It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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Ahh, it’s Autumn.  My favourite time of year.  The air has a slight nip in it, the haze of humidity is gone leaving clear, crisp days, the sky is a gorgeous cyan blue that seems to go on forever, sunrise and sunset are a blast of spectacular colour and the light changes to this beautiful gold hue that makes everything glow.

For those living in the northern hemisphere, or even those living south of the Queensland border, you might not get my love of all things Autumn.  Autumn in tropical Queensland is brief, there are a few short weeks where the nights get cool and the air gets dry and the leaves change colour.  We don’t have a long, drawn out change from Summer to Winter, nor do we get much of a Spring, but there is just something about Autumn that revitalises me.

It is the middle of May, the last month of Autumn, but we are now only just feeling it’s effects.  Up until now we have had really warm days and cool nights.  In fact, last night is the first time I put on flannelette pyjamas and yesterday was our coldest day yet.  Currently, at 3:30am, it is 9℃ with an expected top of 22℃, cool but not cold.

There is something about Autumn that makes me happy.  The heat and humidity of Summer drag me down, but as soon as the humidity abates and there is that slight freshness in the air, I seem to come alive.  I find I become more active, and decide it is time to plant a garden.  I know that logically gardens should be planted in Spring, but I don’t get the urge in Spring.  I think that every garden I have ever attempted to create has happened in Autumn.  Let me just say that I am not into gardening; I like the idea of it, I like the fresh herbs, vegetables and flowers, I would LOVE to love gardening, but I don’t, so I strike while the iron is hot.

My garden

This is the current incarnation of my garden.  We have moved four times in the last four years, so container gardening is where it is at for me.  I have a few more that are not in this photo and I get a small thrill from seeing them everyday.  I’m not sure how long it will last, but I enjoy it while it does.

The other thing I love about Autumn is cooking.  In Summer, cooking is a chore trying to deal with the 38℃ heat and 90% humidity.  Baking is pretty much out of the question due to how the high humidity effects flour, sugar, yeast and other raising agents.  Trying to make cookies is painful, they never get that crispy/chewy ratio that makes them so delicious.  But in Autumn, when the humidity is low and the air is crisp, cooking and baking become a joy.

One of the best things about Autumn is the light.  It becomes this delicious golden colour and sunrises and sunsets look like someone has thrown paint into the sky.  Every morning I see the sky change colour and I am in awe.  Such beauty that is definitely worth waking up to see.  And at night, the day is bookended with another spectacular light show as the sun bids us farewell.  In our current house we live across the road from the water with a north facing view.  The sunsets here rival any I have seen elsewhere and I can’t help but stop whatever it is I am doing and just stare at it.  Here in the southern hemisphere we don’t have long drawn out twilights, so sunsets are brief, but they are spectacular.

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These are some of the spectacular sunrises that I see from work20150407_075615931_iOS 

 

 

 

 

And this is one of the amazing sunsets that I see every night from my house

 

Midnight Ramblings

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Grief is my constant companion

He stands behind me and a little to the right

With his left hand on my shoulder

He is present in every conversation

Every decision, every moment

Sometimes his hand is soft and light

Other times it pushes me down with the weight

Sometimes his hand is comforting

And sometimes his hand causes me pain

We are bound together, grief and I

Forever destined to walk together

For better or for worse he is with me

My constant companion

Standing behind me an a little to the right

 

It is the middle of the night and I can’t sleep.  My thoughts stray to my daughter in-law, Kari-Lee and how much I miss her.

It has been just over six months since she left this earth and still I find it hard to believe that she is really gone.

I have watched my son grieve for his wife and it has broken my heart. I watch him as he struggles to find the man that he is now that she is gone. I watch as he struggles under the scrutiny of those around him, afraid to make a mistake, afraid to let other people down, afraid to disappoint them. I offer him my words of wisdom, such as they are, but I have never walked in his shoes and I don’t have the answers he so desperately seeks.

