Friday, December 9, 2011

and good things look like this

Because here, all around, is beauty happening. Right under my nose. It's everywhere. I just have to walk a step and I'm tripping over Sheer Wonderful.

A whole week of wonderful, in fact.

Which I am so glad about. So very thankful for.

brought a whole day of Lego League National Tournament-ing. We went up to Sydney and cheered on my son's former lego league team. We cheered ourselves hoarse (at least I did). National champions last year, this year, the team came second.

Second! Woot! Well done! Now they've been invited, again, to represent Australia in an international tournament. And because we were part of the team for the first 2/3 of the season, the coaches and families have (incredibly kindly) said my son can come too, if he wants. How about that? Looks like we might, maybe, possibly, be going to Germany or the US next year. A-ma-zing.

Here's a taste of what the day was like. It was beautiful. Spirit rising beautiful. Kids supporting each other beautiful. We had a wonderful day.

brought a full day of Conservatorium Open Day performances at our Town Hall. My husband was there for 12 hours straight…and somehow in all his busy-ness and tiredness, he was still so funny and beautiful. How does he do that?

My son played in three concerts. In this photo, he is about to solo on piano. A grand piano. In the Town Hall. Out there, improvising on the high wire. So inspiring.

brought the circus. And a boy on a trapeze…

and a girl writing stories on the laptop as I talked with friends.

Later, we took a long walk. There was talking and going all the way to the shops to have sorbet (for a girl) and hot chocolate (for a boy), and then a browse in the library. So peaceful.

Plus there was more talking, talking, talking. We were processing sadness, but in a way that made us laugh and reclaim ourselves. Then there was more laughter thrown in for good measure. So lovely!

brought my mum. The three of us took her out to an impromptu lunch for her birthday.

I love hanging out with my mum. The kids adore her. We are so lucky.

Tuesday saw me thinking a lot about where I wasn't, while at the same time looking around at where I was. I looked at what I had. Who I was with. When I looked, I saw so much smiling.

And Tuesday
brought a family of four tawny frogmouth owls. Right to the jacaranda tree outside our window. They sat there, dozing and dreaming, for the entire day.

At dusk, I took this little movie. At some point in the film, the mama owl feeds her baby. Listen to my daughter being utterly blown away :)

brought a park date with two beautiful families—one family being dear new friends and the other family being dear old friends. It saw children running all around, playing for 3 hours straight.

And afterwards, my daughter said, "I know we haven't known them [our new friends] for very long, but already I feel like I've known them forever!" She was so happy.

But Wednesday night came,

and just like that,

the sorrow rose.

Sorrow I'd been keeping at bay for days—ever since some triggers earlier in the week. Just like that, it rose and sat flat on me.

How strange, to be surrounded by beauty and joy, and still be squished by sadness. To spend days with kind, loving people, and still feel sadness there like a prickle on the skin. Like a steady, close buzz. Tinting whole sweet days, just a little,

How strange, and how perfectly normal, too? Normal, to be joyful, then suddenly, to mourn. To find and reclaim joy, only to forget again and be sad.

I think this is part of grieving.

Not just these new hurts, but old ones too. There they go, all the hard bits of the past, tumbling together with the present, tangled and tumbled, tumbled and tangling.

And I think this is part of letting go.  

Of what I thought life should look like, what I thought I needed, and thought life should have.

And I think this is part of accepting.

What IS.

So, here's to sorrow and joy, coming intertwined. The dark and the light, like two walkers. Moving together. Holding hands.

As for today?

brought clarity.

Today brought friends and family, and loving words, and professional help.

It is so clear,
how much love there is.

I am loved. We are loved.
We are.

We are blessed, blessed, blessed.

Today I was driving. Just me, the car, the road.

Beautiful music was playing on the radio.

And in that moment, I felt as though I was

surrounded by butterflies.



  1. Helena, You inspire me with your beautiful honesty and your inspiration with words. The joy and the sorrow and the expectations and acceptance all mingling into clarity.

  2. Your boy is amazing. Your kids are both amazing but I love the things your boy does. Keilee would have loved to be right there with him on that trapeze. I couldn't see either video..WAH!! is it just me? I am so sorry that Wednesday brought sadness but glad that you had friends, family and help to sort it all out. Sweet Helena. You feel so much....

  3. Dear, honest, inspiring, beautiful Helena! That is so beautiful what your daughter said about your new friends! (and for the record...the new friends feel that way too!) "The joy and the sorrow and the expectations and acceptance all mixing into clarity" mmmmm, yes that's it. I feel like that too (although...I don't always get the clarity bit straight away!) Love your "new friend" Deb!

  4. Thank you so much, Nikole. You inspire me right back! Truly :)

    Karen, thank you, and yes, my boy and your girl are SO alike! Our kids would have so much fun together, wouldn't they? :)

    Maybe if I give you links to the videos that will work better?
    The first video is the official one of the Oz National Tournament: The second is my own blurry film and I know you and Kei will adore it:

    Deb—I'm so glad for your 'new' friendship! Thank you for your words, here and in real life. Lucky me. Lucky us :)

  5. Thanks for the links! We did love them especially the owls. Then we watched them all and laughed and laughed over the headandhands. And we loved the marble run!! Now Keilee is speaking with an Aussie accent!

  6. What a wonderful week Helena :), it's lovely to see the joy in your days! The lego tournament video was fantastic, I had to show my son...And those owls! Now I had to look them up because I love owls so much, and did you know that they aren't owls at all! (then do they call them owls right?) Regardless, that in itself would have made my week, watching those gorgeous creatures. Much love to you friend as you continue to balance between joy and letting go :).

  7. Thanks so much, MJ! I discovered they weren't owls too, after I posted the video on facebook. A 13 year old friend corrected me, and my girl read the comment and said, "I knew that, Mum. They're tawny frogmouths, not owls. They're in some other bird family; now which one is it?" And she zipped off to find them in her bird book, got distracted by her brother and began some wild rumpus-y game. I'm still not sure what birds they are! Perhaps I should post a correction. :)

    Thanks for the love, and yes, to finding balance! I am so grateful for your comments here. They steer me to joy, every time.


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.