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Those magical days of sunshine and song..

It has been the season of nostalgia for me as I have been in a reflective mood of late and this glorious summer made me feel like I was transported to emotions of times gone by. This year seemed to feel different as memories of a time that was were evoked with our annual family Christmas get together. It felt like those long ago Anglesea gatherings and the endless days of sunshine and song. Maybe it was the sounds of children playing, laughing, singing, dancing or just that wonderful chaos that ensues in the comfort of belonging to a crazy tribe. That place of safety where people get you and you don't have to put on a public image or mask. Or maybe everyone was like me and just feeling the same joy of the moment and embracing the simplicity of family. Whatever it was in the air, I felt a deep nostalgia and "connected spirituality" to another time and those not with us. As I looked around at my growing extended family, I also became aware that I had somehow inherited the matriarchy role and took a moment to reflect on all that meant as the generations gathered to share laughter, delicious food and highly exaggerated stories. I silently wished my parents were here to share in the moments of what they had once hoped for and dreamt about when they left England all those years ago with the simple wish to create just this thing I was bearing witness to.

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As the universe would have it I was blessed to have the opportunity to doggy sit my favourite doggies in Aireys Inlet in a home situated on a beautiful bush block. Now this time away was beyond expectations and I fell in love with this peaceful, gentle hideaway from the world. My days were spent bush walking, beach walking, daydreaming and catching up with family and friends in some lovely coffee shops. The grandchildren came to play and experience the beauty of the bush and beach just like their parents did as children.

It was a nostalgic throw back to another time and I felt it in all of my senses, the warmth of summer sun on your body, the smell of gums and the bush, the sounds of birds and gravel roads, the taste of salt air on your lips, it was as if time stood still.

So many trips to the lighthouse and the tea rooms close by ( if ever you get up there you must experience their toasties - next level delicious ) the teens decided to climb to the top of the lighthouse and they begged Nannie to join them, their faith in my abilities was quite pleasing but alas it was not going to happen, to many phobias wrapped in that adventure. The little people explored the rock pools then experienced the uninhabited joy of catching waves, you forget sometimes how soothing and magical that is. I also wondered why I don't do it more.

The grandkids have often heard the grand stories of the magnificent billy cart days that their parents had experienced during Anglesea summers. In a stroke of good fortune we "found" a billycart and the hours spent dragging and pushing each other around was a sure fire winner. No helmets, no kneepads , no brakes, just pure white knuckle adrenaline as they hurtled along gravel roads and negotiated taking turns, and working together. They finally got to experience their own billy cart moment .We went for endless walks along the roads where the only sounds you would hear was the crunch of gravel and the laugh of kookaburras. Gravel roads on a hot summers day are one of my most favourite things in life, they take me back to days of sunshine and song, a simpler time. Walking these roads with Pele my doggie friend brought me gentle peace every day.

The summer of family continued as we all congregated again for our annual Daylesford weekend away. Campfires, canoe races, bush walks, lazy days just sitting and being are a balm to the soul. I have been coming here with my children and assorted variations of family since they were teenagers. Thirty years later we are now here with the next generation and as so much changes, so much more remains the same. The wonder of discovering the magic forest and searching for fairies, the laughter and tall tales around a campfire and Uncle Eddie's naughty songs, toasting marshmallows and burning your mouth, someone cheating in the canoe race, secret brekkie treats in my cabin.

All these moments make up this thing called life. We are beyond fortunate to have the opportunity to live it with such freedom and simple joy. If it is my role to inherit the matriarchy then my legacy will be to ensure I leave behind these memories of those glorious days of sunshine and song.

May your days be forever filled with sunshine and song

xx Jan

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