follow the flow
a travel journal and photography journey
Canoe adventures with Terence and his family were amazing! It was a three day trip down a river, and there were only two capsizes, one case of almost missing the trip because we forgot what day it was, one almost lost phone—which was plunged into some rapids, mourned of its passing, and then miraculously found in the river via a surprise pair of goggles...definitely the only time I have ever heard of that happening, and it was fucking incredible—four cases of really bad sunburns, four cases of crying from exhaustion, and countless delightful dips into the river when it was too bloody hot. Not to mention the gorgeous scenery, the super fun and often super frustrating rapids, and the hours each day spent tossing banter and support and play from canoe to canoe, from person to person.
I’m back at Terence’s mum’s place now—laying next to my bubbuh, passed out, about to have our final sleep in Australia. We head off to Costa Rica tomorrow to meet up with some of our dearest friends and to go to Envision Festival together! I feel a sense of shock and discombobulation that our time here is already done, that our next adventure is upon us—though I know we will meet our next chapter with wide open arms. We are approaching the parts of our travels that are a bit more unscripted—the parts allowing for the wonder of being in a new place and wanting to explore without restriction. After Envision, we have no plans and no plane tickets home until the beginning of April. AND I AM SO EXCITED. To be in a part of the world I’ve never been to before, to continue traveling with my partner, and to soak up all the juices that Costa Rica can offer.
There has been an overwhelming abundance of beautiful and meaningful encounters and moments that have occurred over the last two weeks here in Australia. Particularly, moments spent with Terence’s family. And moments where I witnessed Terence connecting with his family in ways that are completely new. T’s sole intention in coming to his homeland this time around was to connect with his family as authentically as he could. To spend the time re-learning who they are in each moment, and developing more skills and patterns for communicating and accepting each other as they are. In my experience, the Carfrae’s have some of the most tender hearts, the quickest wits, and most intelligent and ruthless ways of poking each other with banter I've known. Not to mention how ridiculously capable each of them is—whether it’s starting a business, winning triathlons, or rangling chickens, this family has got amazing determination. And, this family has been through some shit and a half—the details of which I don’t feel right in sharing, but I will say that their resilience is palpable.
And today, the day before we leave, Terence looked at me with a sense of gratitude that his efforts to open his heart with vulnerability and integrity did, indeed, lead to a deepening of connection with his family—just as the entire family gathered for their first family photo in about sixteen years. The grandma, grandkids, kids, and partners. And with the depth of emotion and chaos of the planning of this photo, I witnessed sweet, genuine play—from everyone, but more specifically from the mumma of the whole fam, who wore a rainbow dress, and a shiny rainbow wig for the shoot (making it clear that Terence and I must get her to Burning Man). And I felt so honored to have been included in this photo, in this gathering, in this blossoming intimacy of family. To have been welcomed. To have been embraced.
As I feel the time of this evening passing, I recognize there have been many more of these special moments of family over the last two weeks. Moments that I have wanted to write about, and didn’t feel that I had the time or space to write about them with the fullness of presence I felt they deserved. And part of me is grateful for this, because it means I got to have the moment for myself. And another part of me realizes that these stories want to be told. They want to have a listener as well as an experiencer. But there’s too much! Too much to say! How could I possibly put that into words! say the anxious parts of my body, wanting to do the moments justice. But I have given myself this commitment of writing this blog for at least one year for this very reason. Because there are aspects of it that are challenging for me.
I am enjoying the memories of this time in Australia resting in my sun kissed skin and my activated heart. I am working on getting better at creating the presence in myself for the stories to fall out as they desire. I am allowing the multilayered epicness of the Carfrae family to inspire my gratitude and my creativity of words.