Mothers make memories...
By Alex Willis | Digital Media Assistant
My Mum is an adventure goddess.
She can’t stop moving.
I can’t remember a time in my life when my mother didn’t leap (legitimately leap) at the opportunity to go for a bushwalk. Playing the role of caretaker to her own mother, seeing her last child through the HSC, going to 7am fitness training at North Head, working at the office and at home as a lawyer alongside nurturing her many girlfriends; you would assume she would crave a weekend of sitting on the couch, watching television and drinking wine. She may have her guilty pleasure – Channel Sevens ‘The 7 Year Switch’ (sorry Mum) but weekend lounging is in no way a regularity for my Mum.
If she’s watching television – she never watches mindlessly rather she uses the time to plan her next move. At the moment, her laptop screen flicks between pictures of her up and coming trip to Spain.
A typical Saturday in the life of my Mum begins with an early rise and walk with girlfriends. When I say walk, I mean hike, at times they reach over ten kilometres. She then drives to the other side of Sydney, does the shopping for our family and her mother, stopping off for a Greek coffee which she then takes to my yia-yia (Greek for grandma) for fortune reading - the coffee cup, my nan believes tells a lot about your future. She will then return home and catch up with my dad over another long walk (if she can convince him.) By night, she socialises with friends, lets her hair down and to my dismay, enjoys a good dance. See what I mean about the constant moving?
While I continue to utter and complain “there’s never enough time”, my Mum finds the time for everyone and everything.
So, as you can imagine, when Mother’s Day rolls around she typically asks for one thing.
That her three daughters go on a bushwalk.
When I was seven, I hated the idea. I would prefer to make her breakfast or make a card, always exaggerating her curly hair in the portrait. Bushwalks were boring. They were hard. I would huff and puff. I would complain. And for that Mum, I am sorry.
She knew despite my whining, I would secretly come to love it and she was right. As soon as I got to the magical Crater Cove on the Spit to Manly or the lookout at North Head – my mood changed. So much so, that my sisters and I would sprint all the way home. I always wondered why I felt so unfit on the way up, and so gloriously energetic on the way down. This rush of energy was my dopamine hit. This was freedom and euphoria, and I was so lucky to experience it from such a young age.
Now, at twenty years old – I crave these feelings.
My Mum taught me that nature could clear your mind, deepen your relationships, keep you fit and completely alter your mood. She has never been so right. I love the feeling, I now regularly swap breakfast with friends for a weekly walk and I am even beginning to add hiking into my overseas trips.
My love and thanks for our Mother's Day tradition don't just stem from the physical act of walking itself- but the little things you subconsciously get along the way. Memories of my Mum picking up special stones and leaves, spotting lizards and rare birds, swinging off tree vines, finding special caves and secret places shaped my avid curiosity - my need to ask questions and to discover. Accidently soaking my shoes while rocking hopping through puddles taught me to be resilient. Being told not to touch and take home starfish and other live creatures taught me to respect the environment.
These magic moments taught me to collect memories rather than ‘things
If you have young kids, I ask you to take them on a micro-adventure this Mother’s Day. Perhaps make it a tradition. At first, they will moan and groan, but in the long-term, they will develop an appreciation for nature and recognise the freedom you are rewarded with if you learn to explore.
There is no better place to spend time with your family.
Share the coastal trails with your daughter, mother, sister or friend this Mother's day.