I’m sitting here looking at a white piece of paper on the computer screen, thinking about how I can blog about getting inspired. I Google it. Apparently, finding inspiration is all about appreciating life mindfully, experiencing nature and great people, and looking at life through the wonder of a child’s eyes. One of the things the computer tells me to do, is search “inspirational quotes”, or to look up “inspirational Facebook pages” or to search for tweets with the hashtag #inspiration.
It strikes me that reading about inspiration is perhaps not really getting it. At the end of the day, I’m still sitting looking at a screen. Which is what I was doing a second ago, trying to kick start the old inspiration thing.
Lucky for me, I have just had a whole weekend of inspiration – how good does that sound! And my Googling was just to find something to frame my story, a way to introduce it, or to make it sound clever.
So, I decided to ditch Google
and just tell you why my weekend was inspiring.
Number one: Friends.
Four years ago we were thrown together with some friends by an organisation called FarmDay. They match a farm family with a city family, in order to educate the city slickers. From our first meeting it was comfortable – and we laughed, good, deep belly laughs. They were really passionate about farming and filled our heads with a huge amount of essential and amazing knowledge. They were kind-hearted: they did not judge our kids nor our shambled attempt at parenting while we were in their space, and we watched in amazement at the courageous and heartfelt way they helped their little girl deal with a baby lamb passing away. We found a mutual likeness on many things. They opened our eyes to life’s miracles. It has never changed.
If I am watching an inspiring person in the spotlight doing their inspiring talk, they should be all these things – funny, wise, brave and kind to others. I find this inspiring because this is what I strive towards. I also find that I am very, very lucky, to have this in my friends.
Number two: The great outdoors
It takes us about five hours to get to our friends’ home; the buildings dropping away, then suburbs then small towns, leaving vast expanses of dry Australian grass dotted with cattle and sheep. I stand at the back door of their house and I can’t see the edges of their property. The sky is far and wide and blue and crisp and infinite – and ours. I am infused with how blessed I am to live under this open sky. The clean air is in such abundance that you must breathe it in and store it if you can; it must fill out your chest and belly, as full as the view is vast.
Their farm is their work, lifestyle and home. They are at the behest of the weather, all the time – rain doesn’t just mean throw on a raincoat. They nurture the soil, plant the food, help birth the babies and watch to make sure they are bonded and mothered. They guide whole life cycles – of sheep, of cows, of crops, chickens, working dogs, vegetables, even tiny creature ecosystems inside old dead wood, and other things which we run out of time to chat about. Kangaroos, which we oo and ahh over in the dirt corner of the zoo, infest their paddocks in over-populated hoards, destroying hard work and tender new flora and fauna. They take us driving around on their property and they know every inch of the land and every animal: Miles and miles away we see a single sheep – “she’s a bit of a grumpy thing, that old lady”. It is a working farm; they do it with heart.
I feel I cannot get any more out in nature, than I am out here. It is gigantic-macro: It immediately puts into perspective, and invigorates, my micro-managed life.
Number three: A child’s eyes
I drown inside the matrix of homework of three children for forty weeks of the year. I barter to get four of them to eat good food, or have good manners. I fight about iThings, every. single. day. To get some peace I plonk them in front of the TV – oh yes I do!
But not out there. They run with their friends – run for miles, down into gully’s, up to the crest of a hill, stop, gulping for breath, and look out to the horizon which they’ve yet to conquer; then on they go, legs charging through more paddocks. They collect bones….”Look at this cow’s pelvis Dad!” and stick it onto a giant leg bone and part of a spine. They learn all the why’s of having a tractor ride with a huge round hay bale on the front.
They bounce about in the back of a ute without a seatbelt and are perfectly safe with faces exploding in the world’s biggest smile. That smile makes my heart sing and melt all at the same time.
They say please and thank you because they really do appreciate it so very much. They eat mountains because they are starving from ferociously ingesting all that life has to offer. There is not one mention of an i for days and days and days, and they forget the car dvd player on the long trip home, instead staring out the window, absorbing the view.
They are vibrating with how amazing their life is right now.
And so am I.