who and what is it that determines the merit of art ? isn’t it heART feeling love. he received a painting of whimsy by penny jones teapots and teddy bears clouds and puppy dogs. bec painted him a journey, a cosmic rainbow tale of meanderings and wanderings and stories yet to be lived. over a lemon and sugar pancake breakfast with present opening we turned our discussion to gender, to nature versus nurture to genes or culture. is it that he loves cars because he is a boy or because someone gives him thomas the tank engine stories hats and clothes? how preset are we? and no we haven’t figured it out yet. I think back to the girls running wild here , grubby urchins with one eye on the pantry and what they could score, another eye on regular market stalls on the back verandah to load up with cash. once I offered them a gold coin to hop in the freezing Belllingen river and they did. they climbed trees swung off ropes but never played with cars. they loved fairies and magic wands and drawing unicorns but never looked at bikes or trucks. there was phone calls from nanas and aunties and grandpas all to celebrate the magical mystical journey called ‘growing up’. off we went to mystery bay for a party picnic, we took the hommous, the teapot, salads vege sausages and pork. we lit a fire on the bank under the spotty gums and looked down onto the bay at ocean water clear and blue. waves splashed spray over the rocks, dogs kids frisbees,a cricket game all at sunday play. sunny and warm on the beach. a sharp wind where we were. two candles on a cupcake with a borage flower on top, elsie rose stayed snoozing under the picnic blanket and the bucket and spade went down to the beach to build castles by the sea. John fell asleep on the sand and Bec left to take her clothes off in the hall at Cobargo, life modelling they call it. and then when we were on our final cuppa and the day was almost done the whales arrived just off shore heading south. sliding their huge bodies with consummate ease thru the cold waters blowing out fountains of spray and dreaming. dreaming and singing their song of living within the depths of stars and tribes, of births and deaths of planetary changes. if we listen really hard we can hear them sing their song and now the song includes a verse of the day Kingston John turned two.