May, 2013

It’s been a long time since I last posted. Life has been full.

Every morning I am woken with a kiss from my daughter. In an instant my dream world fades and I am left with the indescribable softness of her lips smushed into my face with love. She glows with an almost tangible potential and it seems wherever she goes disorder follows. Toddlerhood is both incredible and frustrating. I still watch her while she sleeps some afternoons, taking in the rare stillness and the perfect proportions of her features. The rounded eyelids and cheeks, the dimpled knuckles, the golden spiralling hair.

In many ways I don’t feel like a Mother. My mind is still the same mind of my child self, just with different thought patterns, more knowledge and a dullness which I assume is part of getting used to being alive. I expected to be transformed into someone entirely different, but I am glad to find myself still me. Still sleeping in, giggling to Peppa Pig, jumping on the trampoline at midnight, eating too much dessert and fantasising about other worlds. The thing that has transformed most is my idea of what a Mother really is.

I was feeling a little lonely in Brisbane so I organised a picnic, which I named the Plant Love Picnic. It was a celebration of how delicious healthy, plant-based food could be and a way for like-minded people to come together. I thought maybe two or three people would come along, but by the afternoon more than a dozen people were sitting around on a patchwork of picnic blankets surrounding plates of beautiful vegetarian food made with love. We talked in the gardens ’til the sun set, bonded by our want for a better world. The happy buzz from the day and the knowledge that the world is filled with such good human beings lasted for a long time.

One day we decided we’d load the car up and go on a road trip to my hometown. It took two days to drive there, with stops along the way. Hungry, tired and halfway there, I decided to get breakfast with Alba while Matt catnapped in the car, warm and cosy with the morning sun. At the time it seemed so funny to be vegetarians stopping for a meal in the beef capital of Australia. We found a nice little cafe, where I swapped out meat for avocado and mushrooms and we shared an orange juice. We stayed for a long while, me writing in my journal and Alba scribbling with coloured crayons on a notepad and somehow that little moment brimmed with beauty.

A few days after we arrived in Townsville we took the ferry to Magnetic Island. My siblings and I ran to the back of the ferry where the water and wind were wild and we clung tightly to the metal railing, shouting to one another over the roaring sound. That night we walked to the beach and my brother told me to look up at the sky, so I did, and when I did it wasn’t just a familiar background unworthy of wonder, I saw the sky and the stars for what they really were. I looked up at our universe, with its countless slowly exploding stars and enormous galaxies and I was overcome. I felt the Earth spinning beneath my feet and I felt very, very small. I looked at my family, old and new, and I realised the power of blood and the strangeness of life.

When we were younger our Mother could never afford to take us on holidays, so this trip was special. My childhood came back to me as we shared pizzas, drew in the sand and played board games. But my siblings weren’t children any more and at times it was as though I barely knew them. Still I felt a sense of love and protection for them, and the grown ups they were becoming. My brother fell the deepest in love with Alba. He has never been taken with children but he doted on her, taking his role of uncle to heart. I felt a new feeling, a feeling of pride for creating a being that brings so much joy to others. I visited my cousins and regret swept back, that they had kept on growing while I was gone. I wanted to go back, I wanted to be 14 and babysitting them all weekend, pretending they were my own children and letting them fall asleep across my lap on the couch, stroking their soft cheeks.

When we arrived home to Brisbane we knew it was time to move again. This time to the rich red soils of Toowoomba, the garden city where my auntie, cousins and grandparents live. We bid our dear housemates and our growing garden farewell and packed all of our things into boxes. There were jars upon jars of grains, nuts, dried fruits, beans and seeds I’d been collecting over the year. Time rushed as we packed, cleaned, cooked, worked and cared for Alba. As we drove away for the last time M said “It feels good to know that the gardens I leave behind will keep on growing and keep on giving,” and I let go of my sadness, like letting the ocean current carry the sand from my loose palm.

Until we find our patch of Earth our home will be ever-changing. And even when we do find land to settle and nestle into, we will still always travel. We are still young and there is so much to learn and experience. So much goodness to be found and shared. Now, a new adventure.

