Sometimes I feel like I never want to leave this place. Then there’s a three day power outage (complete with all associated challenges), and stopping myself from packing a bag and leaving immediately becomes a very real struggle. After three long, hot, hungry days minus an electricity supply last week, I was ready to board a fishing boat and paddle my way out of here, in search of some form of civilisation. The other option was to light a campfire to cook on in the middle of the living room, but the already excessive and unbearable heat in the jungalow living quarters was a sufficient deterrent.
In my last post I indicated that I had some meaningful thoughts to share about this jungle island we’ve called home for the last year. I did, I do – but the challenges of the last week have meant that some of the more positive feelings I had about being here have temporarily gone into hiding and the words I initially intended to write just aren’t flowing. Tomorrow we’re (hopefully) catching the seaplane out of here, to begin the multiple-legged journey back to Australia for Christmas. I should be packing and preparing this jungalow for our departure, but I’m distracted. I’ve been thinking about home. Sometimes I’m not sure where or what ‘home’ is anymore. Occasionally, during the course of conversation, one of us will refer to home, and the other has to enquire as to the location of the home they’re referring to. In 24 hours we’re leaving one place that we’ve come to call home, to fly across the ocean and then take a roadtrip to the first place I knew of as ‘home’. At the end of our long and potentially tiresome journey will be the welcoming embrace of the little farm where I grew up and all of the things that are so familiar to me. This is the place where I know every bump in the driveway. I know which tree gives the best views, and I know every good hiding spot. I know where you might find my name or my changing height measurements lightly penciled on the wall. Not a single metre of this property has been left unexplored. It’s peaceful and beautiful, a safe haven and so familiar. Without a doubt, it’s home.
The things is though, this little farm that I know so well is under contract. Soon it will belong to someone else. I may have just one week left to revisit all of the places that trigger special memories. It won’t be long before all the physical reminders of a childhood spent climbing trees, building rafts, and creating adventures in our backyard will be no longer mine to visit. One last chance to stand in the place where I married my best friend. One last chance to absorb the sites, sounds and smells that are so familiar, in an attempt to keep them in my memory forever.
Knowing that I may well be driving out of that driveway for the very last time in just a couple of weeks is an unbearable thought. Yet, I understand that it must be. Just a year ago we were packing up our own lives, putting our possessions into boxes and preparing to drive away from another place we’d come to call home. Driving away from our Buddy dog, and so many special friends. Always driving away.
I feel like I’m leaving pieces of my heart in a lot of places. In the past year, I’ve learned a lot about embracing changes. Big changes. Not to be afraid of it. Moving on. Starting new chapters. Letting go. I know there is another big change coming, but if I’m really honest, I don’t feel like I’ve learned enough to know how to navigate this particular change. It’s been coming for a while, but I still feel unprepared for it. I know it’s going to mean I’m confronted with a whole lot of feelings that I don’t particularly look forward to feeling. But change is necessary. It’s a part of life. I’ll be doing my best to breathe through it, roll with it, ride it out, let it go – whatever it takes! See you out the other side!