Monday, 16 January 2012

The Other Side

When we blog, we are usually writing about the ‘good stuff’ – people, places, events, natural beauty, memorable moments….

But there is another side, often we allude to it – maddeningly itchy insect bites, wet and/or windy weather, dampness seeping through everything, tarps flapping in the wind, feeling cold, feeling hot, needing to go to the toilet when you’re snug in bed or urgently first thing in the morning, using public bathrooms and toilets, sunscreen bodies, windswept and salty hair, living on top of one another, all together all of the time, noisy/annoying neighbours and the list goes on…..

Most of the time yurting is filled with ‘good stuff’, but the other side is always there, a dose of reality that reminds us we are ordinary people living in the real world.

But there is another other side. We have chosen to spend as much time yurting as we can and there are consequences, for all of us, of this choice.

When we get home, Colin will leave 3 days later for PNG and then for the next 5 weeks there is not an unaccounted for day in his diary – no margin, no space. He will work long and hard, the flip side of the freedoms we have just experienced. We are not complaining, just acknowledging we have made choices and there are consequences.

Last year I turned down a job that is more in keeping with my passions and abilities than my current admin and office management for Ergo. One of the contributing factors was my desire to maintain freedom for yurting. I can’t have it all; there are choices and consequences.

Johanna began high school last year and is spreading her wings, trying to make new friends. This is not helped by being away every holidays, for all of the holidays and missing some school. There are choices and consequences.

When we are away our other three children have to fend for themselves (and the pets). Sometimes things go wrong, sometimes they would just like to have Mum or Dad around, sometimes they just want someone else to cook, clean and shop. There are choices and consequences.

So while the blogs tell the story of one part of our lives there is always the reality of the other side. We choose to pursue yurting and we live with both the wonderful and the not so wonderful consequences. Sometimes I ask myself why we choose to do this, but having experienced a yurting lifestyle it has left us wanting more. It has given us an experience of another way to live, it is the antithesis of a busy urban life, it helps us live out our questions about the meaning and purpose of life, it challenges us, deeply touches us, meets inner longings and desires and fills our lives with joy, beauty and peace.

P.S We are all feeling ready to return to Melbourne life, the rain and Zac’s departure today have precipitated the decision to pack up and continue on once we drop Zac at the airport. Today there is time for one final surf at Rainbow Beach then Sydney tonight and Melbourne tomorrow, another yurting adventure in its final days. We have all begun making the mental and emotional shift from one way of life to another, the long drive back providing an opportunity to transition from one to the other.