IMG_8425

IMG_8423

IMG_8419

IMG_8670

IMG_8692

IMG_8705

IMG_8708

IMG_8711

IMG_8720

IMG_8715

IMG_8725

I’ve added that old brick stove to my dream farmhouse and tucked it away inside. But these children, this little family, they are – they will always be – my home.

IMG_8697

IMG_8759

IMG_8606

“It was November–the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

2 Responses to “Different, Better: The Delusion of Belonging In Another Life”

  1. Kali

    Beautiful as always! I find myself swimming in those reflections sometimes too, and always coming back to that place that that home is inside and my relationship with myself first and foremost. Those pics with Joel and Ella are extremely heart warming!! xx

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: