Into something better Sydney June 2017

Sleeping In The Forest by Mary Oliver

I thought the earth remembered me,

She took me back so tenderly

Arranging her skirts

Her pockets full of lichens and seeds.

I slept as never before

A stone on the riverbed,

Nothing between me and the white fire of the stars,

But my thoughts.

And they floated light as moths

Among the branches of the perfect trees.

All night I heard the small kingdoms

Breathing around me.

The insects and the birds

Who do their work in darkness.

All night I rose and fell,

As if water, grappling with luminous doom.

By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times

Into something better.

We woke up on Sunday morning to a gorgeous glow. It filled our kitchen with a strange warmth on a cold morning. We rubbed our tired eyes because we couldn't understand what we were seeing and I made coffee as my mind was a fog. We wandered around in a dreamy state as we tried to work out the reason for the glow. 

Finally, my daughter said, "Mum, the tree is yellow". I looked out our kitchen window and saw that our one Autumnal tree had reached its peak. The leaves were filled and overflowed with the sunshine they had collected over spring and summer. They were all shades of red, yellow, and orange. They glowed in the winter light.

I had waited all of autumn for the leaves to change colour but they stayed green. I impatiently watched the leaves, but as we moved into winter, I began to think they would stay just turn brown and fall unceremoniously to the ground. I honestly gave up and moved on with life. But nature won't be rudely rushed, and works on it's on time. It beats to its own drum. 

I stood with coffee in hand, admiring the beauty of nature. I reflected on how we sometimes want things to happen in a time frame, how we measure success or failure in time. Like nature, time won't be rushed. I know in my creative life I can sometimes be impatient and the desire to make something happen is strong. It pushes me to create something less. But if I slow down and wait, if I wait for time and nature to be ready, then I feel more connected to my creativity. It's a balance that I am still learning. 

I spent all day admiring the glow, and as the sunset, we went outside to capture the colour in our front yard and under the tree. We celebrated the late arrival of autumn, and it was worth the wait.

This is a blog circle of amazingly talented photographers who love to freelens. Please follow the link to Lindsey and see her stunning work here

A collage of images celebrating the texture and colours of autumn in Sydney

The best compliment

We stood in an orchard. It was a warm day, the last blast of warmth before Autumn started. The sun was shining and we had our bags ready to pick apples. We had listened to the orchard owner's instructions about looking high in the branches as this was the last picking day and we may need to look a little harder.  

We walked up the slight hill to the top of the orchard between the rows of trees and we scanned the tops of the branches. We found our first one and picked it quickly. It was a little green and needed to stay on the branch a little longer, but the wonder in the moment was bubbling up and over.

I asked my daughter to stand still while I took a photo and went to take my camera out of the bag. She said:

" Mum, do you know why I love your photos?

You take really simple things and turn them into pretty pictures".

 I am pretty sure my creative heart burst open in the middle of the orchard. Her words are more important to me than any other compliment, award or recognition that I have ever received. She filled up my self-esteem with two short sentences and I felt like I was receiving the "Photographer of the Year" award. Her opinion and that of the rest of my family is beyond important to me. Their story, our story as a family, is why I take my camera on these outings. I want to document our world and show them the beauty that I see.

With her words, the seeds of doubt left me. They flew out across the apple orchard and into the mountain. I look at this simple photo of an apple and I smile. My creative heart is full.

You dont need to lose weight

"Mum, can I take your photo? You look so pretty sitting there".

I didn't feel pretty. I had been awake since 4 am to arrive at the airport. We flew to Cairns and then drove to Port Douglas. We had been travelling for 7 hours and arrived at our home for the next two weeks. I felt rough around the edges. But my sweet daughter didn't see this. She saw her Mum and took this beautiful portrait of me.

I think we forget that our children don't see our wrinkles. They don't see the extra weight we carry. They don't look at us with the same critical eye that we do. They look at us with love and admiration. They look at us, and images of us, and they see their Mum...the most important person in their story.

That is why I tell you that you don't need to lose weight. You are beautiful just they way you are, and if you wait to lose a few extra kilos before you allow someone to take a photo of you, well life will pass you by. We are not perfect. We are not models. But we are women and mothers. It is so important to be in the story. Don't wait! Let them take your photo. Let your caring photographer (ME!) take your photo.

You dont need to lose weight to be in the photos.

10th of Jan: she is a purple carrot

Lately, she feels like she is a purple carrot in a world filled with orange carrots. Well not lately, she always felt like a purple carrot. Not the different that is unique or original but the kind that is little weird and outside of the box. The kind that causes you to screw up your nose and say, "Why would you want to be a purple carrot?" It never bothered her to be outside of the box with her big family and travelling the world for work. It was their story, and she loved it. But lately, with her art, she feels the need to be loved. She wants her work to mean something. She wants to show the beauty and cause you to inspire. She wants to sing her song and have others sing along with her. It's a big dream, and she is just one little purple carrot. She needs more purple carrots in her life and is searching to find her bunch. Are you a purple carrot?

A girl holding a bunch or purple carrots by Sydney photographer, Cindy Cavanagh.

Jan 9th: She is perfectly imperfect...

She is enjoying a picnic in the park on a beautiful sunny day.

She has her camera, and they ask to take a photo of her.

She can think of a few reasons to say no.

She is wearing no make-up.

She is wearing a "too busy to style it" bun.

She looks tired and feels it.

But she said yes...she is their Mum, and she is perfectly imperfect