Last weekend I went on a father and son adventure. We went up to the end of Kanimbla Valley to a farm owned by Rob, and amazing man with a wonderful heart. There were nearly 20 of us – (half kids and half grown-up kids!) and we had a great time.
Rob had us herding cattle, tagging calves, trying (mostly unsuccessful on my part) to capture cows in the crush and all manner of cattleyard tasks. We took turns with chainsaws and built a big bonfire. It was wonderful. We sat around the fire, cooked marshmallows on sticks (longer and longer sticks as the heat built up) and cheered at every shower of sparks that flew into the air. It was just a glorious evening and the stars put on a boastful show of their splendour.
Then we went back to the farmhouse for a big pot of Spag Bol. We enjoyed some very nice reds over an evening of relaxed and hilarious conversation. Do you know I haven’t laughed as much for ages.
Then we spent Sunday morning digging out weeds on the side of a mountain that Edmund Hillary would have baulked at.
The boys had a ball too. The rule for the weekend was no electronics. We did not hear one complaint. But we did hear the roar of laughter, and of mini-bikes and quad bikes tearing around the farm. And the boys really got into the cow herding and calf-chasing. There was a less enthusiastic response to the weeding, but as we adults had to ‘provide a good example’, we kept digging.
I spent a couple of peaceful hours on the Sunday just sitting in the middle of a paddock reflecting on what really mattered and I cannot remember the last time I did that. It was probably the simplest and most enjoyable weekend I have had this year. We can get so wrapped up in our fast-paced worlds with our phones and devices rarely more than an arms-length away.
My moment of clarity this week is to book a regular technology-free weekend and go do some of the simple fun things we used to do before email, mobiles and the world-wide web. Or am I showing my age…?
Have a great week. Brian.
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