We’re having just a quick taste of the high Australian-mainland summer temperatures as we head south. Friends have opened their homes, pools and hoses for us as we make quick stops in between the long drives that’ll take us to the southern part of Tasmania. From experience, we’ve learned that we don’t do well in the heat, and that’s been a driving (no pun intended) factor in heading back to Tasmania for the last couple of summers.

Swimming in the pool with Bronwyn, Leeton, NSW, January 2015
An overnight stop at a friend's in Leeton means we can beat the heat of the day with a swim before driving off in time to outrun the afternoon storm.

Playing on the trampoline, Melbourne, Victoria, January 2015
Brioni holds her sisters against the "wall" with a squirt-bottle. Later, the girls discovered the hose was a much more efficient weapon.

Aisha and Tali in the bath, Melbourne, Victoria, January 2015
Aisha shares a bath with our friend Tali. It's wonderful for the girls to have a catch-up after four months' separation punctuated only by Skype calls.

As we’re itinerant, we can modify our environment to make life more conducive to conscious-relating. If we’re spending energy simply trying to stay comfortable, there may not be much left over to deal with a child who is having their own issues.

Whenever we’ve had a spat of cranky days, I lead the girls in a conversation to analyse what isn’t working for us. I ask the girls to consider the factors that influence our energy levels, among them the basics such as sleep, food, exercise, environment, time spent with others and unmet desires.

(Actually, I’m the only one who exhibits dissatisfaction because of unmet desires or a longing to be elsewhere. Our children — with their natural ability to inhabit each moment fully — invest very little energy in an imaginary future because they’re so focused on the present.)

A couple years ago, we discovered that incessant hot weather directly leads to frayed nerves, general irritation and a less peaceful home-life. So I seek to deliberately escape it when possible, and I’m grateful for strategies and friends that minimise the heat for us along the way!

Rainclouds on the horizon, country NSW, January 2015
It's a blissful feeling to drive into the smell of rain with the sight of it sitting on the horizon.