Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mosman Bay, seen through different lenses

Kenneth and Naomi took us on a walk around the Bay where they live. We walked on a trail that winds around beautiful homes and Baobab-looking trees and magnificent gardens until we ended up at a public salt water pool with a view of the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge across the bay. From a simply touristic point of view, it was a fantastic walk, with loads of colorful flowers and a gentle breeze coming to us from the water, where we could see all types of boats swaying in the brilliant afternoon sun. As an American, it was interesting to have to move to the left (almost hit a few people when I moved to the right) so that those coming on the trail from the other direction could pass us.

But I don't know that any of our group perceived many of the same things on our walk. Each of our walks was colored by our own lenses, by what we brought to the trail. For Jesse, it was his vivid imagination, as influenced lately by the many Calvin a
nd Hobbes books he's been reading. He brought his small but fearless dog Rusty and had a running commentary about Rusty's amazing Hobbes-like feats, almost the entire hour and a half. Where I would see a cool view of Kenneth and Naomi's apartment from across the Bay (they are all the way to the right, right above the water)

Jesse, looking in the same direc
tion, saw a hole in a wall that meant a great spying opportunity for Rusty.

Gillen, always looking for a bird or a fish, found both. He got to watch a man pulling in a Leather Jacket fish from the Bay.

Kenneth and Naomi, the parents o
f my three month old niece Zoe, brought all of their conscious parenting to the trail. I carried my babies all the time, slept with them, nursed on demand and was a radical mom for it - ten years ago. These guys represent the pinnacle of attachment parenting. They are even practicing elimination communication, which means that (like 85% of moms in the world as it turns out - I just don't speak their languages) they usually don't put Zoe in a diaper. They follow her cues and are teaching her sounds to help in the communication, and are able to place her over a pot in order to let her go. It works. They make a sound when they want her to release and they have her in a comfortable position and she does it. Truly! An interesting thing happened on the trail today, accompanied as they were by a ten year old boy. Gillen made a typical ten year old raspberry sound that sounded a lot like the sound to tell her to release. Luckily, her papa was already getting her out of mama's baby bjorn and letting her pee when... she also pooped (maybe because of Gillen's sound) just as many strollers and joggers were passing by. It was pretty funny. I am really impressed by their commitment, and by Zoe. She is a very happy babe. Yes, this is great for the environment and she is free of all of the discomfort that occurs with diapers, but the greatest part is that her parents have to pay attention to her, in a very committed, consistent, conscious way, in order to pick up her cues. They get instant feedback if they aren't paying attention. Kenneth and Naomi love this Australian web site about this subject. Move your lens elsewhere if this freaks you out. To each his own path.

I tried to take a picture of a Lorikeet but couldn't get in close enough. I need to bring more of a telephoto lens to my path once I get one.

It's 11:05pm here. Time to sleep before our first big adventure - kayaking. Back home, the sun is rising.



Jessica said...

How great to follow you on the trip! I feel like a stow away :)

Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful pictures...the scenery....the baby....all of it!

Love, Jessica

Danielle said...

Ahhhh, you're in love. ;)

Madeline said...

I'm glad that you're glad jessica, as i can't resist posting here. I want to remember all of it. I wish that I could send home some of the warmth.

Yes, Danielle, I am in Zoe love. : )

Sara said...

Someone told me once about living in China where the parents taught their babies to whistle, and then took them outside to "go". It's amazing what can be taught to the littliest ones.

Enjoy your trip!