Showing posts with label home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home. Show all posts

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Places to call home


I was looking forward to our planned road trip; a mere 1400 km across the desolate, wind-swept, outback plains of Australia, dotted with the crumbling remains of dwellings long ago resigned to their slow, silent end; tin-roofed farm buildings, only fully alive when beating to the rhythm of the passing, oft-longed-for raindrops, and piles of rarely used or abandoned farm machinery - which, it was hard to tell.

We slowed occasionally to watch as the cows, straddling the main highway and unaware of their priority status, crossed in front of us to paddocks more desirable, unconcerned about timelines, variable property prices, drought-affected incomes or our need to 'just be there'.

Changing speed limits marked our entry and exit to the small, and getting smaller, towns; one of which I used to call home. It was hot, too...but that, opening the car door from our air-conditioned comfort and stepping into a veritable furnace, we expected.

What I had forgotten, and what struck me the most, was the straight lines. We had become used to the contours of our French mountains, cursed them occasionally as we struggled up and down them on our bikes or returning on foot from the village with our laden shopping baskets. But, happy to post photo after photo of soaring, beautiful peaks. Out here, it was achingly limitless, flat and open; nature and time disappearing into the horizon.
It was all coming back to me, how, divorced from the distractions of city living, I used to feel. If I was lucky, being there, in the Australian outback, brought with it a calmness, a sense of peace. But, that sentiment floated, as it always had, dangerously close to a darker push and pull - attraction and dissatisfaction. If I had had the choice would I have loved the land, happily lived the entwined lifestyle of land and farmer, oblivious to the bigger world out there?  Or, would I have known that, despite sincerely wishing that it was, that it would never have been enough?
I suspect that I know the answer. And, it probably has little to do with any one particular place. That push and pull has become more vigorous, determined to keep shaking me out of my now and onto my next destination.