Campfires, fireflies and Willie Wagtails

Week Two of my Artist Residency in Motherhood (ARIM) is over, and it went along quite differently to the first week. The early morning routine that I enthused about in my last post was abandoned while I spent five days in the bush with my lover – staying in a mud-brick bunkhouse with no electricity or phone reception, cooking over a campfire, and marvelling at the sight of fireflies each evening. Such magical creatures! The bush camp where I stayed was in a mountainous area of wet sclerophyll forest – full of birdlife and wallabies and the occasional tick or leech. Each morning, my lover and I had breakfast down by the dam at the property, where we watched a friendly Willie Wagtail couple take turns protecting eggs in their cup-like nest on a low branch that hung over the dam. In-between parenting duties, the Willie Wagtails performed all sorts of antics and were very funny. In terms of the work/life balance, the scales definitely weighed heavier on the ‘life’ side – but I rested and relaxed and slept well and still managed to get my page done every day, usually by mid-afternoon. When my laptop ran out of battery, I wrote my page longhand. This second week of my ARIM residency has shown me that I can have a wonderfully indulgent week in the bush and still make progress on my writing. One more week to go and I’m feeling good. 

Baby number three, Brisbane, 1996