I remember when he was young and he would be full of questions about the world. He would ask me why the sky is blue and I would tell him why.  Not some made up story, but the real reason why and he would look at me like I was the most amazing person on earth and he would ask me how I knew these things and I would tell him it is because I am a mum and mothers know everything. Now he knows that that is not true.

With Mother’s Day just gone, I feel like I have failed him because I can’t give him the answers he seeks.  I couldn’t protect him from the hurt and the pain he is going through and I can’t protect him from the eyes of those who watch and judge him. What good is a mother who can’t protect her son?

I also have another son who is trying to blaze a trail in his life, growing into a man and finding out what that means.  It’s like watching him try on different suits to see which one fits and I want to point to one and tell him,  “That is the one,” but I can’t, he has to make his own decisions, he has to find the one that feels right for him, regardless of what it looks like for me.

And I worry about him. I worry about the grief he is feeling with the loss of his sister in-law. He is the strong silent type and I worry that he is too young to deal with such a thing.  I want to protect him from the harsh realities of life and death and love and hurt, but I can’t.

We mothers birth these babies and we nurture them and give them sustenance from our very own bodies and then they grow and grow and eventually grow away from us. And that is good, and right, and what they are supposed to do, but still it hurts to watch.

When they are little we kiss their hurts to make them better, but how do you mend the broken heart of your child? How do you take their grief and their pain from them? How do you stand by and watch them suffer knowing there is nothing that you can do to help?

I rail at he injustice of it. There are people in the world who do bad things, intentionally go out of their way to hurt people. There are cruel and nasty people who live long and fruitful lives.  Why did my beautiful daughter in-law have to die and these people still get to live? A question for the ages. I know that Kari-Lee is not the only person who deserved life, I know that there have been countless senseless deaths of innocents, I know that there is evil in the world that steals the lives of good, honest, hardworking people.  There is no rhyme or reason to it and those of us left behind are left wondering why?

There is no answer to that question and yet we must go on.  We must go on doing life even though it no longer makes sense, even though we don’t want to. The only options left to us are to give up hope or to live in a way as to honor those who have lost their lives. Kari-Lee lived large, taking every opportunity to experience everything life had to offer. She fit more living into her twenty five years than I have in my forty two and that inspires me to not give up hope.

I don’t know the end of my story or my sons’ stories. I will never be able to answer all their questions, as much as I would wish to be able to. I will never be able to protect them from the hurts of the world. The only thing I can offer them is a soft place to land when everything becomes too much and a hope for the future.

Realisation of a Dream

Emma Lea

This Sunday is Mother’s Day in Australia and it is also the release date for my first full length novel.

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Walk of Shame was the first novel I had ever finished and it took a long time for me to edit it and then actually get it published.  Last week I published a free short story, The Five Year Plan, as a lead in to this book.

This is a really emotional release for me.  I wrote a lot of this book while my daughter-in-law was terminally ill in hospital.  I hadn’t finished it before she passed away, but I was determined to follow it through.  My daughter-in-law was a woman who didn’t let anything stand in the way of her achieving her dreams and this book is dedicated to her.

So this weekend is the realisation of a dream I have had for a really long time.  There have…

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It’s Release Day!

Check out this free book!

Emma Lea

The Five Year Plan Bookcover

This is my first official book!  It is a short story that leads into my next book, which is a full length novel.  I am so excited!  I never really thought this would come to pass, but here it is in living colour!

It hasn’t been an easy ride and I’ve been journaling the last few weeks on my other blog Writers Lyf.  I have been running the gauntlet of digital self publishing and it hasn’t been a walk in the park, but it is now release day and my book is live.

I have made it available for free on iBooks and Kobo and it is currently at 99c on Amazon (because I can’t offer it for free), but I am working on getting it to price match, therefore making it free.

I’d really love it if you could download it and give it a read.  I know…

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