it has been one week and one day since i travelled from up over to down under. my arrival this time round was quite different from some six years ago. this time the land isn’t so much foreign as is the girl (me) landing on it.
i’ve always believed that a person changes the moment she leaves a place. so too does the place she left. a person and her place are intertwined. she kisses the city and the city goes to bed with her.
“melbourne was made for you,” my british beauty tells me as we contemplate life over a sweet glass of chilean white wine. the taste of the wasabi dry beans we’re nibbling on spices the palette ever so. she smiles and i pause before i offer a reply.
“and oh how i have yearned for her!” i gleefully cry.
this dialogue of reminiscence and present pondering takes place on a tuesday evening, a school night. it is nice to be reunited with my book club ladies as we enjoy one of our jackie-o inspired socials of sipping wine, dinner discoveries and indulging in gelato from the spring street grocer. we radiantly laugh with each other as we remember our times spent together in the years past while we take stock of what fancy fulfilment lies in front of us. we’ve come along way from getting our yah-yah’s on yet grace darlings we still are, indeed.
and so here in strolling the grunge-filled laneways and imperfect footpaths of my beloved melbourne i now explore her graffiti tattoos and charming cafes differently. it is surreal to be back for it was this chapter in my life where i was the most real. call it jet lag, call it a diversion down memory lane off of the beaten yellow brick road. call it what you will because for me it is nothing but elated euphoria to be here. to be writing this fond sentiment right now.
“it will take time to adjust. it is like going home again,” says a dear canuck friend. she’s interpreted my comments of surrealism. she is right. it is like coming home again. i’ve existed in places before but here in melbourne i truly lived. i lived freely, creatively and destructively. i lived personally, professionally and extracurricularly. for in melbourne i survived the rejection of my greatest love, learned how to build a community with social blocks, and set fire to any last burning convention that cluttered my mind. i found my words. i played with my dreams. i fell in love with the most unlikely person … ME.
but for all the love melbourne gave me and for all that i gave her there came a time when i had to bid adieu and wander due north. to revert my steps from down under back to up over. and in the 36 months since i’ve found a new settlement to call home. this time the very ground in which i grew up in. and where i will continue to grow.
what brought you back to australia?
many presumed it was for work; however, they were misguided for the decision to return to the lucky country was not for professional prospects or lingering love — it was to embrace the people who once made my heart sing before they became a distant memory.
there is bliss here for me to nurture: i have an australian family that i have adopted as my own; i have a lost love that i had to prove i had truly let go of; i have friends that criticize and celebrate me with class and grace who i needed to shout another round with; i have an open heart that is starstruck for the southern cross.
i cannot deny that i came back to australia to flirt with my mistress melbourne. my romance with her will be a lifetime affair. though do not fret dear reader, five weeks is not enough time to break my heart … it is merely enough time to fall in love again.
so yes, a person changes the moment she leaves a place. but she also evolves the moment she returns to it. for she will always travel to the places where the people make her heart sing.