Sitting in our little cabin at Earth Frequency – an alternative lifestyle festival – in rural Queensland the thought crossed my mind a few times that I should take a break from diving further into my writing which has consumed my mind of late. Having put the little one to bed after a very exciting and exhausting moment my thoughts immediately are drawn back to the goal and the challenge to write each day.
The topic of hope has many layers; hope for my son, hope for myself and hope for our little family’s future. Seeing him immersing in the festival space so freely and happily is a good indication that we are making the right decisions together. Even though Jack is only two years old I regularly consult him on our plans for the day and similarly asked him would he like to go on an aeroplane and take part in this music festival. I had a fleeting moment of doubt… was I in my right mind to take a toddler into the heat to dance amongst writhing bodies to psychedelic trance under laser lights and fire engines spraying us with water? I could only hope (and pray) that he enjoyed it. My doubts were quickly quashed as he ran to the dancefloor and threw himself into the spiderweb of colour. “Fun!” he yelled, and he was off.
With his mother’s love for a good communal stomp on the dirt and his father’s later in life discovery of a deep spiritual energy my son was the next generation of modern hippie. His connection to the Earth was already so apparent gravitating to playing instruments and exploring the wilderness at every opportunity. Living in this festival deep in the forest surrounded by wildlife (both human and animal) was an experience which should be offered to all toddlers. The parents here nod approvingly as Jack joined their kids digging with sticks in mud puddles and running through the coloured flags shrieking wildly as they waved in the wind.
Thinking about the kind of child I am raising and the life I want him to lead occupies my thoughts constantly. How much influence do you actually have on their future and how much is predetermined. My goal has always been to expose him to as many wonderful experiences as possible. A number of people have often asked what the point was in taking him to view an eclipse for example in Oregon as I did when he was 8 months old, or to play in the snow as a baby, suggesting he wouldn’t remember any of it anyway. I listened patiently as I noticed their kids glued to the television and wondered if they knew kids were a product of their environment, as we all were.
‘We are all products of our environment; every person we meet, every new experience or adventure, every book we read, touches and changes us, making us the unique being we are.’
There are so many hopes I have for my son. I hoped for him to be happy, to feel successful, to feel unconditionally loved, to be self-assured and confident to face whatever life presented with wisdom. Mostly my hope was for him to be kind, to himself to others and to the Earth.