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Wandering star

IMG_0920I must have been born under a wandering star, for I’ve spent my entire life moving. From country to country, from city to city, from suburb to suburb. The thing I’ve learnt along the way is that any move, no matter how big or small compared to other moves, is a big change.

Each move is stressful. Every, single one.

We are once again on the move and this time, we are leaving our sanctuary at Amaranth Cottage to ‘downsize’ into a smaller (easier to keep clean?) house in Half Moon Bay. Of course, I’m immensely grateful we managed to find a house we could rent that allowed pets and that the house is in a great location, but despite all of that gratitude I am still feeling discombobulated.

You see, I didn’t think that at this stage of my life I would be a) still renting and b) moving back into what is essentially a flat. I thought I would have the old family home at this stage and that the kids would bring their partners (and in time their kids) home to see us in our sprawling gently aging homestead. I’d greet them from the verandah and shoo them inside for a cup of hot coffee whilst various dogs and cats (and maybe a pony or two? It’s my dream after all!) would vie for their attention.

That’s the problem with dreams; you wake up. And when you do you find yourself in a quickly renovated 1970s wonder that recently sold for $1.2 million dollars. Oh, and you’re renting. Still. Gone are the views and the caw of the seagulls as they fossick for leftover sandwiches on the beach. Gone is the cottage garden that played host to native frogs and a variety of bird life (and a fair few mozzies, mind). Gone is the quiet. The sense of refuge. Of space where we could work things out and heal, just a little.

I suppose that’s why we’re moving again – are we healed?

Of course, it’s not been a dream. We’ve politely ignored the old lady’s ugly bits – the mouldy bits on her ceilings, the colder than the outside temp, inside, the painful kitchen and the laundry in a cupboard. We’ve quietly ignored that she faces the wrong way for the sun – though the views are stunning. We’ve ignored her stinky sub-floor and her clapped-out plumbing, oh, and the pool that is a blue painted money-pit. We’ve had some great times here and so we’ve managed to just forget those inconvenient truths. We let our minds swish past them, and think on Bailey’s last days cooling herself down in the pond,  the Englishman’s gentle quest to save every last tadpole from chlorine annihilation and the Christmases spent swimming in our backyard at Little Bucklands Beach. The kids will no doubt remember fondly the sleepovers with their friends and filming school projects and quick trips to the local fish n chip shop for dinner.

But it’s time to go. Saying goodbye isn’t easy. When is it ever? Both of the older kids have left home for their own lives and we are left with a half empty nest. I keep expecting to see Bailey curled up in a corner, or to have to yell downstairs  to ‘turn the music down and go to sleep’. But the house is quiet, now. Too quiet.

So, this week we pack up our memories into boxes and once again we shift; both literally and figuratively. We struggle to reimagine our belongings in a smaller space and to have the courage to say goodbye to things that no longer serve us. I’ve been reading up on decluttering and though I won’t be thanking my shoes for their service to my feet, a la Marie Kondo, I am attempting to let the old dream go.

There will never be an  ‘old homestead’. It’s an impossibility in this time when the majority of us can no longer afford to own our own home. Failing a massive stroke of luck, I can’t see it will ever happen.  I will no longer be able to nip outside and shoot an impressive sunset or sunrise, instead I will have to walk the dog to go and find one. Which will be good for me, after all.

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The dream is gone. And as I pack boxes and organise movers and stress over what should come and what should be thrown away, I grieve its passing but quietly say thank you for the peace of this house and the time we’ve had here. It’s been a blessing, living here in  Amaranth Cottage. Amaranth is a symbol of steadfastness and that’s the kind of grace we’ve been given here. It’s sunset now, the day is done. But there will be a new day, and new memories made.

And for that, and the memories of time here, I am so very grateful.


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'Wandering star' has 15 comments

  1. May 8, 2016 @ 11:20 pm Suzanne

    A very poignant and insightful piece of prose . Change is always difficult unless you are Buddhist . Best of luck x

    Reply

    • May 9, 2016 @ 12:27 am Vix

      Thanks! Yes I’m not a very good Buddhist. Just a stumbling, fumbling Christian. x

      Reply

  2. May 9, 2016 @ 2:02 am Sarah

    All the best on the move and I hope you find some beautiful local walks xx

    Reply

    • May 9, 2016 @ 9:59 am Vix

      Thank you Sarah, I hope so too. The Marina will be just down the road and it’s always beautiful walking around there and of course, I can always walk over the boardwalk to Bucklands Beach, for old time’s sake. x

      Reply

  3. May 9, 2016 @ 4:07 am Bronnie - Maid In Australia

    Oh I feel your pain. Moving is the worst. I hope your new place soon feels like home. And you find somewhere nearby for gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.

    Reply

    • May 9, 2016 @ 10:00 am Vix

      Thank you Bronnie! I know you know. Let’s hope that this year leads us both into the sunset on the way to somewhere wonderful. x

      Reply

  4. May 9, 2016 @ 5:48 am Midlife Singlemum

    Wow, are you inside my head? I’m still optimistic – still reforming some of those dreams so that they fit the reality. I think it’s called cognitive dissonance which sounds uncomfortable but allows the dreams to evolve. My recent experience with this saying goddbye to one dream was when I finally saw a way I could do a Ph.D. and then realized that it’s too late. That it’s not worth the effort at this age and I’d be better off using all that study time to work for money or write books that will sell, or something. Good luck with your move. It will give you more time and finances and space in which to create a new dream. xxxx

    Reply

    • May 9, 2016 @ 10:01 am Vix

      Beautifully put, thank you Rachel. I’m sorry to hear about your PhD but quietly hopeful you will write. I’m looking for authors to represent for my new publishing business, and I would be honoured to represent you. Vx

      Reply

  5. May 9, 2016 @ 6:08 am Martin Koss

    Emotion time for you all. Thank you for sharing it. And realising a dream is all but gone….. Phew. Did I see (or just imagine) a little tear in your eye as you typed the last few words?

    Reply

    • May 9, 2016 @ 10:02 am Vix

      You did, dear friend. But tears are like rain – they make the (metaphorical) flowers grow. (Apologies to Les Miserables).

      Reply

  6. May 9, 2016 @ 6:56 am Trish

    I sometimes forget how very beautifully you write. Wishing you happy times in your new home.

    Reply

    • May 9, 2016 @ 10:03 am Vix

      Oh what a beautiful comment, thank you so much, Trish. At least, as someone above has pointed out, a new place will afford me more time to concentrate on writing. Bring it on. x

      Reply

  7. May 9, 2016 @ 1:02 pm Di

    I have been following you for a long time, Vix. Your adventures have stuck with me and I hope that you continue to write about them. Good luck with the move. xx

    Reply

    • May 9, 2016 @ 7:28 pm Vix

      Thank you so much Di. Just in the final stages of getting that book out. You know, the one I’ve been writing for ages and did some work on at NaNoWrMo last year!

      Reply


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