Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Cipher Keeps Moving Like a Rolling Stone.

My friend B lives in a old Jade coloured farmhouse in a large-ish town in Northern Victoria. It's a grand old home sporting a patched tin roof with a sharp rusted peak and an imposing chimney rising up from the back. The dry patch of front garden is carefully framed by fragrant flowers in various blushes of red and littered with brightly coloured children's play things. She's standing on her front porch, right hip jutted, holding the baby expertly in one arm and waving with the other as we pull up into her gravelly driveway. Her own smile is mirrored on the face of the pixie-faced 4 year old clinging to her side (inside a 2 year old awaits, sans pants but singing rather loudly).

It's been a while. A lot has changed.

B is as comfortable in her role as mother now as she was holding a cocktail glass and a flirty smile back in the day. She calmly sails across the cluttered rooms gathering this and that, chatting away happily and creating order where there once was chaos. Pants are put on, presents are opened, children are placated...tea is offered. Hubby comes in and gathers the jellybean shaped child from her arms and rocks him from screaming to sleeping within 40 seconds - all the while asking how the drive was. This is a couple in control.

B takes us on the tour of the labyrinth-like house. Across the scratchy but beautiful old floorboards and into the study which is more like a library, with floor to ceiling books decorating all walls except one - reserved for the well loved upright piano. I look closer - the piano is labelled, the desk is labelled..the door, window, etc - all labelled unapologetically with brightly coloured pieces of paper. Obviously we have a young reader in the household. B and hubby are showing her teaching roots. Immediately I love the house and somehow this small act of inclusion of the children makes me love it more. The house belongs to everybody.

Brother and sister begin fighting over the crayons and all of us adults offer an easy solution that involves sharing. You might as well give up now says #2 with a laugh looking at the children You're surrounded by teachers. The eldest gives us a quizzical look and we all laugh. The terrifying truth has been told. B and hubby look at each other and smile.

They are in absolute bliss.

The old farmhouse reminded me a little of this video. Really a gorgeous song - almost a lullaby. For those not familiar with Badu, she is worth getting to know.

On and On - Erykah Badu

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