We are a whirlwind. - The Magic Onions

We are a whirlwind.

This is one of my favorite family photographs. It was taken on our last trip to South Africa for Christmas 2007. In the photo we are at the seaside town of Kromme, where I spent most of my childhood summers. Teddy was 7 months old… Kitty turned 4 when we were there. I remember this day so well. We packed up the boat with all manner of goodies for a picnic. My mom drove our boat down the Kromme River to the very end and we alighted onto this grassy bank. The water was cool and still and almost fresh, so different from higher up where our house is and it is salty and fast flowing. We built a fire and toasted apricot jam and cream cheese sandwiches over the coals and then marsh mallows of course. As you can see, we spread our blanket and, in no time at all, our belongings were strewn all over the place and it looked like a tornado had hit this little forgotten wilderness. This is why I love this photo so much… this is us. We are like a tornado! We can’t help it… we swoosh in, turn everything upside down, have a grand time and then swoosh out. Leaving is always such hard work… we have strewn everything around us and, when it’s time to go, we have to gather everything up. We are always in a rush as we’ve spent too long having fun and our belongings are usually gathered up into a heap, a pile of everything… nothing goes neatly into its right place, it all gets jumbled together. This is what my house looks like at the end of the day, every day! Every few months, A Good Man and I decide to change our ways. We declare what a disadvantage it is to our children to allow them to be messy. We avow to become models of the neat people we wish them to be. We do well, for a day or two. We put stuff back into it’s place as soon as we are done with it. We tidy up as we go but, alas, it is torture and we soon fall back into our old, messy patterns. Now, let it be known that I don’t like living in mess… oh, no… I grew up in South Africa with a full time house keeper who kept our house spotless and that’s the way I like it. Alas, I just can’t seem to affect it. My saving grace is Illianna, my darling-beloved cleaner who come every Thursday. She cleans and tidies and straightens. She puts things back into their proper places, she comes into our whirlwind and leaves it a temple of calm. I love her.

So, back to that photo… have I told you that we are traveling to South Africa for Christmas this year? I am so very excited. The 38 hour journey not withstanding, I can’t wait. And, I’ll tell you what… we are all going to pack back into that little boat, travel down the Kromme River to this exact spot and settle our sweet whirlwind on the grassy bank for a picnic. What fun!

Blessings and magic,

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Donni Webber is the mom behind the popular natural living Waldorf website and blog, The Magic Onions - where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift. She is a photographer, writer, crafter, wife and mother of two inspiring young children. Her work has been featured in many popular publications, including HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, Disney and Apartment Therapy.

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  1. safe travels. please keep blogging when you get here …

  2. Congratulations on your trip!!!

    We too are messy. We too declare ‘no more!’ then something happens (or I have another baby) and we are back to where we started. Jumbled loved home.

    I’ve decided that its a passing (decade long?) phase. When we are all older it will be different!

  3. I didn’t know that you were from South africa too :o)
    I know what you mean about the mess thing, no matter how many charts we make, good intentions we have, we live in a state of chaos. I am learning to accept it but still dream of a cleaner :o)
    We are hoping to go back to SA next year too. It has been almost 6 years since we have been back! wow time flies.
    lovely post x

  4. beautiful family and aspirations:) xoxo

  5. I’m excited for you and your family! Your travel plans for this Christmas sound very exciting.

  6. I love this post – I think that it is really beautiful.

  7. It cannot have effect in actual fact, that is what I think.

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