Yesterday my son took Camera House for a walk and last night he wrote these words for you and me. He and his family will be going back to wintry New Zealand in a few days and he wanted to add his voice to the blog for a moment.
I am so proud of him and his wee family. They make a startling team. Life is a collection of fleeting moments, we desperately try to collect and capture them with all our digital devices and lever them into our memories but he has gently gathered them into my hand with his words.
Here is Senior Son:
I’ve visited the little farm on two occasions. Somehow this trip has been different. There is the obvious, its the height of summer, as opposed to the two previous midwinter trips. The landscape is green and lush as opposed to grey and bleak. But that’s not it…
Our new family has traveled from New Zealand, my stunning wife and beautiful new born babe. Driving up the limestone drive I was reminded that our six month old baby will remember none of the days to come. We wondered aloud if the farm would make an impression on her subconscious, it’s nice to suppose it would, just for the joy of the idea.
In a few short years we will no doubt come back for another trip, and I imagine us sitting around the dinner table back in NZ before departing talking with our daughter about what she can expect from grandma’s farm, and it’s this lens that has been in the back of my mind. A kind of anticipated future nostaglia, a strange concept.
On the first night we saw the magic of fireflies for the first time, bright pins of light dancing in the dusk. My first thought was to store this moment away for future child bedazzlement. What other stories would we regale our young daughter with about a trip that she couldn’t remember. “There are many wonderful animals, pigs, chickens, cows, peacock, cats, and your favourite, two dogs!”
“There are vegetables, fruit and fields that stretch to the horizon. Grandma’s kitchen is always busy, help yourself if you’re hungry, don’t forget to help out with the washing up. There is a dark and mysterious barn where animals go to sleep and stay safe.”
“There is a long path that snakes along the rise out back and leads to another barn across the creek, more pigs, more cows, hay and lawns to mow for pocket money.”
“Count the pigs, make sure none have jumped the electric fence and gone off to the pub, One, two, three, four – tahi, rua, toru, wha.”
“The farmy is a magical place, full of excitement and awe. It is a practical place too, life grows from the soil to fill our bellies.”
“Most important of all, it’s where we find grandma. Hauling the hoses, feeding the animals and weeding the rows. We talk to her in the kitchen, and play on the lawn, we laugh at silly Boo sleeping on his back with legs up in the air.”
It is something special to visit this piece of the world. But in the end, even its expansive majesty pales next to the joy of spending time with family.
Much love to you and your family.