Where’s home for you?

If you’re new in town, the question is inevitable. Whether it’s just a conversation starter or a need to ‘place’ each other, we’re often trying to find the familiar ground. I was asked this morning, and I did the same thing I always do. Every time. I hesitate for a moment as I picture my small country town. There’s a house with a willow tree and fish pond outside, my Grandparents are next door, I have Aunties and Uncles up and down the street, my father is standing with a golf club hitting plastic golfballs over the front lawn. And then I realize none of those people are there anymore. And I am no longer 10.

Another house will quickly appear, the one I was married in, the one my parents still live in, the one with the bunks bed, play equipment and sandpit for the Little Travelers. The one where we get a bit excited and have too much to drink and say all the wrong things. I don’t want to say that one though, because no one will know where it is and then I’ll have to have a long drawn out conversation about the Barossa Valley being just up the road, but it’s not. Unless you’re 45,000 miles from home, then it’s just up the road.

So I’ll think about boarding school, old historical buildings, girls with big maroon bows in their hair and gingham dresses with knee high socks. Midnight feasts, swimming caps in pools and powder fights. I can’t say I’m from Adelaide though. I’m from the country, I’m not really FROM Adelaide.

“I’m South Australian” I’ll say, and then quickly “my husbands from Queensland,” because I know they’ll be happy with Queensland. They’re always happy with Queensland.

Do people become metaphors for the land they inhabit? I’ve heard friends use the expression “oh she’s soooooo Sydney” and I’m sure it had nothing to do with having an arse the size of the Opera House.

Does your personality match the landscape around you?

Over the past ten years, my landscape has provided what I often refer to as a bad case of Geographical Schizophrenia.  I’ve been surrounded by mosques and churches, Shopping malls and Souks, beach and desert. The landscape has initially confused me. How can it be blue skies and minus 42? Do people really live in 55 degree heat? Then one day, you find yourself giving directions, the landmarks become familiar and comforting and out of nowhere you realize you’ve just referred to it as ‘home’.

I read something today about Spiritual Geography (don’t panic I’m not surrounded by crystals and lentils, looking for a spiritual forum for us all to connect…it was part of a writing workshop) but it did get me thinking about mine. I thought about the house with the willow tree and the fish pond. Is it possible that I am a living cliche. “You can take a girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl”.

Where’s home for me?

It’s where I am right now, but it’s also where I’ve been before here. I can see Houston, Calgary, Tripoli, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. I picture their kitchens, putting children to bed, leaving the office. Even though one had monkeys in the garbage bin and the other had three inches of snow. They all had one thing in common. They were all home.

I think home might be wherever I want it to be.

Where’s home for you?

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