Multiple Choice Future

on Sunday, November 29, 2009



“No way! The bridge is shaking!” The plausibility for such a massive icon as Sydney Harbour Bridge to move was feeding my children’s already overstimulated dispositions. They stood motionless feeling the bounce of the bridge through their bodies, staring at each other in disbelief. In their excitement, they traversed the length of the bridge three or four times compared to me having meandered half way. They were running up and down the footpath like backstitch on a garment. I was amazed. What was it that was so exciting? Adventure? Discovery? Or was it just the new playground that the North Shore provided?

What did it matter? Their exploration allowed me to be a spectator, to retreat from an especially difficult season and to soak in life with, and also beyond, my family. I lagged behind and admired the group of walkers that was three generations of my family. My children living life fully, soaking up each other and enjoying being enjoyed. My parents reliving youthful adventures through the stamina of their grandkids. My husband with his commanding stride; gosh, I’d forgotten he was so .. err.. potent. Family are like air aren’t they? Something we cannot live without although almost never applauded.

I chuckled at the timing of these thoughts of my relatives. My great grandmother would have sailed into this very harbour, maybe even right under my feet, some seventy years back. How daunting would that have been? Bringing two small girls alone across an ocean to be reunited with her man. With age and hopefully growing wisdom now on my side, I can appreciate the emotional guts that journey would have taken. Fleeing war, leaving all their family and immigrating into a language they didn’t even understand.

It led me to wonder of how many stories have travelled through this port. My nana sailing from England. My father in-law emigrating from Holland. What did they feel, expect, and hope for? And before them; De Quiros, a Portuguese explorer who called our land “La Australia del Espiritu Santo” or “Southland of the Holy Spirit”. These stories aren’t random but have reached into the future and affected even my destiny. What young girl, separated from her family, looked at squaller on these same shores I see now? She would have come off the planks of a convict ship fresh from England, the country who declared herself mother over “New Holland” over two century’s ago? Would she have believed that her home land would be sailing a ship bearing her Queens name that just squeezes under this colossal coat hanger at low tide?

I appeared to be staring from the bridge right through the Opera House. Mark snuggled in from behind and rested his chin on my shoulder bringing me back from my mental wander. My babies were almost at the end of the bridge now. He must have walked back all this way just to escort me to our tribe. I felt loved but even more so when he offered me a dandelion he’d found growing in the cracks of the walkway. Some would see merely a weed but it was far more to me.

Here was my soul mate, my sojourner, keeping me close to his heart. We were crossing our own bridges, finding our own adventures and discovering substance in life together. Sometimes we find hard times like those in the generations before us. But like this flower which grew through adversity into an amazing, fragrant piece of beauty, we grow in the manure life dumps on us and come out as a sweet aroma, as God’s artwork, as living proof that no matter what life throws at us, we can still choose how we respond. And these choices, good or bad, will outlive us reaching into my children’s childrens generations.



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Beth said...

How awesome to literally and analytically be crossing the bridge with your husband. He sounds like a keeper.

Andrea said...

Beautiful post. Great analogy.
Blessings and prayers, andrea

E @ Scottsville said...

That is so awesome! Great pictures, too!

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

K said...

Great pcitures and great thoughts
I too am always wondering what it was like for those before me

Terri Tiffany said...

Oh you wrote this so well! I was transported back into the past with you and I found myself wanting to know more about your ancestors--you have a book waiting! ANd I love your thoughts about the present and the descriptions. You write so well!

Brian Miller said...

wonderful post...those choices do outlive us...and make all the difference in the work for generations to come. hope you had a great thanksgiving!

shrinkthecamel said...

Great story - Good writing. Love the way you weave the dandelion and the bridge into a bigger idea.

Farmgirl Paints said...

I think I would be pretty excited and run around back and forth just like your kiddos. What an amazing bridge!

Laura said...

Oh, Sande...

What a precious gift to have such a moment to breath deeply of that air you call family! We do tend to let it permeate our lungs without even a thought. such a beautiful reflection on your deep roots and resilient family.

I'm still in a thanksgiving mindset and this post was a blessing to me tonight.

The Things We Carried said...

How beautiful your thoughts are for your family. I love the way you expressed it here.

Teacher's Pet said...

You have such a beautiful family. I have been to your site twice today. I love looking at the smiles on your children's faces...and on yours and your honey's face. You are so special to me.

Sista In Arms Lxx said...

Again .....You are an inspiration and a mentor to many,luv you sista. Now if I could just manage to tunnel my way out of all this manure, I don't remember ordering an extra large dump truck load !!!! Lxx

Arizaphale said...

Beautifully written post. I had to laugh though when you said you didn't remember your husband being so ...potent. May I remind you have 10 children? hahahahahahahahahahaha Sorry. Just teasing. I loved the history that surrounds you in Sydney. I lived there for many years and would go back in a heartbeat. Like the girl from 'Playing Beattie Bow' I can squint up my eyes and envision the place as it was.........

Lori said...

Beautifully said. You have a lovely family.
Thanks for stopping by Life, Love, and Laughter.
Keep up the God work.

Becka said...

What a great thought ,girl.
wonderfully wrote !
great pictures

Patti Lacy said...

There is definitely a novel here. Have the first words been penned?
Patti
www.pattilacy.com/blog

Jennifer Shirk said...

Awww...that's so neat. I've thought about my grandparwents coming over to this country, too. It's really inspiring to ponder.

Diane said...

Beautiful family! Thanks for visiting me at dianeestrella.com Hope to see you again soon. :O)

Warren Baldwin said...

I like how Beth put it - to literally and analytically cross the bridge together. You paint wonderful word pictures. The actual pictures were good in this post, and so were the one's you developed with your great writing style.

2 Toddlers and Me said...

Great post and the pictures are beautiful.

Renata said...

Another wonderful post & what a great place to reflect on life. Sydney harbour certainly holds a lot of history for nearly every aussie.
Great pictures as well!

Alicia said...

That was wonderful to read!!! Loved it!

Joyful said...

What a beautiful way to start my day. Thank you.

I also enjoyed all the quotes on your sidebar. Much to ponder.

Joy

Sniffles and Smiles said...

This wonderful post brought tears to my eyes...How lovely to think of the bridge from our forebears...reaching into our present...and the journeys we each make...and the path you are following with your loving husband...and your children moving out and beyond where you will go...the connections are profound and beautiful...and the steadfastness of your love and partnership through your own difficult days...it is all so beautiful...such a rich post, so full of the depth of you...I cannot find the words to express the fullness of my heart as I read...gratitude for you and the beauty of your family, I guess best says it. Love you! Janine XO

A Musing Mom (Taylorclan6) said...

Ooooh! Let's add my great-great-great grandfather's oldest son (not my great-great grandfather), his wife, and their two children - the youngest born on the ride over. Did you see any ghosts? Apparently, the Hull ghosts are making rounds, although now in South Wales.

Shelle said...

Love our bridge...you know it's funny I know all about the war in Wales and the boat trip over...but I don't know about the arrival I'll have to ask her.

addhumorandfaith said...

Beautiful writing, Sandra. And a beautiful family!

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