Today I'm back in Boganborough and it's cloudy and I'm tired and I feel like I'm coming down with a cold, but I've had such an amazing weekend.
Renaissance Wife and I travelled north again to the NSW north coast for the "Love Day" of two dear friends. Because life is crazy we had a wonderful time hanging out with about 30 people from Melbourne who also travelled north for the same event.
I gave Renaissance wife a verbal tour of the beefy hinterland along the rivers where 5 generations of my mothers ancestors cut down forests and raised dairy cattle before heading up the hills to New England to get degrees and raise beef cattle. She was a bit freaked out by the parade of unpeopled roadside homesteads along the McLeay and Bellinger rivers, and the ghosting horror of Kinchela where stolen Aboriginal children were acculturated and abused for nearly a century. I persuaded her to detour over to South West Rocks and picks up some shells as a memento of where my grandparents honeymooned in the 1930's, and brought them as tokens of longevity to our marrying friends.
They called it a love day. Our dear friends waded into ankle-deep water where many of us stood in the afternoon sun and people's children did their best impersonation of putti frolicking in the sunlit shallows and it was so beautiful and heartfelt and momentous that we all cried. And then everyone swam and then as the sun set we drank, and ate and danced until midnight - to a local band who covered Astor Piazzola and finished with a Kolo and how incredible was that?
And yesterday we had a brunch of seeds, oysters, tofu and other leftovers by the water and a swim in the sun.
On the way back to the airport, Renaissance wife drove me to my brother's grave - after we got lost finding the cemetery - as I do each time I try to visit. I bought flowers and junkfood from woollies and sat in his grave hanging out with his headstone and my memories of him. Flowers were symbolic: poppies for... well, you know, Daisies aka Margaritas for me. Red Gerberas for the passion of grief, yellow Geberas for the joy of hope, and orchids coz they last for ages.
I felt so lucky to have been able to visit his grave so close to his deathversary. So lucky to have a place with sun, and seabreeze and ocean views and trees where I could sit and remember my brother and what he was to me.
Finally I felt so lucky to remember that the terrible pall of grief and pain that amputated me when he died, has finally changed into something warm and loving and tender, and that I've lived through all of this and gained so much wisdom and life force as a result.