Friday, May 25, 2012

Finding 'home'

Yesterday, as we played in the sand, my youngest looked up at me quizzically and asked “Do we live in Australia or America? I can’t remember.”

I understand his confusion. Our lives are shaped by this tension, the sense of not quite belonging, of not being sure what ‘home’ means anymore.  Are we Australian or American? Officially we are both even if our hearts are not always so certain. We still talk about flying ‘home’, yet in many ways we are very much at home right here.

Arriving at SFO to fly 'home'
Each Saturday we head to the farmer's market where we buy popcorn and have brunch at our favourite cafe. On the way we listen to the sublime This American Life and often find ourselves lingering in the car on arrival as we wait for the story to end. At the cafe we order nutella crepes and mango smoothies and vanilla latte freezes. On the days when the dog comes we sit outside and complain that there is either too much or too little sun. 

On Sundays I do my best to sneak out early and grab a New York Times. The Sunday edition is the equivalent of the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald, with magazines and book reviews and op eds galore. In the afternoon we head to Pho, just like we used to on a Saturday afternoon in Sydney. 

It is like our Australian weekend in reverse except for all the people that are missing. And that is the hardest part, the one aspect of our life here for which there is no fix. So unless teleporting becomes a reality, or somebody invents those stairs to Australia, I will continual to feel I have arrived 'home' each time the wheels first touch the runway at either end of that long flight between Sydney and San Francisco.



7 comments:

geekymummy said...

Great post. How lovely really to have two such amazing parts of the world to call home though. I can relate to the experience of always being homesick for te place you are not.

mamabook said...

That is exactly it isn't it. I know that we have moved back to Australia tomorrow I would have reverse homesickness for a bit. And yes, both places are amazing in their own right and that definitely makes us v lucky people.

kim at allconsuming said...

I think this is when someone is meant to say something erudite like, 'just BE in the moment,' but people who say that sort of thing make me mildly homicidal so it ain't going to come from me.

In the school break between 1989 and 1990 I went on a school trip to Italy (shut up, I paid for it with money I'd earned working as a check-out chick at Kmart and some money in a term deposit). I have never ever felt more at home somewhere than I did when I was there. And I've never managed to get back there. 22 years and counting.

Sarah said...

I wonder whether you've just given me a glimpse into my future as I am about to embark on an expat journey with my family. At the moment I am feeling a mix of nostalgia for what we're leaving behind and excitement at the opportunity and adventure ahead. I suppose you could say it's the best of both worlds, having two wonderful places to call home, but you still have that wistful longing there too. I'm sure it will shift with time, perhaps in the opposite direction!

mamabook said...

Thank you for not saying something erudite. Funny is so much better ;-) God I hope you get back to Italy somehow. I have no idea how and will also spare you by not saying something about chance and fate and journeys not destinations. Wish I could just send you a plane ticket instead.
Michelle x

mamabook said...

Ah Sarah, I think you will experience the whole bag of mixed emotions. But this is a whole new place for you and in that way it might be a bit different. New is incredibly exciting. Not that there aren't new things for us to explore here but it is also very familiar territory - not that that is a bad thing because in many ways it is v helpful.

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