March, 2013

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It’s March and my daughter is taking her first steps. As I watch her I hold my breath. She steps forward and forward and then falls onto her bare bottom. We clap for her and then she claps for herself too. Her proud smile reaches her ears. I think, oh baby, this is just the beginning.

Brisbane is a beautiful city. We spend days by the big river, walking across the man made beaches, under the flowering vines and spend hours in the library. Alba meets other children here and Papa reads her bird books from the grown up library. We both love seeing Alba happy.

One night I have a gallstone attack. It is the only pain I’ve ever felt that rivals childbirth. I had one in the mountains last year that lasted hours and I thought I might be dying. Back then I talked to my aunt and she told me it was common for the women in our family to have the attacks after pregnancy. I can’t breathe properly and my stomach is as hard as rock. I want it to end but I don’t know when it will. We drive to the hospital. The traffic is bad and time goes very slowly.

Soon after we arrive my lungs begin to open wider, bit by bit. And then like a sail caught in wind I can breathe full breaths again. It feels so incredible and blissful to be well and alive. I am told to get an operation on my gallbladder but the attack already seems miles away. A part of me feels grateful for the reminder of how good it feels to be well.

Every morning M goes for a run up the nearby mountain and Alba and I spend the morning together. For breakfast I make her scrambled organic eggs with lots of coconut oil (for good fats) and nutritional yeast (for b12) and I have chia & oat bircher with almond milk and fruit. When Papa is home we make green smoothies together (kale or spinach, squeezed orange juice & frozen banana). Now that we eat well food is a huge joy for us. Eating a piece of sorrel from the garden sends delicious shivers down my spine. Who would have known that I would one day find more pleasure in a big bowl of salad than an ice cream? Somehow now that we mostly only eat plants, nuts and seeds we eat more diversely than ever before.

We go on a little roadtrip to visit my grandparents. We have breakfast in their garden, picking fresh figs, persimmons and raspberries to eat. Afterwards we lay back on a picnic rug and teach Alba what a cloud is. We forget the camera, so we are careful to not let this memory slip away from us.

As I am picking the raspberries with Alba, I tell M “We need a big garden with strawberries and raspberries and blueberries and mulberries because I could never be unhappy if I had fresh berries to pick.”

We daydream about owning our own land every day. We talk about what we’ll grow and build and how we can live sustainably. I begin planning workshops, a photography book and an app so that these dreams can become life someday soon.

 

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  1. Bella

    I found your blog this morning and was captivated by the images – You inspire me to pick up my camera and document more of my journey. I’d LOVE to hear some of what you’ve learned about photography and what makes your images so special. It’s clear your eyes are full of love and that’s what you are capturing. I’m grateful. Thank you for sharing….

  2. LVO U

    These are the most beautiful and peaceful pictures. All your capturing of the world around her will never allow you to miss or forget a moment.

  3. Nele Lara

    I’m so impressed by your photos. They look so emotionally and all tell a little story.
    So happy that I found a blog like yours !!

  4. chandni

    Your images just make my day..and make me reliase..howbeautifullll life can be!!

  5. Lisa

    Hi Nirrimi + family, your blog is the dreamiest I ever came across and I want to be like you when I grow up, haha (I’m 29). A question, is that a stainless steel drink bottle in the first picture? If yes, what brand is it and can I find it somewhere online?
    I wish you all the best of lives!

  6. laura

    alba is light, light and magic. just like your photographs are truly and utterly full of light.
    thank you for sharing. laura

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February, 2013

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It’s Februrary and Alba is finding her voice. It is sweet and commanding. It reminds me that she is not a little baby any more. We are living with Georgia’s family and making our new house home. Our bed faces the windows so the sun can shine on our bodies. Alba follows the children on all fours like a puppy dog and cries at the door when they leave.

 I spend the afternoons making dinner for everyone in the house and many mornings baking or making nut milks, raw desserts or drying fruit. I give Alba a wooden spoon to stir granola and she squeals with delight and the granola is everywhere.

 Most days I feel like I have too many responsibilities and too little time. I work while Alba is in the garden with Papa or during her morning nap. I know I could be more productive during the day but it would mean not being present enough for her. So I’m not doing as many photoshoots as I used to and the dishes are piling up but we are living and loving as a family every single day.

 Nights can be hard. It’s not always easy to abruptly stop in the middle of answering an email, cooking or editing a series of images to be Mama again. Sometimes when she wakes up and cries my heart sinks and as she feeds (sleepy and safe in my arms) I feel chained. For a while I even tried night weaning.

 It’s easy to forget what is most important in my life. Not those emails, dinners or images, but my family. I’m discovering how to appreciate what I have in each moment, not mourn what I don’t. So last night as I was working on our online store I heard a cry and slipped into our dark, warm bedroom. I curled my girl’s body so her chubby legs were against my belly and I was grateful that she needed me. One day soon she won’t need these night feeds any longer.

 The garden is growing wilder and wilder as the days pass. Alba explores it on all fours or walking with her little hands in ours. A lady bug makes its way across her arm and she holds an earthworm in her open palm. She digs at the surface of the earth with a plastic spade and plants sunflower seeds. She is only small but she is already creating life.

 Me and M are almost always together, it’s the way it’s been since we first met. If we’re ever apart we take time to brief the other on every conversation, thought and event that happened in the other’s absence  We joke that this lets our minds merge back into one again.

 Some day it will be Alba’s turn to fill us in and we will listen eagerly. Right now I can’t imagine ever hearing her talk back to us, but I know the time is coming and I am impatient. I bet her mind is filled with magic. Just imagine the moment you looked in a mirror and understood for the first time that the reflection was you. Imagine being in a world where everything is new and unknown. Babies can teach us so much about ourselves if we just see life through their eyes.

 
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  5. Tam

    Deeply moved and inspired by your work. Alba is absolutely divine. Love

  6. Marie

    This post reminds me of my son when he was as young as your daughter. It’s true- one day your girl won’t need you as much, as you will miss those special moments shared between the both of you. The nightly feeds and attention that your daughter crave and need will be soon gone one day. Till then, stay strong and know that your family loves you and needs you in their lives. Btw your daughter is beautiful and so full-of-life. Seems like she loves Mother Earth a lot. :)

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  7. Vanessa

    I love this post so much! Your writing, as always, is so beautiful and thoughtful. And your relationships with both M and Alba, are admirable. I can imagine Alba reading this one day when she is older, and tearing up when she learns the way you observed her, and loved her, so deeply when she was an infant… it’s incredible.

  8. Lavona Lewis

    you can contact me on facebook, just search my name. my pic is my daughter in a huge pile of leaves :)

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