101 love notes

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  3. hi nirrimi
    do you ever get tired of moving around all the time? i know its romantic and lovely to see the world but it also seems like you miss out on developing real world relationships. there is a depth you miss out on moving about all the time. this isn’t an attack on the way you live, its an honest question. i just keep thinking how tiring it must get to uproot every year and move to a new place…
    all the best

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    one! It’s on a entirely different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!

  8. Needless to say your images are gorgeous and inspiring as always! But I am that you know often include your images of food too, so lovely to see more of them showing up here. <3

  9. Your family, your stories, and your photos inspires me everytime in so many ways. I’ve said this before but i can say it again and again : thank you for sharing this beautiful story 🙂

  10. It’s good to read how your life is evolving. Alba is becoming such a beautiful little girl…I love the shades of green in your pics, they are so typically yours. So full and deep. I guess they reflect your green love in all senses….Thanks for sharing these beautiful images with us, they’re soothing. Live and enjoy on!

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  15. These photographs, especially the ones with Alba on the beach, are amazing. Alba is as beautiful as always (or even more) but it’s also your talent of capturing the moments… It’s inspiring. The picnic must have been lovely.
    And also that one with Alba leaning down to some plant, wearing a white dress – that’s perfect picture.
    I wish you all the best. Take care 🙂

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  20. best wishes for this new time in your life, I hope it’s filled with love & laughter & beautiful blooms. your pictures, as always, are lovely, filled to the brim with the richness of life. thank you for sharing. much love.

  21. Hi i’ve come across some comments that your daughter is dairy-free and vegan. I’m so glad to see someone as young as your girl being vegan… My son is 5, and he’s semi-vegan by choice. He only drinks cow-milk and cheese, other than that, he’s completely all over vegetables and non-meat food. We never taught him about animal cruelty, but he seems to understand that by himself.

    Anw kudos to you for raising a healthy and vegan baby! 😉

  22. What a nice collection of baby photos your daughter will have of herself when she is older. Each one so intently captured and logged. What a special gift!

  23. If you ever come back to America and just happen to pass through central Ohio… your family is more than welcome here. I’ll even cook vegan for you 😉
    xoxo- Liv

  24. The place where I am transported to every time I read a new post of yours is where I want to be forever.

  25. Discovered your blog a few days ago and I’m in love with it. You write so beautifully and your photos are stunning. I became a mother when I was 20, and it was the best time of my life. Love reading your posts on motherhood and being a young mum, which I can completely relate to.

    Looking forward to more posts & photos. Xoxo. 🙂

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  27. That photo of Alba leaning toward the bushes on the beach is absolutely perfect. It’s so gorgeous, I keep coming back to gawk! She’s definitely in her own wonderful little world in that moment and you captured that forever. Just, awesome.

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  29. After reading your blog and falling in love with your photos for a while now, I felt the need to share how much they’ve meant to me. Your choice of words and fluidity is so beautiful and allows the reader to somewhat feel what you must have. As a photographer as well, I strongly admire your work, for a lack of better words.. It is truly a gift you have for capturing such tangible moments. If I were better with my own words in describing the emotions I receive from your writings and photographs, I’d write them. Beautiful would be a loaded word. Thank you. 🙂

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  31. You should write more often. Everyday I’m checking your blog with my mail and facebook account 🙂

  32. This makes me happy and calm somewhere inside of myself. Thanks that you share your life this way. It´s inspiring:)) I am waving.beautiful family!

  33. I’ve always been in love with your blog and your lifestyle! I’m glad Alba is growing up with such wonderful parents, and I hope she becomes a photographer like you two. Much love! xx

  34. Nirrimi, I was wondering, did you make Alba a vegetarian too?
    Your words and pictures are so meaningful, sending love from France xoxo

  35. I just love everything about your blog. I’ve been a follower for a while now but I never left a comment before. I love your lifestyle, your wanderlust, your analyzing about being a mother and a child at the same time, your pictures <3 keep on posting!

