It was one of those special days. The kind where the people you love the most are all around, ready to spend the day together. The kind where the sun seems to be shining just for you.
An idea was planted, a course was selected, and a determined group of eight set out for a day in the rugged Tasmanian wilderness.
With my parents, my sister, my husband and my children, we were a motley blend of three generations, all prepared for adventure.
Right from the beginning, enthusiasm levels were high and the energy was infectious. But an unkept track and countless fallen trees soon kept us in check. Some of the smaller legs struggled at times, though what my children lacked in experience and agility, they made up for in determination and courage.
Through the bush we walked and we scrambled. In the sunshine we talked and we clambered.
We guided each other, but we were on our own journeys. We were all together, but each with our own thoughts.
For the adults in our group, the walking was fun, even the treacherous parts. But, could my children handle this? was a thought that passed through my mind more than once.
‘Careful!’ cried my husband, as 3 struggled over a log slick with moss.
‘Careful!’ I warned, as 6 lost his footing and lunged desperately for the nearest fern branch.
‘Careful!’ barked my husband, as 8 lurched recklessly over the wet river rocks. But then,
‘Quiet!’ hushed my own mother, ‘Children will work it out for themselves, no matter what you say.’
In the bush, we were no longer parents and grandparents. We became silent teachers and unassuming role models.
Our group divided during the walk, when the littlest legs had gone far enough. The remainder of us made it to the far end. This was where 6 bowed out, but 8 stoically turned on her heel and began to retrace her steps back to the beginning.
The Tasmanian wilderness, complete with the friendliest of leeches and ticks, didn’t deter us. And neither did the fatigue.
We trudged on, comparing scratches and aching muscles. Soaking up the beauty around us, soaking up the fresh bush scents, and soaking up the company.
It was a day for living in each single moment, just being with one another.
It was a day for making memories.