Friday, September 23

Family and Fairy Gardens

On Wednesday I drove with the kids up to the Lamington Plateau. It is a magical place. When I go there I feel like I have come home.
I was a bit resistant to going there, making all my usual excuses. It’s a long drive, I should be doing other stuff (including sitting around feeling sorry for myself.) But I went.

It was a beautiful drive up there; through some country I haven’t been past for 15 years. We stopped at the Natural Bridge on the way. On a whim! And whims are rare for me the last few years. Usually I am so caught up in the crap I’m supposed to be doing that I talk myself out of doing anything spontaneous.
It is an amazing place; a huge cave that was formed by the Mt Warning volcano, millions of years ago, with a stream that pours through a hole in the roof of the cave. It is surrounded by the Rainforest.
When we arrived at the guest house where my parents were staying, I felt nothing but love for and from my family.
The kids and I drove further up the mountain to O’Reillys. We went on the Tree Top walk. A suspended bridge rises up into the canopy of trees. Then you reach a platform and there are ladders so you can climb even higher, right to the top of the trees. Mr T (being a natural monkey) climbed straight to the top, closely followed by Rain while Dad and Tui and I waited on the platform.
Then we went to one of my most favourite places in the world. In the middle of the Rainforest is a small botanic garden.
All the Azaleas were in flower, it was so beautiful. I remembered the first time I went there. I thought it was a fairy garden. I knew that I would create a beautiful garden like it one day. My ambition for that still hasn’t changed.
We walked up the pathways with Tui leading us, through the small path that leads through “Dingle Dell”; the kids hiding and finding and Dad and I looking at plants and birds.
We worked out that it was thirty years ago that we first came here.
It was magical walking through the forest with Dad. He asked the kids to stop and listen for birds, how many could they hear? Same as he used to when I was a child. The best times I have spent with my father are in Forests like this one.
It started a cascade of memories of all the great times and wonderful things my parents have taught me; about plants and birds, about fairness and love, a million things.
 It opened my heart up in so many ways. I got thinking about perspective, and about how I have been concentrating on the negatives in my life so fiercely. How self-reflection and self-analysis are great but only when they are combined with self-nurturing and healing. Otherwise all that analysis becomes what you think of yourself, who you are, instead of just a little piece of what helped shape you.; it becomes shame and guilt and bitterness.
It was so healing going to my favourite place. I feel so grateful and so in love with my life.
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