One often says of oneself as a child, this is where I grew up. But to me, at least, one doesn’t realise that one has grown up until one leaves that place and returns.
Yes I grew up in Canowindra (New South Wales)
. I grew up too in Kiama (New South Wales
). And then Canberra and Brisbane (although I will never make it as a Queenslander!). And now that I have returned to Sydney that I realised I had grown up some more in Melbourne. And for that much like Mary Queen of Scots feels towards Calais I will be forever grateful. For Melbourne will be forever in my heart.
That’s not to say I have lessons to be learned. I’ve learnt about the love and honesty (sometimes searingly so) of family and the support whether near or far of friends. I’ve learnt about friendship found false and true. I’ve learnt more about my own heart. I’ve learnt about resilience and faith. I’ve learnt how true it is that the universe both conspires to hinder you at every turn and consummate your hidden wishes once you turn towards it.
The last year or so has been difficult, financially, career wise, mentally and spiritually. Yet in the midst of those not so good times there was joy to be found, comfort within myself and people around me ultimately leading to a path of hope. The secret for me at least was to find out what was most important to me and step by step (in fact fingernail hold by fingernail hold) move towards it everyday. And in doing so, I had to be prepared to lose everything to gain that hope. For faith isn’t mere belief or suspended disbelief: it’s progress towards an unseen goal with absolute certainty that it’s the correct course with absolutely no certainty that it will happen.
But in the past four or so weeks I’ve seen my close family again, changed jobs, moved house, gained a glimpse of a new direction professionally and continued a current direction personally. But I still have much to learn and still so far to journey.
Joy is such a bastard
You never know it’s there
Till it sneaks up on you
And clouts you unawares.
Go and ignore the bastard
Bloody well tell it to go away
Too bad now you noticed
It will settle in and stay
I’ve just returned from an overseas wedding in Sri Lanka.
It was nothing short of extraordinary.
The venue was beautiful. A seaside hotel (Chayya Tranz Hikkaduwa) with the couple marrying on the beach at sunset.
The ceremony was heartfelt. Two people I know well were taking the greatest step in their lives with open eyes and united hearts.
The reception was unforgettable. It melded tradition and culture in a thoughtful and touching way. There was a candle lighting ceremony, mesmerising entertainment and spectacular fireworks. The food and wine were sublime.
The guests too were an international menu. People from Pakistan, China, France, England, Belgium, Canada, Norway, Australia, etc, etc and Sri Lanka itself gathered together to celebrate this marriage.
And then I saw this. Right in front of me, I could see that from the thread of different races, cultures and religions, a new cloth was being woven through the love of a couple, their families and friends.
New friendships were being made and old ones revitalised regardless of race, culture or religion.
And for someone more conscious of a world riven by conflict and sadness, that gave me hope.