I remember that first day.
I had left what I thought was my ‘new life’ in Fiji, to start my ‘new life’ in Australia. It was my third Big Move in as many years. But when you’re eighteen you don’t think about the gravity of it, you don’t think of the uncertainties ahead. It was just what was happening in my life.
I remember pulling up into my aunt’s driveway at her house in Como for the first time. Noting the strangeness of an Australian native garden and the bark mulch that covered the earth. I had grown up in Penang and then lived in Fiji – places of lush tropical gardens, green grass and thick foliage. I had never seen mulch. Never seen a tree as strange and beautiful as the Silver Princess gum, which weeped gracefully in her front yard.
But the thing that was most unusual was the air. It was clear and crisp and clean and different to anything I had experienced. And it’s scent was something I will never forget:
The scent of a new life, the scent of my first day in Australia.
I was unaware that soon I would be tasting whipped cream for the first time, (eating so much of it that I threw up!) and learning how to drive (I passed on the fourth go 🙂 And then before long … there would be first love, heart-break, marriage, setting up home, having a family, becoming a scientist, becoming an artist, losing my husband to cancer, gaining life-long friends, losing my mum to Alzheimers …
I was unaware of all of this that first day in my aunt’s driveway, as I breathed in the unfamiliar scents and noted the strange beauty around me that this was the place, Australia, that I would live a whole, full life.
So much of our days are focussed on the things we are striving towards – goals and resolutions and intentions that drive us forward. We need them, of course, to give us purpose and direction. It is the nature of a goal to be something you haven’t reached yet, so goals often leave us feeling ‘unfinished’, maybe even a little incomplete, until that goal is met.
Perhaps it’s just me, but when I focus a lot on my goals, I forget the Simple Good Things of the present.
It’s been a hot, dry summer in Perth and it hasn’t rained for a very long time. But it did today. And I remembered, as I walked in the damp forest, light rain on my face, that almost forgotten fragrance that Australian eucalypts emit, especially when it rains after a dry spell.
To me it is the scent of Peace and Possibility.
I remembered what a privilege it was to live in this beautiful, vast country. I felt a deep gratitude for the strange twists of life that brought me here, four decades ago, as an eighteen year old. I remembered the kindness of my aunt and cousins in giving me a home.
I remembered that no matter what the future holds, no matter what I do, reach, achieve or don’t … what a privilege it is right now, to walk in a forest, to have the companionship of a loyal dog, loving family, diverse and gorgeous friends. To write things that people read. To make things that people buy. To have the resources to turn inward in prayer and reflection or outward to counsellors and mentors when I need to.
Today, goals and dreams are less important than stepping outside and breathing in the scent of Peace and Possibility.
ART CLASSES IN PERTH – Coming up in my hills studio:
PAINTING FOR BEGINNERS – the One Day Intensive on Sat April 18, 2020.
“Wow! What a wonderfully creative day we all had. I organised 5 friends to attend ‘Painting for Beginners’ and this workshop surpassed my expectations. Malini was fun, warm, informative and very professional. She was a delight to be around and open to sharing all she had. We were so impressed with the gorgeous venue, the abundance of guidance provided and a day spent with friends where we could play, be curious and open to a new way of expressing ourselves in the world.” –Deidre Nevins, Feb 23, 2020.
Book PAINTING FOR BEGINNERS here on April 18.
PAINTING WITH TEXTURE – Two Day workshop on March 28 & 29, 2020.
“Painting with texture is something I’ve never done so I was fascinated to give it a go. I learnt so many awesome techniques & can’t wait to use texture on my newest paintings! Not only is she a wonderful teacher Malini is funny, kind & caring. At the end of just 2 days she had our whole class so comfortable with each other that we felt like a big family! This fun fulfilling work shop is definitely something you will benefit from & you won’t regret.”– Ebony Taylor, Perth
BOOK PAINTING WITH TEXTURE here on March 28-29
Hope to see you there!
Malini Parker is an artist, writer and teacher.
From her home studio perched over a fragrant forest,
she runs beginners art classes in Perth, Western Australia
that help awaken creativity and amplify joy!
Find out more here:www.maliniparker.com