It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and the house is strangely quiet. Miss Attitude and Music Man are with their mother; Bear and Monkey are doing the teenage “in my room” thing (except when they venture out for food and a grunt or two). As for Blue Eyes, last I heard, he was snoring.

While I love the chatter and bustle that tag teams with a house of six, I’m enjoying these few hours of quiet. It’s not quite a stillness, but just for now, I can be me. No must do’s, no should’s, just…I can.

I’ve discovered Instagram on my iPhone and I’ve been…playing. There’s no other word for it. Moving books here and there for the right shot. Getting up close to flowers. Chasing the dogs (who for some reason are scared of a little black phone, or perhaps just photo shy). Experimenting with filters. I can see how people get addicted to this. A fad? Perhaps. But I’m enjoying the chance to be a bit creative and have a bit of fun, my way. I’m playing. If you were here, you’d see that I am smiling.

Cocoa, vanilla and butter scents are filling the air, the house, spilling out to the garden to play with the sharper rosemary, basil and dill fragrances. A slice is in the oven, pre-empting hungry mouths that will soon fill the kitchen upon return from a night away. The dogs are snoozing under chairs, the sun’s warmth a little too strong. I’m looking around, taking time to appreciate what is normally buried underneath the wear and tear of life. A treasured rose plant – a gift from a dear friend – is bursting with buds next to the papery petals of a cosmos. I feel coarse salt exfoliating my hands as I rub it into the firm skin of a roast, crush garlic with a knife and breathe deep. I look around my home, our home, take in the photos, the memories, the love and the things that make this space our sanctuary, our place in a world of billions. I am thankful that I am alive.



Picture of Monique Mulligan

Monique Mulligan

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