Friday, July 6, 2018

Fred's Pass Show

I had a terrific late afternoon/evening trip to the Fred's Pass Rural Show on Saturday. We saw a lot of chickens - who knew there were so many types of chickens? With feathery feet? We went on the chacha and true to form I got a mild case of the giggles when Ms 7 began making signs she was going to vomit. There is not a lot you can do when strapped in tight being spun around in precarious circles. She didn't vomit so...phew.
A man on a Baptist church stall entices me with a balloon and before I know it he's been telling me about sinning and that Jesus was whipped and handed me the abc's of salvation and it's ten minutes later. Which is a particularly long time in Show time. I listen, look very concerned while my head clouds over his words that imply I am a sinner and heaven will not welcome me.
I wonder if he needs to know that maybe heaven is right here, now.
That I don't believe what he does.
That I'm willing to listen, but not engage.
I walk away, slightly shellshocked. It is quite the buzzkill being singled out for sinning.
Not for long at the Fred's Pass Show. Live music, a can of gin and tonic, kids eating honey garlic chicken wings and potato spirals that are pure potato, oil and chicken salt. Incredible. The fireworks begin and we are entranced, chins up, eyes shining, watching the stars fall above us. Completely oblivious to the wayward cracker that misfired and burnt the pyro technician (what an impressive job title) and scorched a couple of kids. Obviously it didn't happen close to us or this would be a more heated post about my safety concerns at rural shows. Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful show day and we arrive home late, content and sated for another year.


A year ago a lot of things had changed. I tried to roll with it, as best I could, but it was sometimes very hard. I learnt to notice the little accomplishments, to not discount them but to celebrate, if possible, if I wasn't clutching at my sides keeping myself upright.
To have your heart bloom in love and shatter at the loss of it simultaneously is, for lack of a better term, exhausting. Yet I had to work. 
I got a lease on a plain little house and set to making it sweet. Potplants, art, secondhand furniture, (although new beds and couch - I am somewhat particular about certain things) and finally a bookshelf, a portal to my past, future and present. Mum comes to stay and helps to create it a home, love goes into it's core - cushions, beanbags, old furniture spraypainted new - it feels good, amongst the undercurrent of fear and worry I have playing like static in the background.
I buy a cheap hose that turns out to be shit, so I learn a lesson and buy a 30 metre middle of the range Pope Garden Hose and not only do I keep plants and herbs and flowers alive (most of the time) I keep the grass green (most of the time). I have to cut it. For the first time in my life. I'm nervous and feel slightly incapable but with my shit hot hiking boots on and the guidance of some wonderful friends I make the mower work and I MOW MY LAWN. What a magnificent feeling.
Often the house is full of children, playing, chatting, eating. We inherit an old basketball hoop and backboard from some friends and roll it into the street so that neighbours, friends, we can play. We get a bunny who we eventually let freerange in the garden rather than being contained in a cage (sidenote - much of the freeranging is due to our inability to catch the bunny to put it back in it's cage in the evenings - it's been a month now and every morning it's waiting close by for us to handfeed it - but it will not be picked up or patted - I'm falling in love with it more each day).
Sometimes the kids aren't here and it's a treacherous landscape in my mind. I feel shame. I feel sad. I feel guilty. I know they are loved, safe, in a home with their Dad who needs them as much as I do. Yet the agony of their absence can cause a desolate grief within me, one I don't know how to speak of without searing pain. One I just expect people to understand. One that sometimes drags me into a dark and alone room that is my punishment for leaving.
I'm learning to ride the waves. I feel good here, in this little house next to a park. I try to do a little bit of all the things I need to do - writing, cleaning, gardening, socialising. I am grateful. For this life, this community, this freedom, but mostly - I'm grateful for this little house that is my home.