My {out}Back Yard

on Friday, November 13, 2009

Away now ... this one seemed relevant to run again ...

We were someplace smack between Alice Springs and the Devils Marbles travelling a stretch of desert which could have been confused for the moon. There were no buildings, mountains or vegetation here. Just dirt, heat and the horizon. This meant no trees. Here, trees are your friends as they become convenient camouflage in the need of relief. Retired “Grey Haired Nomads” had told us to avoid public bathrooms as unbelievably, they were often inhabited by locals.

Knowing this, I noisily approached a crudely converted concrete tank my concern for confrontation far outweighing my greater need. I knew I would need to pee now or never. Well at least now, or to never again live down the disgrace that would come from a watery accident. I realised as I turned in that she was definitely not expecting to see me. Her eyes met mine then hit the floor fast. I was clueless what to do next. Awkwardness heightened the longer I stood in indecision, as for me to continue, I would need to physically step over her.

Politely, I dropped my gaze only to notice the last thing I ever expected to see. At her feet, the most beautiful, dark baby lay on a tattered blanket. A mess of wiry black curls and dust was all that covered his plump body which could be but days old. All my female hormones gooed over the sight of him and any fear of my harm or trespass dissolved spying this new life.

Everything in me wanted to scoop him up, to snuggle into his neck, to soak up the smell that only newborns own, to share in details of his birth and wallow in her pleasure of a new son. In an attempt to communicate these feelings, I found that the English language was not something we shared but obviously my maternal gushing gave her cause to relax a little more, so she offered a tentative smile.

Our short but intense encounter was interrupted by a rather protective and clumsy entrance of a tall aboriginal male. I assumed he was the babes father; the young girls man. He assessed the situation nervously but stood waiting for my next move. My next move! What was I to do? I had just unfolded my body out of our dust embalmed Troupe Carrier which had cocooned me with my family for most of the morning. Nature was definitely calling.

Still, do I intrude on what was now their home? There was no furniture but from the amount of cooking debris, kitchenware, and rough bedding, it suggested home. I playfully wondered how their mail was addressed? And even if I felt comfortable walking into their outback bathroom, would my prissy self be able to bring myself to use whatever I found lurking behind that fence paling door? My husband pealed out an encouraging honk from the truck which sank all my indecision. I chose the ugly toilet moment over the horrible generational story.

Slotted back in my space in the people shaker and mover feeling physically relieved, I digested what had just happened. I became emotionally overloaded. Comprehension for how they existed was not coming. Appreciation for their culture was minimal due to my lack of knowledge. Understanding of how I could have sincerely offered help would have been better utilised a good twenty kilometres back.

I berated myself. Should I have given them my own son’s clothes? Or maybe a bit of cash slipped into her hand? My heart was aching for what I perceived as incomprehensively hard. Or was it? A still small voice was revealing an inconsistency in what I believed to what was reality. Who was it that carried more burden? I discerned their lack a prison. But who was travelling trying to buy freedom? Funny, I was seeking freedom from the things she didn’t own; the juggling of stuff and self imposed responsibility.

Revelation was painfully and slowly focusing. 10,000 kilometres were travelled all up for God to use a young aboriginal girl, still reeking in puberty, to start exposing how freedom starts inside of me. How liberty lives in my thoughts birthed from core beliefs. The source of freedom wasn’t in dumping my daily routines, or having financial dexterity. It’s in believing Gods grass roots truths … I am accepted, I am secure, I am significant, I believe the truth therefore I am free.


23 CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A RESPONSE:

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, my goodness...here I am ready to write you, and tell you how powerful this post is...how much I love it...how your brief, poignant encounter touches the deepest part of my heart and soul...how I am with you moment by moment...feeling, seeing, smelling...taking in each aspect of this incredible encounter...and then...I see something out of the corner of my eye that completely humbles me...Your "Often Spoken" feature!!! Sande, my dear friend...I am simply blown away...thank you...Words cannot even express how much this means to me...and so to speak...I'm afraid to say that this is one time in which words utterly escape me...I love you, your writing...and you have honored me beyond comprehension!!! God bless you!!! Love you...sending many, many hugs!!! Janine XO

Brian Miller said...

what an amazing post! God uses the most amazing of circumstances....

Teacher's Pet said...

You are a woman after God's own heart. Your words are beautifully written and show the love you have for your fellow man. Blessings to you every day...in every way.

Warren Baldwin said...

As good the second time as the first. Maybe even more so, because I took more time to read it and let it sink in. Are we free when burdened with all of our stuff? Good thoughts.

Erin said...

I often wonder if the real journey is in our thoughts...the ones that stick with us, make us twist and turn our actions, second guess them, and wish to have do-overs. It is this process that helps us become present and aware of who we are each and every day as the small choices define us.

Rachel said...

Thank you for that. That's alot to think about.

Becka said...

First let me say thank you for stoping by,
you have a nice blog,
& this post is wonderful,,,

E @ Scottsville said...

Wow, I can't imagine what that must've been like. I believe I'd have done the same in your shoes. Wow.... I love that God was able to use it for Good in you!

That woman (young girl) may know God - yet she may have no clue that God used HER to move YOU that day. Awesome!

Terri Tiffany said...

WOW! I think you wrote this perfectly with an incredible point! You kept me glued to reading it and then hit me with your ending!

Deborah Ann said...

Beautifully written! I love your writing style. I was right there with you. I think I would have asked if I could cuddle the baby. My arms are aching to hold a baby again...

Blessings!

Genny said...

I love the eloquent reminder to believe the truth. Hard to remember at times in life, but when we are able to do it, yes, there is true freedom. :)

Have a beautiful weekend.

The Things We Carried said...

I often wonder if all we have is a prison of sorts. Sometimes I long for the simplicity of the barest essentials. This was a fascinating post.

Deb said...

I'm loving this post.

And your blog.

And did you say TEN children?

I think that I counted Ten in the picture.

How in the great outback did you find time to
visit my place?

So glad that you did!

Sweet dreams.

serene chaos said...

Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing such a precious moment! I have left you an award on my blog... :) - S.C.

Smileyfreak said...

Powerful stuff,amazing message.Thank you :)

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Hello, dear friend!!! Just popping in to say hello, and send my love!!! Janine XO

Gavin said...

Wow...I don't know what to say to that. Thanks for sharing though, that was pretty cool.

p.s. haha..I hear you have a collie pup that won't leave you alone. XD It's too bad I'm not allowed to have pets in the building. XD

Jenn@Spejory said...

What a beautiful moment between two mothers. I wonder what was going through her mind, and if it touched her as deeply?

"Who was it that carried more burden?" What a question. We want to correct what we see as a lack, when she might see it as freedom.

K said...

WOW
What a brilliant post
How intertwined all of us mums are by the rite of passage that is motherhood

Dani Joy said...

My goodness. I don´t know what I would have done.
I think I may have picked the baby up. or would I?
I understand how this could be a life changing encounter.
Dani Joy

Mum-me said...

How true - the young aboriginal girl was probably more 'free' than any of us with house and car loans to repay, soccer practise and music lessons to get the children to and all the other things that distract us from what's really important.

Sista In Arms Lxx said...

Wow

addhumorandfaith said...

"I was seeking freedom from the things she didn't own" I love your writing! So glad to have found you.

Post a Comment