Today was my birthday. Yay!
As my best friend recently arrived from London for a few months, I decided that we should spend the day together. Just the two of us. I felt a bit bad deciding to ditch the family for my birthday, but then again, one of the few good things about having your birthday so close to Christmas is that you have recently spent a LOT of time with your family.
So my friend and I decided to head to the hills – the nearby Dandenong Ranges to go for ‘a walk in the bush’ (less serious sounding than ‘bushwalking’, we decided).
We didn’t really know where we were going to walk to, but we had decided on our starting point and had a fair amount of confidence we could get some good advice and pick up a map along the way.
The advice we got was vague, but enthusiastic, and the map was colourful, but greatly lacking in detail – like the names of tracks and an accurate scale.
Nevertheless, we set off confidently with two bottles of water and leaving a message with the lady who gave us our advice that if we weren’t back by 5pm, she should call the police.
We walked along a path towered by old gum trees to a beautiful waterfall, then down a steep, winding path next to the river before totally expectedly, taking a wrong turn and getting thoroughly and absolutely disorientated. But we didn’t worry. Really. There wasn’t so many different paths that we COULD take and we knew that the worst that would happen would be that we would walk a lot longer than we had anticipated. We knew we’d eventually come out on one of the main roads and walk back to the car from there.
And that’s what happened. Our plan of a casual 2 hour amble, turned into a hardcore 4 hour slog.
But it was brilliant. We hadn’t seen each other for 10 months and we had a lot to catch up on. We didn’t stop talking the whole way. We never got flustered or upset about where we were and we were exhilarated moreso than exhausted when we finally made it back to the car and headed off for a well earned (and very delicious) lunch and TWO cups of coffee (unheard of in an afternoon for me!).
It was such a lovely day, reminding me of both the importance of friends and also of getting away from it all and being my own person, not just a mother, for a while.
And it struck me in the car on the way home that our walk was a good analogy for life since BC entered the world so dramatically just over 4 years ago. It’s been quite a journey along a path that I wasn’t expecting to be travelling down – a longer path with more steep gullies and slipperier surfaces. A path that I was ill prepared to travel down yet full of enthusiasm for. And yep, there have been times where I’ve not known which way to turn and have just opted for what seemed like the best (or least difficult!) track at the time. And weirdly, whilst there have been days when the path seemed too steep or too slippery it’s true too that there’s never been a time when I’ve felt fully, totally, impossibly lost. It’s just a different path, that’s all.
And now I am off to soak my another year old limbs in a hot bubbly bath (right after I finish off the last of my yumcious ‘Persian Love Cake’ birthday cake that BC helped me make this morning -he’s a particular fan of cracking open eggs.)