Moments to remember: July

One of the things that I loved the most about the last book club book (I will be choosing another one later this week I promise!) was the way that Hilary, who was dying of cancer was taking in the small moments in time before she knew she was going to die. Those simple moments: whether it was looking at a tree in her garden knowing that she wouldn’t see it blossom again and recalling all the seasons that it had. Eating an orange and focusing on all the parts of it: the smell, the feel of it in her hands, the taste…all to distract her from the pain she was experiencing and of course to focus on her mind on that and not what was about to happen to her.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that. Mindfulness maybe? I suppose a taking in of all the small and possibly mundane and quick moments that happen in a day that maybe bring a smile, a heart swell, a sadness, all the parts of my life, all our lives. I have been seeing them, really seeing them and trying to snap them, much like I would a photo so that I can remember.

But given the amount of children I have given birth to and how they have taken so many brain cells from me, I thought I’ll write them down. See them. So I can remember them. All the simple parts of my days that I am lucky and grateful for. This is life.

Precious and (for now) uncomplicated life.

The way the low and light winter sun breaks onto a heavy frosty morning. It’s soft light, magical, the way it makes everything sparkle, melting the ice in stripes as the rays hit the lawn. Fog lifts and always a beautiful winters day begins.

That first dirty giggle from Dorothy May which I managed to wrangle out of her as she laid down on the couch after a sleep. She was rested, and happy and she gave us all a surprise (perhaps her too?) when that first laughter loudly appeared. As I said to the girls, another fairy was born.

The warmth and pure goodness that emanates from the Bruten household. Being able to be in it for a few hours made my heart and soul happy and we all left there a little better off.

The drive to the servo to get tampons (when will I ever get organised and not surprised by the arrival of my period) in Beechworth on a freezing Sunday morning. It was minus 7 degrees, I was surprised that my windscreen had not frozen over and did my normal clean of the windscreen (because I can’t not ever turn my wipers on because: me) while I was driving and had the entire windscreen freeze instantly so I couldn’t see a bloody thing. I had to pull over, driving with my head out the window to see.

The heady scent of my daphne that greets me whenever I go out the front door. It started sweet and soft with the first signs of bloom until now it smacks you in the face with too many blooms to keep up with. It reminds me that Spring is coming, it’s not all dead and dormant out there. No matter what, nature reminds us that time marches on.

The story that Harper enthusiastically told Rob and I that she had written filled with twists and turns and historical references we have no idea she could even know about. On she went and when she left we looked at each other and wondered for the 459th time with this kid, where does it comes from?

Walking Maggie back to bed from the middle of the night when she was convinced that it was morning so demanded we head out to the lounge room. It was not morning. It was 3.30am. But there we sat together, in the dark, waiting for her little voice to tell me that she would go to bed. It eventually came, and we slowly walked back to her room with her sleepy head on my shoulder listening to the wind and rain outside. “It’s raining Mumma.” and as I comforted her and told her we were warm inside our beds she said “safe Mumma, we are safe inside”. I hope she always feels safe.

Looking up and being surprised at our big girl. How did that happen? She’s big. And funny. And smart. And kind. And I could not do this parenting of a 2 year old without her.

And those late and cold July afternoons. It’s dark and miserable and then out of no where there will be a streak of late light. It contrasts with the grey of the clouds, it brightens the bare branches and is so fleeting and so beautiful that it makes you stop in your tracks.

Thank you July for your sparkly icy mornings. Your short cold days filled with time inside. For afternoons that take your breath just plain away. And for long nights spent fireside in our lovely house. Our home. Safe.

Can you tell me a simple moment you can remember from July?


  1. This has not been a simple July. I delivered my baby boy at 30 weeks, and since then I have held him precisely 12 times. But, I’ve been sitting here thinking, and I think I have a simple moment. It’s the first touch that I have of the day, after rushing big brother to preschool, and battling the bus to the hospital (thanks C section for the no driving). I scrub my hands and rub them down with antiseptic, then open the door to his little isolette. That first touch of his paper thin skin covered in fine down just grounds me, and I can breathe again. The world slows.

    • Be grateful for the timing…I delivered my third baby girl at 27 weeks, but the only time I got to hold her was to say good-bye, she would have turned 14 this July…if only she’d hung on for another three weeks… Treasure every moment, please x

      • I delivered our last child Valentine’s Day almost 22 years ago. He was 32 weeks and weighed a little over 2 pounds. He was in hospital for 6 weeks after I went home. You will manage. After your little one is home, then you will think how the heck did I manage. Our little premi boy turns 22 next year and is almost 6 ft and and absolute gem. Hang in there lovely. X

      • Sorry to hear that Sandra 🙁

    • Beautiful Claire, soak up every moment and know that each hour and day will get him stronger and one step closer to getting home. All the best at this really hard time x

  2. If you are looking for a good thriller/crime/murder novel for book club (too much? Is there a guide/rule around book club appropriate content?) then I cannot recommend The Killing Lessons by Saul Black enough. Could not put it down.

    This post comes as a timely reminder to just “sit” whilst in the middle of house renovations and the second half of the school year which comes complete with a moody 5yo and the impatience of waiting for baby number 2 to finish baking. All in good time.

  3. I love these moments.
    Light for me, I’ve been stopping, and looking up. These past few days I really looked at the shapes of the bare trees in Daylesford, so beautiful.
    Adorned isn’t automatically better, in trees, or people.

  4. Just love this post Beth ?

  5. So many severe frosts this winter so for me my moment to remember was actually going outside one morning to marvel at all its frosty sparkly wonder and being in awe of nature.

  6. Cuddling and giggling with my daughter (#2) on the couch. I can feel my heartbeat slow, my blood pressure lower and my heart squeeze pure love when I cuddle that kid. There is something about her that produces this effect on me. And I can feel every bit of it, both wonderful and a bit strange. My other daughter loves in an intense, fierce way so produces a different feeling in me. I hope the thread that binds us together, my girls and I, never goes away.

  7. Yes the light- that golden light!
    Stops me every time & I always wonder why isn’t everyone else stopping to gawk at how beautiful it is?!

    The sunrises here have been beautiful too the first lightness in the sky turning to pink and then edging all the clouds in golden sun for just a few short minutes before it rises further & the magic is gone hidden into the ordinary beauty of a regular day, is just gobsmackingly beautiful. I just stop & stare thinking how lucky I am to see it.

  8. July is my wedding anniversary, got married on a cold winter’s day threatening to snow and derail my wedding plans…it’s getting away to the countryside for mid year school holidays in a barn with an Aga stove to warm the place and cook, it’s the month one of my best friend’s died and when I smell my lemon daphne I feel they same…not too long until spring and sunshine.

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