These Suitcases

When the suitcase first came down from the top of the cupboard it brought with it the inevitable layer of Doha sand. Tiny specks of grit rest on anything that sits still for longer than a day. The clothes basket, the television screen, the lamp by the front door. You can feel it on your skin or as you slide on your shoes, afternoon make-up application provides an exfoliate to remind you of new surroundings.

The initial pack was the winter pack. One suitcase for me, one for them, and one for the bits of me and them that spilled over in the last minute. The lets take the extra egg slice from the Doha kitchen and transport it to the Australian kitchen. The magazines, presents, and the knife set G bought on a business trip to Houston. These were the suitcases filled with excitement and relief. As they made their way onto the baggage carousel it was all about the countdown being over, the beginning of the break, we were nearly on the plane.

There was then the suitcase to Granny’s house. Lots of tracky dacks for cold frosty mornings spent curled up on a couch in a big old house. The pillow pets came for the car ride, the Barbies, the games and the leftover food. They travelled in the back of van, making their way from coastal beach to inland river, through vineyards and alongside cattle and enormous gum trees, over bridges, eventually arriving at orange trees. These were the suitcases filled with family, baggage packed with nostalgia.

Then there was the single suitcase. Packed in a hurry with no need of an estimation of how many knickers, socks and jocks times four. It was solitary, just me. Perfume and moisturizer packed with new boots and a book. This was the suitcase filled with the usual ridiculous pipe dream of sleep ins and recouping, the suitcases that were again packed two days later with hangovers and hysterical giggles.

And now the Doha sand will be replaced by Queensland sea salt. A trip to the Ekka will mean a good pair of jeans, a clean shirt and comfortable shoes for show-bag browsing and cousin catch ups. A taste for bundy will be required, followed by an urge to hit the coast for fresh fish and chips. Bathers and board shorts mixed with sandcastles and the hint of summer on its way. These are the suitcases filled with the explanation of G. G’s parents, G’s cousins, G’s University, G’s heritage, G’s comfort with being shoeless and beachside.

As the final pack looms, and the suitcases sit only weeks away from hitting the top of the cupboard again, I’m reminded of the compartments of our life. Washed, folded, packed and zipped up ready for the next adventure.

Baggage I’m happy to claim.

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