Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Story

Mine is a middle class story, a story told from brick and tile homes with outdated decor. For me, it echoes a Tim Winton novel, in its emphasis on family, its hardship, simple mundane beauty, spirituality and most obviously- its connection to the water.

A story of two teachers and their kids. An honourable and quietly spoken man who gently supports his people and a loudly laughing woman who truly loves unconditionally. They attend a stuffy Anglican church in a beautiful white building by the sea. Women don't speak, children don't speak and everyone wears their Sunday best. The ocean is everywhere, its out the windows, down the grassy cow covered embankment, in your ears, hair and shoes. Kitchens are yellow, carpets are mission brown. Terry toweling is cool and fire works are still legal.

It's into this 1980's suburbia that I am born, to loving parents and an older brother who would be my best friend throughout our childhood. Our little home is perched atop the steep hills and cliffs of Kiama Heights. A mass of quivering water can be viewed from every window and it was to the sound of the roaring waves that I was lulled to sleep every night. Life was spent basking in the sunshine, rolling in warm sand, drinking watery cordial and eating hot chips wrapped in yesterdays news print. At the end of the day we would drag our crispy, red bodies up the hill, over the stone wall and be forced to go to bed while the sun was still high in the sky. Life was magical.

As I grew, life changed as did our location. One brick and tile home was traded for another and Easts Beach was lost to new beach side suburb. My childhood joy was replaced by an angsty adolescent depression. My friends became my family as we encouraged one another in our own futile rebellion. Attending school was a chore that I completed sporadically.  Music was loud, Apathy was everywhere. Through these years I could be found climbing a beachfront rock face seeking shelter from the rain and a tangible dialogue with God. The ocean always made me feel like I could understand the God of the scriptures, If only a little. Calm, welcoming and beautiful beyond comprehension- yet ferocious, powerful and in ultimate control.

It was with the introduction of Dave (my now husband) that things regain some stability. A boy from Western Australia- true Winton country- the son of pentecostal parents, raised with a blanket of grandparent prayer over his life. At the age of 19, Dave and I decided to get married, so we did. I can say with  confidence that this was the best 'stupid decision' I have ever made.

For the first time in my life I moved away from the ocean. It's peaceful song was replaced by speeding traffic and echoes of domestic violence (not from my home, from the housing commission that we lived next to). But still, away from the sea I was happy. Happy living in a teeny tiny apartment in a teeny tiny city. Often the sounds of the neighbourhood were drowned out by our own laughter and that of our Friends. Many hot meals were consumed and icy cold beers were indulged in on the cramped balcony of that apartment. So many happy memories were made there right by the main road, in between two towering red brick buildings.

Eventually with our uni degrees behind us and hex debts ahead, Dave and I both found ourselves with secure jobs.

The ocean was calling again- so we moved a little closer, had a few holidays and made a few babies- our greatest feat yet.

I can say almost honestly, that having children is as fantastic as being one - but not quite.

On a summers night with the windows wide open and sand at the bottom of the bed I can still hear the waves crashing onto the shore and rushing back out to sea. Only now my dreams are punctuated by the mummers of my sweet, cheeky son and the breathing of the littler ones.

It is here, now that you find me cooking, cleaning, sewing, washing, dreaming and blogging.


  1. Lovely post.
    Lovely photographs.

  2. I have recently just come across your site (via Che and Fidel) and what a lovely post to read as an introduction. Our lives become what we create them to be, and it is so nice to read such a beautiful story.
    Rhi xx

  3. beautiful em x

  4. What a lovely life story you have! Ours seem rather similar! I too married at 19 and it was also the best 'silly decision' I've ever made. :-)

  5. love your way of writing chic. lovely to hear your story. in blogger world we see people for where they are at and what they're up to now - and yet it is our past journey that has brought us to this point.

    you've inspired me to consider a 'my story' post of my one sometime soon.

    blessings, nais.

  6. bravo bravo. what a great story teller you are.

    i'm sure if dave and i spent five minutes chatting, we'd find people we both know. . . because WA is like that!

  7. What a fab 'about me' story, one of the best I've read to date! I am a big Tim Winton fan too... magic author.
    I loved your description of your childhood, many similarities to my own... terry towelling was cool wasn't it!? My dad even had a pair of burnt orange towelling shorts... so cool, well I thought so back then anyway ;o)
    I just found your blog over at Maxabella's grateful post and I'm really glad I did. Look forward to reading about your journey from here on :o)

  8. a beautiful story, by far the lovliest about mes I've ever read.

  9. Emily, thank you so much for your sweet, sweet comment on my blog and directing me to yours. I'm still exploring, but I'm loving what I see so far and can't wait to see more! I love the way you write - what a beautiful life story! :)
    xoxo from Germany,

  10. I am not sure why but today I thought it was time I read a bit more about you on your blog, cause lets face it your blog is one of my fav's - and could I love you any more??
    Thanks for sharing more about you x

  11. Sitting with my morning cup of coffee I wandered back to your happy space to learn a little more about you.

    What a treat. This is THE BEST 'about me' on a blog that I've ever read, your writing is alive with truth and your voice is strong.

    The photos at the end are a bonus to the wonderful images you created in my imagination.

    I'm eager to read a little more....which door will I open next?

  12. Oh, how have I not read this beautiful story before now? I love the thought of you as a wild, rebellious teenager! And so beautiful that you and Dave married so young. Just lovely. Kellie xx

  13. I can only echo what Felicity has written - easily the best "about me" I have had the luxury of reading for a long time!

    And it's funny - as soon as I read "a stuffy Anglican church in a beautiful white building by the sea" I thought of Kiama...


  14. 'I can say almost honestly, that having a child is as fantastic as being one- but not quite. ;)'

    This is a fantastic line of prose. Wish I'd written it!! Completely agree, and I'd never quite thought of it that way before. Thank you.

  15. Love the way you write and I really like the picture of you wearing a black & white jacket and your baby is wrapped in the black & white blanket. :)

  16. Hi there...what a wonderful introductory story to you...and I know Kiama...not too far up the road from me...Love your blog...Dzintra

  17. Such a beautiful story so far... and I'm enjoying the chapters that continue to be told through this blog :)

    But I have to say - your baby pic looks a lot like Lalie - weird but true!


  18. this is beautiful, such a vivid and truthful way to tell your story and I loved reading it (twice!). i'm going to have to look up Tim Winton...

  19. I have just started following your blog...loving it! :)

  20. This is beautiful.
    You are a beautiful writer.

  21. I have been a liker for a while now but have been terribly lazy at reading all of your posts (finally on mat leave so this will change). I loved everything about this post, has given me a real insight into your life and I am so glad I am coming along for the ride to hear about all of your adventures!

    Look forward to many more fabulous posts!
    Jayne! :)

  22. Lovely to meet you Em and I love the way you have written your story! I too was married at a 'young' age - 20! I would love to know how your journey with God turned out? xx Rach

  23. Thanks for sharing your story, seriously loved reading this. Great revamp by the way!
    Ronnie xo

  24. That was so amazingly beautiful. Thank you for sharing xx

  25. What a lovely story. I very much enjoyed reading this.
    Hope you're having a splendid weekend! Popped over from the Deear Circus and I', loving your blog:)

    <3 Leney

  26. GASP! So beautiful. The book I didn't want to end...

  27. so i've following for just over a month and i am so glad i clicked here to read more about you. i love this place where you write from and share your every day life with us

  28. Beautiful! You write like a true poet. I look forward to exploring your blog.
    God bless!


Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em