Sunday, 22 June 2014

25: Samantha

Portraits - the Motherhood series. 

Aurora. The beautiful latin word for dawn. The unmistakable signal of promise. Hope. 

Sammy grew up in Glasgow, Scotland. She hails from an impressive lineage of intrepid women that undoubtedly shaped the woman she has become. Her “Nana in Glasgow” raised four daughters with her husband away at sea, serving in the second world war. Her own mother’s independent nature has been hugely influential. Instilling a sense of seeing the positive in every situation, that the opportunities and challenges in life are to be met with purpose and courage.

After independently migrating to Australia from the UK, Sammy met her English partner Mike through mutual friends in Sydney nine years ago. Together they share an adventurous spirit. Both are most at home by the sea or in the mountains. After two years together they decided to put themselves and their relationship to the test by attempting to sail across the Pacific. They bought a 41 foot sailing boat in Panama and sailed double handed from Central America to Australia. A journey that relied on inner fortitude as well as the strength of their partnership. In return they share some incredible memories. They visited some of the most remote and uninhabited idyllic islands in the world and witnessed countless natural wonders. Then there was the time they narrowly avoided catastrophe. Their mast snapping 10ft above deck which brought the rigging crashing down into the sea. When they finally sailed into the heads of Sydney harbour some fifteen months after leaving Panama, on a glorious winters day with humpback whales breaching as if heralding their return, the elation and pride was palpable.

In their journey to start a family, Mike and Sammy have been through alot. Last year, Sammy birthed their firstborn at just twenty weeks due to complications with the pregnancy. In her own words -

"I held Holly in my arms for a few very precious hours. She was so tiny but was so perfectly formed and so very beautiful. It was truly amazing. I can’t describe the love I felt and still do for her. I won’t get to see her grow up or “mother” her in the way that mothers celebrate motherhood but I celebrate it in my own way. I am a mother to a beautiful little girl called Holly. I feel so very lucky to have had Holly and to experience even for a short period of time, the utmost joy...  I have to thank my wonderful Mum and grandmother for all their insights to life with it's joys and tribulations. It’s kept me positive through this whole experience and has also given me hope. "

To me, it's imperative that this portrait project honours all of the collective experiences of motherhood.  Each is unique, special, brave and important. This week I am especially honoured and grateful to Sammy for trusting me with sharing hers.

You can view all of my portraits from 2013/14 by clicking on the Portrait Series links in the right sidebar of this page. In case you're wondering about the inspiration for this year's Motherhood portrait series, you can read more about it here.

Belinda x


  1. Thanks Belinda, and Sammy for sharing your motherhood story xx
    Plus what an amazing adventure at sea!

  2. What a great inspirational story...thanks for sharing your lovely friend with us all. Xxx

  3. Lucky Holly, to have a mum with such an adventurous and loving spirit. All the best to you Sammyx


Thanks for your comment, so nice to hear from you. Belinda x

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