How the school run energizes my creative heart.
The school run! We have a love/hate relationship with the taxi duties that come with motherhood. If like me, you don't live next to your children's school, then the school run is part of your every day. It is something that you have to do that can feel like a chore. It is a stressful way to start the morning as you run out the door, late and flustered, to join traffic and chaos. With your coffee in hand, you juggle school bags, hats, lunches and wrangle the kids in the car. We are an organised chaos in the morning. I wish I could leave off the word chaos but that wouldn't be honest. I consider it a good morning if we get to school on time without tears; tears that are usually mine.
Once we are in the car, my kids turn on the radio and I tune out. I try to bring calm back into my day. I take a few deep breaths and use the 10-minute drive to re-center. I try to ignore the traffic, the crazy Sydney drivers and focus my attention on finding beauty. I live in suburbia where there are no sweeping plains, bella vistas or magical beach scenes. There are houses, streets, shops and normal life.
That said, I look for the pockets of beauty. I look for colour and light. I look for the signs of the seasons; the spring flowers, the autumn leaves, the summer grass, and the winter blues. I look for colourful doors, rusty gates, and vintage fences. I am truly amazed at what I see. And the best bit is that it is ever-changing. It is never the same and I look forward to seeing something new.
I never have time to stop in the morning, but I have gone back to the spots that I find on our school run. They become locations for my photo sessions. They are often the nature in my photos. These by the side of the road spots in suburbia are my secret locations. I am scouting while I drive, and I never made this connection until recently.
Now there are fancy words that I can add here like mindfulness, attention, or inspiration. All of which are true but honestly I didn't start looking for beauty to be more mindful. I looked for beauty to find calm. Yet these pockets of beauty are energising my creativity. They are filling my cup with inspiration. They are a connection to my art.
Now, I see the school run as a gift. I am re-energising my creativity at least twice a day. My mood has changed about this chore, it is a nice way to start my day. I won't say that I now love the school run, I am not that crazy, but they are the calm in my chaos