Tuesday, 4 July 2017
Day 2 (You know it's a good day when your van starts)
It doesn't ...
So we get up while the dew is still on the ground and open the van as the windows are so fogged up it needs drying out and start cooking bacon and banana rolls, which in my mind is the perfect camping breakfast.
The kids are both being blissful and annoying as hell in equal doses and in in that way I guess they are being perfect. They are helping sometimes, and fighting sometimes but they are never complaining so I'm a happy woman.
After breakfast we have a luxurious 5 minute shower, first one for the trip and pack up the van.
Driving further afield in this place reminds me of why I love it so much that we almost moved here. It's all rolling hills, tie-dye and rivers .... so many beautiful rivers. It's like the other half of me. There is the one that loves the vibrant place we call home and then the other that feels a longing for spaces this green and open.
We drive passing over wooden bridges and cattle grates until I see it. The place I've been thinking of. (And didn't realise how scared I was until then that I wouldn't find it)
We pull over and explore further up river and we find the perfect spot. Big granite boulders in the middle of a crisp stream with a 20 metre escarpment on the other side. Perfect for mum.
Over the years I have thought about what it would be like spreading mums ashes. In my mind it was all revenant and calm and serene. In the end we did it my way, a little hectic with the kids 1/2 naked and me trying to prise my way into the container with a rotten stick because I had underestimated how hard that thing was going to be to open.
We had waded across the river to a hard to reach space that looked over a pebble beach we had been sitting on on the other side. No one would have a reason to come across here. But the view from this side is of the beauty of the other. Just what mum would have liked. Where she can look but doesn't have to swim.
Jack came to the rescue finding a sharp stone to pry the top of the container just moments before I started pounding on it with a rock and we took handfuls and threw it all over the escarpment. There was nothing somber about it. We played Dave Brubecks 'Take Five' mums favourite song, which clashed horrendously with the space. One handful I threw headed straight into Jack and then we realised a bunch of it had landed on our thongs that we had left a few levels down. I stood for a second and looked at the chaos and laughed and cuddled the boys and thought just how mum would have thought it was all such a perfect mess. All felt like it was as it should be. No movie moment. Just us doing it our way.
We slipped back down the bank waded across the river and sat in the sun looking back at the spot. The kids made rock sculptures, I cried a little and laughed a lot and then we all jumped into the frigid water that was so clear you could see the bottom even though it was deeper than I am tall and made sure we had washed all of mum off of us.
And that was it .... I thought I would feel something mountainous. I don't ... just a calm and sense of right.
After drying ourselves on the rocks we drove back to the same spot we stayed last night. We walked into town decided to buy each other gifts to remember this trip. Jack wanted a beautiful set of pencils. Hamish a crystal necklace and me a ball of hand dyed wool to make a pompom.
And as I sat here making a start on my pompom the kids ran on the grass in the dark with sparklers, drew on rocks we had found and we ate sausages as the mist rolled in. They both talked about how they think they will always remember this trip. And how thankful they are to my mum for teaching me how to be a mum because apparently she did a pretty awesome job. And suddenly my crazy 'lets hire a campervan in winter and just drive' idea feels like the best decision I've made in many years.