13 October 2011

| day twelve | Goodbye Kestrel

By the end of this month, a friend will be gone.

My friend and her gorgeous family are moving away; back to the place that they call home. Back to calmness of familiarity and the peace in being cocooned by a loving network.

They took a huge risk to move away from what they knew and loved. To go on an adventure to find where they fitted in the world. Sadly, it was not here but their adventure was not without a sense of discovery - that home is where the heart is. And that being where they lived before.

Kestrel is an amazing woman. She exudes warmth and has an energy surrounding her that just makes people want to flock to her. Her laugh will illuminate a dark corner of a room. She is smart. Really smart. I have been party to, sometimes just mere passenger of as I sit back in awe, the most intellectually stimulating conversations I have ever had with another woman.


She is a role model. She is the type of mother I wanted to be when I grew up. The matriarch of a household where children laugh, play, are welcomed with open arms. She is an Earth Mother. The greatest gift her children will ever receive is being a member of this family and being blessed to have her as their Mum.

I credit this woman for introducing me to a different way to live. I am, by nature, an uptight Leo/Virgo; conditioned from years of strict parenting. She showed me how to live. To be an active participant in life and not just a spectator. To let go. To stop white knuckling so much and to let my family just be.

She introduced me to the crazy concept of plates that don't match. A "dinner set" of completely unique plates; one being completely different from the other. Oh  my god, who would have thought it! If you look in her kitchen not one plate, cup or mug are the same. When I inquired of the reasoning behind this, she responded with "Well if I break a plate, I don't have to stress that I have messed up the set". How utterly genius in its simplicity!

The interior of her house is wrapped in prose. Everywhere you turn, there is bookcase after bookcase of literature. It gives you a firm idea of what the Kestrel family are like: "In this house, we read!" I think she could happily live in a library, or at least have her own personal bibliotheca wing.

She is a dedicated tea drinker. Her lime green teapot is now a trademark Kestrel signature. For my birthday, I received from her a Robin Egg Blue version of the same teapot. Covertly, I have been initiated into the Tea Drinking Sect.

There is also a deep enthusiasm for op shopping. The treasures this woman finds just amazes me and yes, I am envious. Her Eldest is particularly good at finding children's shoes. It's genetic, I swear. I also give her credit for reintroducing me to the joy of going for a hunt at the op shops. I know that if I want to brag about what I find, I will have an appreciative ear to celebrate with me.

My children love going to her house. Imp just flies up the stairs and leaves poor Mama still struggling to get Squeak out of the car. Her house is an Aladdin's Cave of fantastic toys. Not your generic plastic crap here - there is an abundance of toys. In baskets. Baskets!! What a wonderful storage idea.

There are dolls, blocks, musical instruments, puzzles, doll houses, Lego, gorgeous Steiner toys. When we first visited her home, Imps eyes almost popped out on springs. From that moment on, it is always a bit of a struggle to get her out the door when it it is time go. She embeds herself into the house like a tick and refuses to budge.

But do you blame her? Like the song by Madness - welcome to the house of fun! Where sometimes, when the Father feels the urge, will pull out a guitar and start singing. Memorable moment no. 203 was attending a birthday party for their middle child and during Pass the Parcel, hearing the dulcet strumming of Smoke on the Water. When Kestrel suggested maybe something more "appropriate", he swapped it to JJ Cales' "Cocaine".

(Gotta love a sense of humour)

My eldest thinks of the house like Harry Potter visiting The Weasleys. He has dubbed Kestrel, "Molly" and he couldn't be more spot on if he tried. She is warm, protective, a fantastic cook and is very motherly towards all children.  Eldest will miss her dearly.

We all will. As an only child, she is the closest thing that I have ever known to having a sister. But I am so very grateful that fate decided that the Kestrel Family move to this region. She has helped me change the way I mother, the way I live and to attempt to enjoy myself (as was self evident the other night at dinner as Imp and played with our food - which resulted in a Mothership steak refueling Imps little piece of aeroplane steak). It was her family that piqued Eldest's interest in alternative schooling arrangements when he was having such a difficult time at his school. I now homeschool! If you knew me 2 year ago, you would have laughed at that notion.

Farewell SistaFriend. You will be deeply missed. I hope to visit you in your new home and I look forward to sitting across a table from you again while I sip my freshly brewed tea.


  1. Losing a friend is hard. I have just lost one of mine. The sad thing is she has not moved away geographically but emotionally.

  2. I'm a Kestrel fan, too, and I think those bookcases were once living at my house! We don't live nearby, though :)

    It's hard when good friends move away. Thinking of you xo

  3. Oh what a beautiful and fitting tribute to a wonderful woman. I'm sorry she won't be so (geographically) present in your life in future. It would be a very sad thing to say goodbye to Kestrel.

  4. Such a beautiful post. I know just what you mean. I was just getting to know Kestrel when she moved away, and still felt a sense of loss for what might have been... Of course, I'm thrilled that she's here and we can pick up where we left off... but I'm sad that you now miss her from your life. BUT, I'm REALLY looking forward to sitting at that table, sharing a brew with you. xx


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