The Simple joys of Life

The simple joys

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Today was as hot as hades, summer is a mixture of outdoor activities and staying indoors when it gets too severe. It is not my favourite time of year. I prefer a gentler season like the spring or autumn months. By this nightfall a cool change brings me a small window of relief. It draws me outside. I am in awe of the burnt orange skies.

I love the contrast of rich green grass after many days of rain. Yet after rain, we seem to get the dreaded humidity. I ponder on the simple joys of life. The small wins in our day, they are miniature, yet worth writing about.

I was sitting there watching the kids splashing around in the local pool today. One eye on their wet scraggy heads and the other in my book. To me this is a kind of paradise. They get to release some energy, cool down and I get to relax in the shade and enjoy some reading time. (This is RARE). A refreshing cool breeze even rarer.

There was a time, when we did not come to the pool, it was too stressful. A time when my son did not enjoy the crowds and much less the noise of people having fun. He would never stay if the pool became over-crowded. Thankfully for us and to my amazement we had the pool to ourselves, apart from a pensioner or two, doing wonky laps. Usually the holidays are a challenge. Crowds, noise and long lines do not sit easy on our agenda. We as a family have become experts at getting somewhere early, having our fun and leaving before the hoards of people arrive. Our quiet sanctum never lasts for long.

One by one, out of the hot cars they came. Toddlers waddled in adorned with sun hats, crooked goggles and tripping over their oversized towels. They could not contain their joy. Mothers and fathers armed with the stuff we all need to survive an hour or two in the hot sun. Sunscreen is the order of the day. The children’s excitement and squeals usually leave my boy anxious and wanting to go home. Especially any high-pitched screams. You don’t realise how many kids squeal at the pool or beach until you have a child who is sensitive to this. The visual of a pack of children heading in his direction made me edgy. I did not want him to stop having fun.

I watched and I waited. One after the other another small body dropped into the deep blue. It was like kiddie soup in there. I packed my beach bag with a heavy sigh and prepared to leave.

Yet, imagine my surprise when my son did not surface. I managed to finish my book. My children played among the sea of bobbing heads. My son was giggling and diving under, I sat smiling. No one could know my joy. I felt a tear behind my shades, a happy tear mind you, welling up.

After many years of challenges with crowds, we have arrived at a point in our lives where we can actually stay and enjoy the day. Like everyone else, at least sometimes, depending on the anxiety levels. Tis a simple thing but in my world it is a memorable event and something I will treasure always.

January is slipping by and I am reading, not writing, not sketching much, just soaking up the wonder of my simple little life. As I write this at the end of the day I look out again at the beautiful sky. The warm brilliance of colour has transformed into a cold grey canvas.

Like the sky my happiness floats free in the ebb and flow of Life. I should expect amazement everyday. Nothing ever stays the same. I am happy with the most simple of outcomes. After today a new day brings with it, many possibilities and every evening sky is a wonder to behold.

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If something feels like it will never change, trust me when I say it will. I send you simple blessings and when they arrive be as grateful for them as I am for mine.

TODAY WAS A GOOD DAY.

Happy January to you, it leaves all too soon.

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Nature is My Therapy

bird (copy) As 2014 draws to a close and I say that with a smile. I find myself pondering the lessons learned this year. I have taken the steps, in sharing my art. It is due to this community who have encouraged me along the way. I say THANK YOU. I do feel it has slowed the picture book plans, but life is like that. When new opportunities arise we must see where they lead.

I have learnt that I will always be learning. I shared my WIP with a professional editor and a few writing friends and it was clear to me I need to grasp extra skills in editing. The Holly Lisle course, on how to take that first crappy novel draft through the editing process is brilliant (she has many to choose from). An invaluable course for my writing toolkit. I did not realise how much I needed it, until I dared share my novel. What a deep layer of knowledge I must gain to make my book worth the read. I will not rush it, even though I have many stories in my head. Once I learn this set of skills I can apply it to everything I write.

