Home Again


As I approached the town I felt the excitement build, it peaks as I drive over the last rise which reveals the little green church on the hill.  I was coming home again.

Driving the final 15km along the dirt road from the township to the homestead I was frightened by the intensity of emotion a place can evoke.  It was filling me up, overwhelming me.  My eyes prickled and my throat constricted to the point I thought I’d choke.  I told myself I was being a fool but it didn’t stop.

Many of the good times I’d experienced over my life happened here.

Being a youngster and cruising around the property with my packed lunch and younger brothers and cousins in tow, off for adventure.  Climbing hills, building cubby houses, roaming the dry dusty creek beds, exploring ruins and remnants of the past.

Letting my imagination run wild.

IMG_4862

Stockyards – where we played, using brooms for horses.

Woolshed

Woolshed

I’d piggy-back the younger boys when they got tired.  I tied hankies to their sleeves for when their noses ran and brushed them off when they fell down.

It was my escape when I was bullied at junior school.  Here I was not just accepted but welcomed.

It was a magical place and each time the holiday came to an end I hated to leave.  As we departed down their dusty driveway I dared not look back for fear the tears would escape and my brothers would laugh.

The driveway - it's a long walk to the letterbox

The driveway – it’s a long walk to the letterbox

As I got older it became more about the party – the pub night before rodeo, the rodeo itself and “the day after” recovery – back at the pub.  I was slightly older than most of the friends I made but it didn’t matter.  I was from the city and shouldn’t really have fitted in, yet I still did.  It wasn’t just the family connections – the people of this township are all good, decent, welcoming people who make you feel like you’re a part of it all.

The pub is now closed.  Many of the friends I made have moved away, building lives and families of their own.  I don’t fit so much anymore, much time has passed.  I haven’t changed but everything else has.  Time moved on, as is the way, but I really have not.

Thirsty Gum Tree

A lone gum, struggling

My cousin returned though, to the very house he grew up in – to raise his own family.

He and his lovely lady have made changes to the house, wonderful changes and the same warm, welcoming vibe continues.

Bathroom View

Bathroom View

I slept in the same room I did before.  A little boy now sleeps and wakes in the same room my cousin, his father, did.

The circle completes and I’m grateful to be still a part, however small, of this cycle.

For three days there was no mortgage, redundancy, or decisions to be made.  Instead I made another little boy laugh, I watched movies in the cool dark, I sat on the porch admiring the view, I marvelled at the number of stars scattered across the night sky and in the baking heat I roamed the familiar places, remembering.

Woolshed

Shearing Shed

Old Joe's House

Old Joe’s House

There is a piece of me stuck on that land and a piece of that land stuck on me.   It’s not just the dust I bought home on my shoes and my car, it’s part of who I am.

Clean Me

Clean Me

I wiped viciously at the renegade tear that slid slowly down my cheek as I drove down their dusty driveway, homeward bound.

Roadtrip

Homeward bound

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21 thoughts on “Home Again

  1. Mich, your writing is as powerful as your drawings. You made my eyes tear up (at work too, thanks). In a way, it reminded me a bit of home.
    Those are 2 very big talents you have there.

  2. George, I so agree with you, I too had tears (not at work though). Michelle, never apologise for making people feel emotion – it is a rare talent that can make someone who has never had the same experience feel your own emotion!!

  3. Wow!! What a brilliantly written memory! Makes me sad that my boys don’t have those same sort of memories of a such a beautiful place!!

  4. Thanks to you for our memories of the fun times we had when you kids came up on your holidays. I found out what it would be like when our boys reached your ages. I also learned a bit about girls ( as I was only blessed with 2 sons). I would like to think if I did have a daughter she would have been a gorgeous talented funny independent individual, just like her only female cousin (you). Love ya guts Honey!!! Xxxxx

  5. That renegade tear found its way into my eyes. Once again, I found myself living in the words that you have written…..incredibly beautiful. Thank you for sharing your past and your memories and I am so proud to call you my niece….xoxo

  6. Mich……..love your way with words.

    Happy to share some of those memories with you and your brother!

    I’m glad some of those who grew up in this magical area are able to remain, I just wish it could be sometimes. It’s more challenging for girls to be able to stay and create a life, with many ‘bush’ girls having to move away to pursue career opportunities, apart from agriculture.

    • I agree it’s harder for women wanting a career for sure. It’s a shame we couldn’t take careers to the country. Perhaps with the increase of location independent working strategies and technology improving all the time we may experience this in our lifetimes!

      I briefly considered buying the Carrieton Hotel – then got frightened by the thought that I might have to cook!

  7. I totally get it! How many times i’ve travelled that same route, finding comfort & kindness when i’ve needed it most. And the many times i’ve sat up all night laughing myself silly _ love it & thaks for sharing xxxx

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