I'm at the end of the tunnel. For twenty weeks I've been on the road, touring like a poorly paid rock star. I get home most weekends but I spend a lot of time in motels. I take my bike, a kite and a camera as distractions for daylight hours and at night I always have a pen to keep me company.
It all came to a head on the 21st of September. Spring equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. Special day. My last presentation was at an exclusive girls school in Melbourne and I was working with the year nines who have always been my favourite species of feral and these girls were no exception. A beautiful, funny, crazy, cheeky, wild-spirited bunch that made the last eighty minutes of my touring year an absolute delight. There was a lot of joy in that last eighty minutes and four different girls were rendered incapacitated by laughter, losing it to the point of breathless tears. There's a kind of magic in that and it's one of the reasons I travel hard.
And then I was home. Home to celebrate Beej's 11th birthday (pictured, aglow), also on the 21st September. Last day of school for the term. Special day. Go-karting, bowling, more dragging behind the kite, party food and the family and friends around to spoil him. Great way to unwind, reconnect, feel the pendulum of activity swing gracefully back to home/family/office/writing time. And there's my life in a nutshell at the moment. I travel and talk to kids for twenty odd weeks and the rest of the year is divided into writing, growing food and working around home. Oh, and long hot summers by the river or at the beach. And home brew. And kayaking.
The tunnel doesn't seem as dark as it used to and the light somehow seems brighter. With the summer stretching out in front of me, all the long drives and dingy rooms have already faded and to my friends who fed me, told me stories and kept me afloat through it; a big heartfelt thanks.