No personal memories have I
only the memory of my son loving watching your games
He knows all your stats
and history as young Aussie cricketers tend to do.
On the day you passed the storms came suddenly
and hailstone the size of cricket balls
fell in the city that we lived.
I waited for my family to return
safely from abandoned cricket training
and mourned for your mother, father, brother and sister.
My memory of hospital waiting rooms
and intensive care still vivid after all these years.
My brother who loved sport
spent years in recovery
from head injuries
went from wheel chair to walking
from no speech to talking
I could sense what might lie ahead for your family
but your’s was a different fate.
The tributes for you flow
from cricketers the world over
young and old
England to India captains to team…
For the last three years my youngest has dreamed of playing cricket in a team.
He wants to play for Australia if he can.
Every dream has to start somewhere.
He has begun his in the back yard playing against his much older brother.
He has begun it by studying how players make their movements on the television.
He has learnt the history, the stats, and become an ardent watcher of the cricket.
He went to training when his dad was preparing for the rainforest cup. He has had numerous family play cricket with him and attended a game in Tasmania.
In the meantime he has played tennis, basketball and worked on his ball skills.
He has played school competitions, but all the time longing for a local cricket competition with a team he can join.
Now finally he can be part of his team sport. A junior competition has been reestablished in Tully, and dedicated coaches and parents are striving to make it happen.
The spirit of the game is the most important thing, and I loved the first week. Most importantly the children have a chance to work on their skills, sportsmanship and working towards a bigger dream if they wish.
His enthusiasm has so enriched the family that his older brother, who began playing cricket to train his younger brother for his big dream, is even thinking of joining c grade cricket for the comradeship and perhaps playing home games and mostly going to training.
There are more dreams in my family, and with every dream you begin with those first steps.
Last week we all cheered on my dear son, and all the children living their love of a great game. Dad helped take the score, and somehow I ended up becoming the teams photographer. One person’s dream ripples out into the lives of others.
Here are some stills from the short films I am working on for a friend’s website. They have an experimental element to them as requested by the producer/dancer Danielle.
Danielle danced with a lot of emotion and had a story she wanted to express. I am enjoying the collaborative process and looking forward to showing it to her when I have the initial edit to a stage where it’s watchable.
So much to do at present, and each day lately for a week has been spent working on video editing, planning to make a documentary for the Tablelands Folk Festival for the organisers (looking forward to this as we will attend the festival as well, lots of music and culture to enjoy!), and preparing for a launch for the After Yasi book as well as co-ordinating family life.
We had a cricket cup in our area recently that my dear husband was in, the Rainforest Cup, met some amazing people at it and the team he was in won the whole competition. Five games in two days. But the best thing about it was the sense of sportsmanship. I will blog on it at some point if I get the chance. The tournament will be featured on SBS Television, in a couple of weeks.
The best thing lately is that I have been learning to FINISH things, something I have tackled on my blogs and social media at various points. I am very good at starting lots of things, but have suffered from not finishing them off. In the process of learning to finish sometimes I have had to temporarily give some things up, like blogging.
Hope everyone is well, and enjoying their lives, blogging, creativity. And thanks to people who post encouraging things here or in social media spaces whilst I am busy at work at the computer. I often have a read and smile and keep going with work.
Family Rituals is the next theme for ABC Open’s 500 Words. Thinking of summer coming up and family – I couldn’t help but think and write of our many games of cricket!
What are your family rituals?
The lawn’s mowed to resemble the perfect cricket green of our imagination.
Reality. We gather stumps, make shift – they might be a bin, or plastic wickets, or even more up market free standing metal ones.
Next each family member is called, usually loudly and persuasively by youngest, whose life calling is in this ritual.
It’s late afternoon, he knows better than to try in the midst of Queensland heat.
Hats on, sunscreen even for the late hour, and out we go.
‘Who’ll bat first?’
Not their Dad, he’ll slog it too much and make us run all over, although he also bats deliberate catches when he’s had enough allotted time at the crease and needs to quench his thirst.
Eldest loves to bowl. He’s even filmed his brother and his own bowling actions so both can improve. He will bowl fast and hard, because he’s training youngest. No easy balls from him.
I picture the Waugh brothers putting each other through their paces.
It can be serious stuff this backyard cricket.
Fielders into position, youngest into bat. Eldest bowls. No mercy, but youngest is gaining talent day by day, and he can bat when the going is tough, later he will have a great day batting at the super eights in primary. ‘Thanks big bro,’ he will say.
Mum (that’s me) positioned with camera for a capture of this classic ritual but ready to set it down for a catch, maybe.
Then it’s Dad batting against bowling eldest son, and there’s a true battle on. He’s determined to have his Dad out.
‘Give it your best son!’
It’s on for young and old.
Youngest children are spectators now and I am sole fielder.
Hubby slogs it, grins – and eldest paces back, Lillee like, to his run up. The ritual is repeated. Each child has a bowl to him, but it’s a field day. One day they’ll have him out!
Daughter varies, sometimes she’s in for the game and other times she’s doing something more interesting in the garden, like filling a bucket with water, what’s she up to, the mind boggles.
Now she’s called to attention, ‘grab that ball.’
Little Athletics was short lived for her; she just liked playing in the long jump/ sand/ pit too much.
There’s variations on this ritual – now we head of to the beach, and the scene is played out again, but this time there’s soft sand, ocean and people walking their dogs, who sometimes like to field.
At times there’s additional family members on visits, after long absences from grandchildren’s lives.
Again I am poised with camera, until called to the crease, to enjoy slogging the ball, and having my kids dart, crab like, everywhere on the sand.
Poppy’s into it, enjoying building the drama. He keeps spare tennis balls in his shirt pocket, for when others end up out too far in the ocean.
Daughter is not left out; she takes to the crease, and does her best. Poppy’s a gentle bowler. Now she’s also keen to bowl. She’s working to perfect her technique.
Now she’s attempting fielding, but not for long, soon the bucket is being filled with goodies to make into art when she arrives home.
For a moment we play heroes like Watson, Ponting, O’Donnell, Lillee and Marsh. We are beyond the backyard, beyond cricket hero boundary times– and on perfect cricket greens.
Today’s theme the wonders of the great game – cricket!
We were blessed to take my youngest to a Pakistan versus Australia game where Ricky Ponting scored 209. We were on a trip to Tassie to see my parents and youngest who is a cricket fanatic worked out there was a game in Hobart and he just had to be there. Tickets were secured, not to mention baracking gear.
Living far from the capital cities where the games regularly occur is one of the sacrifices of living in the country, although locally it is also a common pastime for country people, along with golf, tennis – and fishing.
So there we were at Bellerive Oval – Hobert, grandad, bubu (PNG for Grandparent), me the kids, David and their Uncle Paul watching the cricket and youngest was in HEAVEN.
Youngest is about to be of the age where he can join a team. So far he plays regularly in the back yard and ropes us all into train him up. He has already played for his primary school team and is quite handy with the bat although he can’t join the town team until he is ten.
If you follow my blog you’ll know that cricket played a role in our coping with Cyclone Yasi.
The Australia versus England the sixth one day International was on and the cricket fanatics of the family were keenly following it. It kept youngest occupied to think about how Australia was doing and was as important as details from the BOM site that my hubby’s brother was giving him once our power had gone out.
This was the story we shared with Damien Martyn when he came to the Bounce Back Concert in Tully. He was very kind to youngest and signed his shirt and hat. He listened to our story with interest. He even tweeted the photograph of the two of them together, which was rather sweet.
Ah the wonders of cricket not to mention caring cricketers!