The Secret to Good Relationships

What are relationships? They hurt, they make you feel warm, they make you reflect, they make you want to cry, and they make you tingle. Where am I at in terms of relationships?

My plants and I are blossoming. Our relationship is watertight. They are green and lush and they provide me with the oxygen and a source of daily happiness, which flows from my staircase and thrives onto my bookcases. Do I have enough… no… silly question. I am happy and allowed to have a relationship with these beauties. The whole ninety-eight of them. Outside a small yellow bug on a Magnolia leaf causes me concern. I gently scrape it away and proceed to my book on plants to see how I can assist the plant in removing the small beast. It does not have hands to do it itself.

The little palpitations I feel inside when I wander past our little hand crafted, blue, button covered street library, seeing a small handwritten note and a new collection of children’s book lying on the shelves brings me a sense of warmth and connection with the community. The wonderful relationships my family and I have built with our neighbours is second to none. The sharing of a baking dish, a few hundred grams of sugar, a lemon, a quick afternoon wine catch up all whilst the giggles of our children can be heard resonating as they scoot, run, ride around the block.

Meanwhile, the relationship between myself and the third edition in the Pillars of the Earth series is moving next level. Tucked under my covers, I move through the pages, tracing back the history of 16th century Europe, the smells, the anger, the simplicity. My light is on and I embrace the twenty minutes of peace I grant myself on a nightly basis.

In family terms, relationships are ones of the heart and of the mind. This lockdown has affected us all and as a family of six, my partner and I are tirelessly extinguishing small fires within our home. The teenage angsts of body and social changes, the flight to adapt to this new norm of relying on an internet connection to be able to connect to a friendship or an education. The developmental needs of our children is a hard one to understand, to navigate and to support. At what stage do I say this is good enough and remind myself that of all the things I cannot access at the moment, the things I so desperately need are with me in my home.

The candles flicker and breath out their amber aroma. The comforting glow of these living lights gives me a sense of comfort. My relationship with the warmth they create and the smell they expire is magical. Time appears to be standing still at the moment and whilst at times I urge time forwards, I remind myself that one day I will look back at 2020, a year where I was quite literally, forced to slow down and appreciate the relationships that are blossoming within and around my life. I’m working towards appreciating a life that feels good on the inside; not one that just looks good on the outside.

#family #covid #stayathome #littlestreetlibrary #mexicannight #houseofluluwhite #thehamptonscafe #staycation #streetlibraryau #baysidesmallbusiness #candlelove #plantlady

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