  36. I have been waiting for a new post 🙂
    On the move again? Sounds exciting.
    I love the idea of organizing a picnic as a way to meet people.
    It’s good that you are proactive, rather then slumping into loneliness, you will always find kindred spirits if you are willing to reach out.

  37. You are such a beautiful writer, and I always look forward to reading your posts. Your life seems so ethereal and your love for all things is truly empowering.

  38. I had a really busy day today, nothing worked out. When I visited your blog and saw your new post I felt happy again. I took some time to read your words and to calm down. Thank you for this little rest cure! Your words and pictures are beautiful!

  39. Sometimes I’m thinking about having a baby, but most of the time this idea scares me. But your words about how you feel being a mother somehow took away most of my fears. Much love!

  40. Nirrimi your pictures and thoughts are so beautiful! I really get inspired, my favorite part was: “We are still young and there is so much to learn and experience. So much goodness to be found and shared.”

  41. I was missing so much your new stories! Alba is so big and beautiful, she´s a little princess, and most important of all, she looks so happy! I feel identified when you say that sometimes you don´t feel like a mother, that you have that child inside you expressing all the time, and it´s a good sign! We have to live life enjoying it in every step, like little ones, exploring and being surprised with the miracles sorrounding us. Don´t forget never to be happy. Good energies for your new home, and keep sharing your great adventures, we´ll waiting them! Love!

  42. Always look forward to your beautiful posts and photos! The food you made looks beautiful and fresh, and the photos of Alba are stunning as usual. You are such a gifted writer 🙂

  43. Thank you for posting again. Sitting here on the other side of the planet and taking in all your beautiful words and photographs. I am in awe of the truth and the wisdom

  44. I’m always so happy when I see that you’ve posted. You really give back to the world whenever you write and share photos on this blog, my heart is always so full when I read about your travels.

  45. “We are still young and there is so much to learn and experience. So much goodness to be found and shared.”

    Your words are so poignant. Thank you for sharing about the next chapter in your life. Best wishes settling in!

    Much love, Katie

  46. Beautiful Nirrimi, this post brought tears to my eyes, especially seeing your picinic photos, the abundance of love and light just radiates from the screen right into my heart! Wish I could of been there! I long to meet like minded people 🙂
    So many wonderful wishes to you all and to your new beautiful new adventure!


  47. n, i’ve been waiting so long for a new, post, and this was so worth. I love your life style. How you feel and see the world. It makes me feel like im not lonely in the world, that there is people like me everywhere. It makes me feel so happy when i read your post and when i see your pictures. It’s way too inpiring. I’m 16 and you are my inspiration , you really are. Because you are like me. Good luck on everything beatiful nirrimi. Love from Chile, South America

  48. Been waiting so long for a new post! I’m 18 and utterly inspired by the way you live your lives as individuals and as a family. I hope one day you write a novel about your wonderful life. As for talking about a better world – perhaps yourself and the people you met have already found it.

    Loads of love from England xx

  49. @Katy, I used a Canon 5D Mark II and a 50mm 1.8 (my L series have been broken for a while, so I have been using this cheap plastic lens almost exclusively!)

  50. alba is the sweetest, most beautiful little girl i have ever seen. it has been almost a year now since i met her, and i can’t wait to see how much she has grown when i see her in november. life seems peaceful and lovely in this post nirrimi, the kind of lovely that warms your heart. i’m counting down the months until novemeber! i’m so very very excited.

  51. The thing that I love most about your life is the similar feeling that I have with this journey. No patch of earth can make me bind and can keep me there forever. And the love for your family runs deep. I respect and cherish that, like the life that I want to give my little family. currently it counts only two. I hope it’ll be three soon…

  52. Nirrimi, I have been waiting with baited breath for another post from you. When you cropped up on my twitter feed I have to say I was elated. I obviously love your photos but it is your wonder at and telling of life that draw me in. You are a beautiful soul and to watch your family grow is amazing. You are younger than me yet you inspire me so much. For now my travel plans are taken vicariously through you but one day I wish to see the places you write so elegantly about. Take care of yourself and your wonderful family

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