Here in Gooseland it is a beautiful Winter’s day. The sun has warmth in it and the bulbs are beginning to flower, the first bunch is perfuming the house, along with the huge basket of apples bought as tip-bits for the goose flock and deemed by some in the family ‘too good for geese’. The geese believe otherwise and are queuing up by the gate where they come several times a day for hand-outs, food scraps, the tops from celery, vegetable peelings, the scapings from cat saucers and anything else edible. Now that the dam is filling it is that time of year when ganders begin to hiss, jockey for position as top gander and the geese begin to think about nest-building. For this they need fresh straw by the baleful and get broody spells just looking at the fresh bales after they are delivered.
Other birds have already nested – the Australian Ravens built their big, untidy nest of sticks long ago in order for their offspring to catch the best of the Spring feed. They sit steadfastly throughout the Winter weather, gales, hurricanes and storms don’t bother them. I once lived in a two-storied beach house with a large gum tree outside the windows. The Ravens nested on a level with the windows and it was fascinating to watch them going about their lives. The roughest of storms saw the tree shaking and battered, but the Ravens sat tight, never giving up or moving from their task. It was a wonderful lesson in life and yet another to be learned from being a student of animal and bird behaviour.
I am a great fan of Gene Stratton Porter, that wonderful American writer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Stratton-Porter) who was an early environmentalist, advocate for women’s rights and fighter against injustice, stigma and prejudice. That she lived the life she did at the end of the 19th Century and into the 20th and achieved the things she did was truly remarkable. She was beloved of my agrandfather and I have his copy of my favourite, ‘The Harvester’, signed with his name in the front, read by him, read by me and now read by my Daughter. A span of over 100 years ain’t bad! If I had to choose one book only to take to a desert island it would be this one. It has everything – beautiful writing, the triumph of good over evil, optimism, the achievement of goals against the odds and a big dollop of romance, dreams, hopes and life lessons. It beats any chicklit, self-improvement, fiction or any other category, hands over fist.
I am currently reading ‘A Daughter of the Land’ for the first time, an excellent example of the empowerment of women, of fortitude and determination,the injustices women suffered simply by being born female and how they could be overcome. It’s great reading and hard to put down. A simple story with a predictable outcome, but beautifully told as a morality tale in which a young woman overcomes all to achieve her goals. The clothes and hats are good too! Available on your Kindle for next to nothing.(http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Stratton-Porter-Collection-Illustrated-ebook/dp/B002EZZG30)
A mother says – However it happens…. the wound is there and the respect isn’t. We have to hold each other up. We have to be there for each other – mothers for mothers, mothers for adoptees, adoptees for adoptees. Eventually we’ll get there. Eventually people will understand more. Thanks to my dear friend for putting herself out there and letting people see the turmoil and raw emotion of what being an adoptee is like from her experience. It’s only through the telling of these experiences that we can gain the understanding and eventually the respect of others
So many mothers and daughters, fathers and sons are working hard to ‘get there’, to promote understanding, to ensure that there is no mistaking that adoption is traumatic, complex, difficult and life-long. Every day the myths about beautiful adoption are challenged, the single-sided stories retold and adoption reshaped into something that looks more real, more about truth. The lies, deceits and avoidances are harder to side-step, to maintain and to pretend are the reality of adoption. ‘Real’ adoption is not pretty, beautiful, covered in pink bows and accompanied by unicorns in a Disney sham event. It is life, real life for adoptees, hard life with loss and trauma at it’s beginning and the effects of those things accompanying adoptees all their days. How often we are told about happy, grateful adoptees who never talk about their adoption, never ask about it and the concept of the happy grateful adoptee is used as a stick to beat all of us who do not conform to the idea of how we should be, those of us who won’t play the game, who won’t shut up and sit down. The adopted life has many stages, today’s happy, grateful adoptee may be tomorrow’s activist – let’s hope so!