I Love Our Town.

I’m mildly obsessed with Townsville this time of year. Its “winter” which means its 70 degrees all day every day and if it happen to get down to the 50s well then call that a freeze and break out the portable heaters you got on sale for $10 at the grocery store last year.

It also means that its dry season and hence the time for annual outdoor festivals to be planned. I tell you, Townsville has one almost every weekend from here until August.

I’m a sucker for a good, family event… especially a free one and especially especially one with free prizes. I love prizes. Its ridiculous, truly.

Max’s favourite part of the day. He is still talking about it.

This weekend we went to Heritage Days. It is what our family refers to as the kickoff of festival season and it totally delivered this year. We took a bus ride through the old cemetery and found out there is quite a unique history; we tasted Aboriginal bush tucker and found out Max has quite a taste for crocodile; we took full advantage of the kids activities, got our cyclone tracker map, and enjoyed the company of good friends.

crocodile, emu, kangaroo and damper. it was tasty. #godblessourindigenous

It reminded me how much I really, really do love our town. I suppose that if you’re going to head all the way around the world you might as well live somewhere you like.

It also reminded me the choices we make are what shape this little community. Its a regional city with a small town feel, despite the fact that the CBD is booming a bit with high rise apartments and there are more suits and ties and “tropical Friday” seems to be more and more rare. I love that we’re growing. We need to grow.

But I love that we can keep the small town feel while we do… the feeling that you know your neighbours, that you can head to the beach and see heaps of families and dogs and frisbees and kites, that if you forgot a nappy there is a sweet mama happy to lend one to you (happened once… massive parenting mishap… it was awesome)… the festivals that draw a crowd and bring us together and the feeling of running into someone you know and enjoying that smile of recognition that lights up their face and your heart.

It truly is delightful.

I’m so challenged to consider how we both give and take in our community. How we receive experience and joy and create those experiences and opportunity for others. We have to actually turn up at the events… the beach… the park. And we have to do our part to help make them happen… we volunteer… we donate toys and clothes to the family down the way who lost them in a house fire… we encourage… we give feedback (and not just the critical kind.)

our good friend lindsey enjoying the day with us

I love that our little town has a heart. And I love that its the collective of 170,000 individuals that makes up that heart. And I love that our four hearts play a part in making it what it is today and what it will be tomorrow.

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Today I Changed the World.

The office was totally abuzz today. There were at least six different events happening, requiring everyone to be dressed to the tee and doing lots of different jobs.

I love that kind of a buzz. I love the adrenaline rush of remembering millions of details and trouble-shooting last minute anomalies. I love the feeling of being so exhausted you start to lose your voice, but knowing that it really is okay because in a few days you’ll get that sleep-in and in the mean time, there’s some world changing to be doing and when you hear about the results, it. feels. awesome.

I felt the buzz today, but I felt it around me instead of in me. And I loved it and it was contagious and it inspired me to a place of hope and rallying, but at the same time I knew I couldn’t take it all on. It wasn’t my turn.

My two babies don’t know what its like to run a major event. They just know what its like to build towers and drink milk and giggle.

I’ve found motherhood to be an ongoing transition. I’m guessing it will never ever stop being that. I’ve been told this is true.

Today was another transition.

Oh sure, I double-checked run sheets, and edited thank you notes, and trouble-shot printer troubles, but I did it with a baby on my chest, sitting on the ground, putting together a wooden train track.

I battled in my mind as I watched friends and coworkers I loved and admired doing a great job, but really feeling the load. Was I doing enough? Surely, surely I could take it on for them… help a little bit more.  But it wasn’t my day to carry that load.

So instead, today, I told a little boy that he was fun. Not because he needs to be affirmed but because in the bottom of my heart I think he is the most fun kid I’ve every been around and I love that he makes me laugh and I feel so special when I hear glorious giggles erupting from the bottom of his belly.

And I told him he was smart because seriously, the things he says these days absolutely blow me away and he does it with this cheeky grin because he knows he’s never said that word or sentence or even concept before and that I’m going to think he’s the bees knees when I hear it (and I do.)

And I told a little girl she was sweet because the girl will stare and stare and stare at you from across the room until you notice her and look at her and its like she was just waiting to melt you with this smile that is so deep and incredible that you think she must be more wise than any 9 week old that ever lived or maybe she just still remembers what it was like being knit together by the hands of God Himself because it feels like He’s just smiling right through her to the deep places in your soul.

And as I talked of funness and smartness and sweetness, I realised, I’m changing the world too. These little people… this is the foundation for them to become the world changers they are destined to be.

And I smiled. Because even though I adore the buzz, playing with trains and blocks is a pretty cool job to have too.

Renewable Energy

This weekend we found ourselves at the Townsville EcoFiesta and Lifestyle Expo on Green Living… or something like that.

Mostly, we love hitting up this gorgeous park called Queens Gardens and browsing some local innovations while listening to some folky tones from local musicians like our friends Woje… and getting free stuff.

But we’re also keen to put our hands on the roof painted with special paint to resist the heat, and entertain the comments of my observant teenage brother on the irony of the place he’s just come from is all about conserving heat… NOT repelling it.

Uncle Luke is here.

We couldn’t be happier.

And even though we did learn our share of energy and water saving tips, our energy was renewed in a different way too.

The, oh.my.gosh.my.brother.is.finally.at.my.house sort of way.

The, i’ve.dreamed.of.going.to.australia.for.eight.years sort of way.

The, i.have.a.real.life.uncle.who.is.teaching.me.how.to.be.a.warrior sort of way.

I left home when my brother was just older than my son. And now he’s 14 and travelled half way around the world on his own to hang with us. Awesome. And though our energy levels have hit the.pass.out.in.the.car.on.the.way.home level, we’ve also been renewed in a deep, soulful sort of way.