Continuing on from an earlier post, about my birthday walking activities, I just wanted to write about a significant moment of the big celebrations - something thats been playing on my mind. On the actual morning of my 40th birthday I woke up feeling kinda excited, and a bit like a kid with all that silly and happy enthusiasm for the day! The holiday house we were staying in was full of family and friends, we had a walk in the snow planned for the morning, as well as a swanky session at the spa, followed by an evening with more friends coming up from Launceston to join us for dinner. Nice. And it was OK that my mum and sisters had given me my present before the big day, as I'd still recieve a few presents and cards; from the kids, and my significant other. So, I was sitting in bed, with expectations of the family ritual... cuppa tea and cards and a few pressies. Right? Isnt that what should happen on your birthday? Prepared to forgo the tea in bed scenario, as S was still asleep and looking in need of some rest, I went down to the kitchen. My mum made me a cuppa, and some lovely birthday hugs and kisses were shared. So far so good. The kids were upstairs playing, so I snuck back to bed. S was up, and explained that the present was back at home as it was too difficult to bring it on holiday with us. OK. No card, no pressie from my fella on my birthday. Hmmmmm..... And then he tells me that there was a bit of a problem organising something from the kids. They had each been given a little money and a little time with Dad, to find something for me. Daughter number 1 had been unable to find a suitable present, had a bit of a hissy-fit over this, then mucked up the card she had made for me, so I wasnt getting anything from her. That news wasnt so good. Then it transpired Daughter 2 had lost her present, but was working on a card. OK. I took a deep breath.
I went off the the shower and had a bit of a cry. How juvenile is that! There were to be no presents and maybe a card, it appeared at this stage. And yet I had my family here, and some good friends had come from afar to be with me, and there were certainly lovely presents both before and after the actual day, so what was my problem? I couldnt believe that the lack of material presents, right when I expected 'em would upset me. Surely Im not that small minded. My reaction was so much like a spoilt child, and I was more than a little ashamed. I quickly snapped out of it, had some lovely cuddles with my kids (and a beautiful present from my daughter number 2, which was found) and a wee card she had coloured. Magic. All OK.
So imagine how I felt when we arrived back home, and S showed me the present he had for me? I felt very small indeed. Under a huge sheet was a magnificent artwork by a very good friend of ours, and my walking buddy M. I was gobsmacked! Partly as the painting is so huge, but also as they had managed to organise all this without me knowing, and get it into the house, and into position with me completely unaware. Even more beautiful were the ideas that inspired the work. M had folded the canvas in her backpack and taken it up several mountains in Tassie. This preparation of the canvas had taken a few years (and was done before we met her and we walked together). Im not sure when she completed the work, but it was before I knew her, and there is a companion piece hanging in the Hobart gallery. The image, well, I'll leave you to guess its inspiration. And its meanings may well be many and richly interpreted. Its certainly a painting with a story to tell!