Sunday, 18 March 2007

Coming Clean

I really don’t know what to say…

It looks like there is a very strong possibility that we will be going back to Australia, in the not so distant future. There are various reasons for this sudden turn of events, and I have been in full-on contemplation mode about these reasons, over the past three or so weeks.

Ashley arrived home from Nigeria Friday night; the distance between him and the office spurring his desire to break free, even more. I don’t know what is going to happen. I don’t know when it is going to happen and I sure as hell don’t know what we are going to do in Australia, if and when we do make it across those fair waters, toward the southern hemisphere – to the land of sweeping plains.

We have considered the logistics of the second gigantic move of our lives, and all the important factors. Like, what are we going to do with ourselves? Where, in that vast country, are we going to live? Do we go back to where we sprang from or somewhere new?

It is funny; I have been scanning the Aussie real estate sites, trying to gather inspiration as to where we might live. For some reason I was looking at Katoomba, in the beautiful Blue Mountains of New South Wales – it is a place I have never been, but have always wanted to visit.

There was a photograph of a house on this particular website – I can’t remember whether it was even desirable, but it was in a lovely bush setting in the mountains. One of the photos within the collection showcasing this property contained a visual of a dirt track, with eucalyptus bush land leering and looming in around it like a guard of honour. For a brief moment I was transported. I could hear my feet crunching along that gritty track. I could feel the warm sun on my back and a gentle breeze swirling playfully in my hair. I could hear the sound of kookaburras laughing and magpies warbling, and I saw a cluster of tiny brown birds dart across me, from my right. The sky was the colour of blue topaz, with shaggy wisps of white cloud scattered haphazardly across the expansive oblivion. I could even smell a familiar suffocating mixture of powdered earth and dry gums leaves; a mixture that stirs from even the lightest trampling of feet.

It was staggering at how familiar this scene was to me; how real it seemed in that moment- like I was there. It was like the landscape; the bush; the gums; the bird calls of my native land, were exuding from the very marrow of my bones.

But despite these feelings, this strange comfort and familiarity, I also had a feeling that it was beyond me, and unexpected.

I don’t think I can articulate this very well, but it was kind of like…..well, I kind of got this message that was reassuring me that this land was not going any place and for me to enjoy my time in BC for a little while longer. Perhaps it was telling me to say my goodbyes to BC, to take her in; notice her gifts and special attributes; be present; breathe her into my bones and into my heart, to that place where I can never forget her.

I have no entitlements in Canada, unlike Australia, where I was born and bred. Canada owes me nothing, nor do I don’t expect her to, and so I am acutely aware that I will never again have the opportunity to get to know her like I have over the past two years. I guess in a way, I am already experiencing the inevitable separation, and a budding of loss. I guess, when the time comes, it will be easier to say goodbye.

12 comments:

scribbit said...

What an international person you are. I'd love to go to Australia.

Miscellaneous-Mum said...

GOD F*%## it. Just did a mega post and it ate it on me.

I'll hav eto get back to you, because it's a subject I feel with you on

shishyboo said...

exciting things are afoot! what sort of industry does your husband work in? (sorry if that is too personal a question... WA is great for mining, oil and gas opportunities but property prices are scary, both buying and rental)

Susan Abraham said...

I was born in Malaysia, Strauss, but knew from when I was tiny that someday I would travel and explore life.
I came home for a little while but always ready to go again.
Malaysia, I see as my motherheart - but I have grown so much away from it in my evolvement as an individual and then found after much moving about that I was happiest in Europe, surrounded by a serious history, literature & culture. And that England was very much my spiritual home where I am in my element and can flourish as a writer. So I'm planning to go back again, this time to learn and grow and make as many friends as I can.
I remember VS Naipaul the novelist who felt the same as me as on leaving the homeland, he too found it hard to come back because he had become a different person somewhere else.
But Strauss, you have your own dreams. Who knows? It will be exciting to see how it all unfolds for you. My favourite cities in Australia have to be Sydney & Melbourne. And they have beautiful, loving, friendly people. But I would choose the ocean parts.
What an exciting time of your lives Strauss...really! :-)

Muse said...

Life goes in cycles... If you had gone to CA knowing in advance that it would only be for three years, you would experience the beginning, middle and end of the jourey.

You have gone instead without that knowledge, but the cycle still plays out. We may not always acknowledge what are deepest selves know... but often we can sense the end of something long before it happens.

From a purely selfish point of view, I'd love to have you back in Oz. I also believe that when the timing is right, doors fly open, and all that is needed is to walk through them. Forcing things to happen never works out well.

Go with the flow and appreciate what you have seen and experienced as well as who you have become on this journey.

Jay said...

Well, at least a small part of Canada will miss you -

But, life changes are exciting, and there's no telling how many great things may await you somewhere new.

jeanie said...

But you don't have to rush anything do you?

I think the main thing is loving where you are - and lucky you possibly being able to contemplate from the other side of the globe where you might touch down...

Following shish here - what industry is your hubby likely to look at?

You could even have that whole sea change thing go on, new opportunities for you - how excitement (and a little bit scary)!

strauss said...

Scribbit - thanks, I have been to Alaska, to Denali. I spent 5 sun-filled summer days there a number of years ago - boy it really is beautiful in that part of the world.
Misc Mum - Don't you just hate that? I will look forward to your comment.
Sishyboo and Jeanie -Aircraft industry. We will be trying to keep away for the pricey housing markets.
Susan - You are always so articulate. These were the thoughts in the back of my mind - that we might not "fit" back there anymore. I even dreamt that I was back living in my childhood home, and I felt so empty.
Muse - if I had my time over I woudl without a second of doubt, do it all over agian. It has been a wonderful expereince, though not without its challenges, and we haven't left yet. There is no rush to leave, just thoughts and plans....
Jay - Thanks for your comment, yes change is exciting and I certainly do welcome it.

Miscellaneous-Mum said...

Ok, I'm back briefly.

I was going to say that I feel like you, and still live in AUS. It's that disassociation you get when your feet are planted in 2 different places. The only thing I do, and it seems you are as well, is make the very best of the place you're at in the moment.

Ironically, Katoomba is the place we would move to if we went back to NSW. It's close enough to Syd for work, and yet accessible to our families in the mid-west. Plus, its gorgeous. Plus, it's got a kickass writing centre.

strauss said...

Wow Misc Mum, I just checked that out - they sure do have a kick ass writing group, if I end up there or not, I might like to check that place out one day.

Kimberly said...

You can't leave! I haven't met you yet, demmit!

Well, that's my knee-jerk reaction, anyway. Having lived for years in a different country and then come home, I can't help but endorse the idea. =)

Kathleen said...

Wow. Well. I guess you knew this was coming. I know you will land on your feet and make the best of whatever happens...going home will be a joy, and I know you will relish/cherish your time in BC too. How exciting to have so many options at your fingertips! As an old biddie, I can be envious of that. :-)