I have also learnt it’s great to be fifty I may be a bit stiff in the joints and my eyes are not as sharp as they once were (glasses glued to my head for all eternity). My imagination thankfully has not diminished. Being fifty gives me a sense of knowing how short time is and a drive to tell many stories. My understanding is we practice our craft until it hurts. We learn those basic skills and then some. When we feel we have arrived, we then push the comfort zone further and learn something that scares us. Writing is not easy for me (it does scare me). Nothing comes to those who sit around waiting. When I look back I can see my skills building. Looking back, is a healthy way to give yourself a pat on the back. Be proud of what you have achieved in the year. Look to the new year with renewed optimism.

My word for 2015 is BELIEVE The word for this year was Productivity. I was productive in getting my art into the Gallery, but the picture book went to the back of my projects list. Next year I must believe in the beauty of my dreams and work my butt off to finish that picture book. Most important of ALL…..

When I teach myself new skills those around me learn too

My Children have been busy, art is all around us (see below) my daughter has used her coloured pens. My son designs new computer games in his drawings, he does not like drawing birds he has his own ideas and wants to learn about game designing when he grows up. If I have anything to give in this world through my art, it is to inspire others to follow that spark of imagination. Nature is my therapy it sets me free. Wrapping up for 2014 I would say it was a massive year of learning new skills, being grateful, and friendship building. I thank you for the encouraging comments and look towards 2015 with optimism in my heart and a truckload of art and stories to share.

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Art by Reed, his draft for a computer game.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

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Art by Willow

See you around the corner in 2015

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A Merry Little Christmas

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Art by Kath unsworth

I ask you to tread a gentle path upon this day and the days to come. Christmas is near and we cannot stop it, but we can make it through unscathed and even help those who find it a challenge.

I sit on the deck watching the cows graze on a warm summers morn. Coffee in hand I wave a few pesky flies away. Further up the hillside a group of kangaroos stand tall watching me. The stillness is divine at a time of year when the world dissolves into holiday madness. I think about my friends all over this planet. Each one of you have your own christmas story. I love reading about how you celebrate this time of year.

For some, it might not turn out the way you wish, but we can be grateful for the little things in our lives. I  breathe in, knowing the madness is not far from my door either. I savour the peace and quiet. The children are on holidays, yet not awake, NOT YET.

For me it is about gathering monumental memories with family and friends. Spending precious time together. A rare occurrence in todays world. Beach walks and barbecue time. Whispering to the wind to those long gone, I have not forgotten you.

It is not all about the food or the gifts. I know that sounds crazy to the young right? Not so much when you have lived a little.

Christmas has a way of reminding us of who we care about most and who won’t be at the christmas dinner table this year. It can be a hard time of year. Some people feel it more than others. It might be about not having enough money. It may be the loss of someone dear. Health issues can be an extra burden, or you are alone and feel unappreciated.

At Christmas, people can get depressed.
At Christmas, people miss people.

At Christmas I need to think about the magic I can do. It is a chance to make somebody else’s day. No one will look at you strange when you add a little festive cheer to the local school, home, office or community.

Lets face the facts, as we age we realise no body will ever have the perfect christmas every year. But we can make the best of it and we can think about others and share what we have. Even if it’s only a smile, hug or a card.
I wish you peace, love and harmony, I wish you joy and togetherness.

So I ask you to step gently, through the maze of lights and festive cheer. Through the hopes and dreams of others. Keep your eyes peeled for someone who is not doing so well. Why not see if you can make a difference. One random act of kindness leads to many. You make someone’s day, they feel appreciated and pass it down the line. Simple but it can happen.

Wishing you a magical Christmas from one thankful Aussie.

I hope you see and experience the magic of Christmas by giving or receiving.

I will leave you with three words to go by this Christmas, three words my Father often mentioned for a life well lived. Compassion, Love and Kindness. He is no longer with me in the physical sense but he will always live in my heart when I think of those words.

 

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Guest Post at A Physical Perspective

Please join me over at 

http://brittskrabanek.com/2014/12/02/the-life-enthusiast-chronicles-with-kath/

Britt Skrabanek is a certified Yoga teacher on an adventure of awareness and self-acceptance, an eternal student who is learning to cultivate a peaceful existence.

She is also an indie author, who enjoys writing about bold female characters who use their misconstrued sass and wit for good, no matter how sticky the situation may be. Her third book, Nola Fran Eviea retro summertime romp—is now available. (on my wish list to read)

I write about, yes you know me well…….. appreciating the moments in life. I am honoured to be a part of The Life Enthusiast Chronicles.

