i love a good shot of feet, almost as much as i love taking photographs of hands - it all says so much. who remembers to look down, when they are walking? i do - and was teased mercilessly about taking so many photographs of my feet when i got to new zealand (granted, by then it had become almost an obsession with me and i was taking shots of my shoes and the feet inside them everywhere i went). the boots at the top are those of dear ro bruhn, who so gallantly offered to pick misty and me up, separately, at the melbourne airport and "show us around the town". little did she know just how involved escorting us and running errands would be, but ro remained a beautifully smiling trooper throughout the week. i spent my first night in melbourne at ro's and her husband steve's beautiful log cabin outside of melbourne, where the rural roads loop and twist around tall eucalyptus trees and past wide open paddocks (fields) where i was always ever hopeful i'd see another "mob" of kangaroos. the house is delightful, a welcome respite of color and warm woods, a visual feast of artwork in every nook and cranny of the house she built some 30 years ago.
the next morning we drove back down (or up, i don't know) to the airport to greet misty at 8am, and i must say that she stepped out of customs looking as if she had just boarded that overnight flight merely minutes before. how odd and wonderful it was to see her there, in an overseas country, just like we had stepped out of the swirl of artfest and port townsend, right into this bustling place! from there we drove down to the mornington pensinsula - see how gorgeous?! - to meet our dear blogging friends samm and mandy for the very first time, and spent a good part of the afternoon sifting through sand in search of beach glass, then visiting a lovely vineyard, like the best of old, old friends.
the light in australia, i discovered, is a different sort of light - golden , soft but clear - and perhaps that simply comes with the change of seasons, with autumn's afternoons that hang onto that light only briefly, sweetly, before the sun goes down behind rounded hills and everything becomes the dusty shade of velvet, of evening, of times remembered. the time here was exquisite - tender - breathtaking - magical.
misty, traci, and i will be forever grateful to these three fine women of victoria, australia; we were there in a great big city, one that was entirely unfamiliar to us, and ro, samm and mandy never failed to be there for us to run grocery errands, drive us across town, stop off to purchase fine australian wine or teaching supplies, carve out time for a coffee and tea break, carry our boxes, to mail our remnants of post items that we hadn't remembered until they were hauling us and all our monstrous gear to the airport that final morning. if ever you see their faces, the ones that softly glow like the autumn's afternoon sun, in melbourne or on mornington peninsula, gently pull them aside and tell them nina asked you to treat them to a good hot cup of tea; i'd do it myself, if only i could step across the ocean just like that.
next time? the incredible traci joins us, finally, for the retreat! xo