The uncurling, unfurling of Spring

spring

Hoe while it is spring, and enjoy the best anticipations. It is not much matter if things do not turn out well. ~ Charles Dudley Warner

I didn’t know this until yesterday, but the first day of Spring here is not the first of the month. It’s actually the 21st. I guess it’s the equinox.

Purple crocuses and yellow daffodils bloom along sidewalks. Children play among the snowdrops in the forest, pulling them out in handfuls, and stuffing their pockets with droopy white flowers and dirty bulbs. The sky occasionally breaks into fits of laughter ~ blue streaks of happiness as it wakes from winter.

Hello, Spring.

I spent the first day of Spring in Amsterdam with my friend. We share a love of second-hand dresses, so inevitably ended up at the Jordaan markets, trawling for vintage wear in piles. I have never had so much vintage to trawl through. It was intoxicating.

A day of shopping and drinking by the canals was very humanifying, if there’s such a word. Humanity making? Or maybe, I mean something more like: adult-ifying. I love my children, and cherish their company. But occasionally, stepping out to walk narrow streets, to talk adult talk, and shop at will is a very nice thing to do.

I felt like such an adult and such a human, that today, I wore one of said vintage dresses and a vintage hat, got on a bicycle and rode into Utrecht to meet another creative lady. We spent an hour or so at a women’s prison (EX-women’s prison, of all places), doing creative things, and then cycled home.

As the crocuses unfurl purple petals to meet the occasional sun, so do I. And I do it on a bicycle, in a dress, because I am not a crocus. I am a lady. And I am starting to make deeper connections, and feel more independent, and more confident in a different country. And it’s exciting.

For the last few nights, I’ve lain awake at 3am composing blog posts or stories or something. Don’t worry about work, I don’t even need to tell myself. Enjoy these precious moments. And the blog posts, and the stories unfurl like the crocuses.

While you, many of my Australian friends, put on the soup, and start filling the larder for the winter, we in the northern hemisphere are Springing. I am planning new things. Making new things. Starting new things.

What’s unfurling in your world?

Extracts {Netherlands}

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Close encounters with white tigers at the Amersfoort zoo.

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A night out in Utrecht with my lovely husband, Gregor on our anniversary. IMG_5263

Forest walks.

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Morning light.

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Rain. So, so much rain.

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But occasional buds of colour.

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Koffie! So, so much koffie. 

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Occasional sunny moments. And so many churches.
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More forest walks.

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And gaiety.

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My sister-in-law Sascha’s beautiful glass artwork.

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Local forest run.

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Sunrise at 9am.
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Transport.

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Emotions, following first day of school in a foreign country.

A little empty house

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Boxes are packed away. The shed is nearly full. A life accumulated, easily stacked, and we are left with just what we need.

10% of our worldly stuff. And it is enough. More than enough.

Our house feels as it should be. It’s a little place. A ‘cottage’ my grandma called it. And I didn’t think I had much stuff, until I packed it all away, and realised most of it is unnecessary.

Even, dare I say, my delightful teacups.

We have altogether about five toys in the house. And it’s perfect. The girls play happily with those, and any other bits and bobs they find. It’s true – kids really don’t need toys.

We have a third of one drawful of cooking utensils. It’s plenty.

Our adult book collection is non-existent – I never re-read adult books, but somehow, storing them in the house seems like an important thing to do.

Our kid book collection is distributed across the northern rivers, with only a small shelf of favourites left.

There is a slight echo in our little empty house. But it’s quickly filled with laughter and chatter, and is hardly heard at all.

So, because it is a sensible idea, we will continue to pay weekly to store 90% of our life we live happily without. I am not exactly sure why, and am told by friends who travel or move home, that more likely than not, when we get home, we’ll want to get rid of most of it.

In a week, we are moving overseas for a little while. On the precipice of adventure and a new, continental life, we pack as little as we can. One bag each.

My mind eases into the stuff-less void that is travel. The void filled with experiences, and memories and just what we need. Rain jackets. Jumpers. One pair of shoes each. Toothbrushes. Sparkly tutus. The essentials.

The girls have excitedly picked out the one toy {or maybe two} they are taking with them. And through the advent month, they’ve collected a bag of fun stuff to make with.

It feels like the right way to end the year – to fly into the next, literally, with just ourselves.

Image from Eddy Van 3000

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