Life is too short remember to appreciate those tiny moments, no matter how minuscule.

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The Art of SLOW

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Art by Kath Unsworth

SLOW MOVING MAMMA

That’s me……

The Illustration Friday topic for the week is the word SLOW.

This image I created today was a slow-moving cow with a heavy load. The picture itself took me three and half hours to complete. It felt very slow. Capturing the highlights took some time.

I guess I am an expert at going slow. If there was an award for the longest time creating a picture book. I would win hands down. November is a time I look back to see how far I have come. Oh dear, I have not come as far as I would have liked. LIFE DOES GET IN THE WAY of OUR VISIONS. This year, when I started selling my art at a local craft gallery, everything else got put to the side. My word for the year was Productivity. I know I have been productive making lots of art. BUT the picture book characters frown at me and say…. “Hey don’t forget about us, please colour us in!”

I suppose I could look at it this way.

Good art takes time.

I have the skill of going slow, down to a fine art.

Every picture I draw helps me sharpen my skills. I have gone over the illustrations at least three times each.  I’m confident after a year of experimenting with movement, viewpoint, different textures and bright colours that my characters will eventually shine.

Slow is not a bad word. Living in the countryside, is very slow. I’m liking it. My younger city-dwelling self would have run a mile from the words slow-country-living. The fifty year old me enjoys the fact I have no neighbours, just cows to talk to. Cows are slow most of the time, unless they see the truck loaded up with grain. Then you get to see some funky cow moves for sure.

No, I will not rush it, I will be slow and it will take as long as it takes.

I am thankful for all the fun art I have created this year and connecting with so many wonderful people out there. The journey continues.

Are you a machine at finishing your projects or are you a slow poke like me?

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A Paper Trail of Feathers

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Not Much to say here this week but I always have a sketch to share.

I know, I know the birds keep coming. I have a paper trail of fine-feathered friends lately on my blog space. I do not plan what I draw, it’s a pretty random thing. But birds seem to be my calling card at the moment.

The illustrator Friday word for the week was Paper.  This little creation is part of my gift for my sister’s wedding. The last in the family to get married. I have waited, all year for this one day.

When our family gathers it is a crazy kind of wonderful, all at the same time. I never feel like I actually spend quality time with anybody, due to the amount of siblings I have.

They are like a flock of birds all chirping at the same time, in the one tree. As my father use to say, don’t all speak at once. What else could he say to nine chatty kids. These gatherings are a rare treat, as we find ourselves scattered across the countryside.

I will savour every laugh and big bear hug, every humorous story, every child’s giggle and most of all every moment spent with my loved ones, especially witnessing my baby sis getting married. (Yes I will cry tears of joy. As I age, I seem to do this more often, don’t ask me why?)

I hope your week ahead is full of love and light. I hope this bird makes you feel happiness. Maybe next week no more birds, maybe not.

 

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I Talk to Birds

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It is true, if you were to observe me, when I go outside I would look like a kind of, half crazed old woman. I talk to everything because I have no neighbours.

I try to post something here once a week but sometimes I have to wait for something to come. My Brain fills up with silliness, well sometimes maybe we need to look on the lighter side of life.

This little poem arrived today at a quarter past three in the morning. Don’t know why it came but here it is.

I talk to Birds

I do,
I talk to animals too.
What do I say?
Sing for me bird, a happy song.
The birds all stare as I walk along.

I talk to the cows
What do I say?
Hello girls, it’s a nice day.
The cows all stare as I madly wave, please, please don’t run away.

I talk to snails, do I need a shrink?
What do I say? What do you think?
Scoot out of my garden, if you please.
The snails move by with a slow-moving ease.

I talk to my cats,
What do I say?
Does kitty need a hug, some food or a pat?
My cats understand me, they are crazy like that.

I talk to my dogs,
What do I say?
Don’t chew my washing, you cheeky young pup.
The puppy just gives me a cute little yap.

Yes, I talk to the birds and the bees I do. The flowers, mountains and the trees too. I never stop talking my Dad use to say. I even talk in my sleep and give thanks for each day. To the sun and the moon and the big blue sky. I say thank you, thank you.

I’ll talk and I’ll talk until all is still.

And greet you in the morning, I promise I will.

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