Saturday, June 02, 2007

Missing home and Happy Birthday Dad

I miss beaches ...

I miss rivers and lakes and mountains and tonight I remember them so well that it hurts.

New Zealand is stunning.
It's almost 3 years since I was home and yet I still remember certain views, and then there's the smell of the air when I finally get off the plane that has taken me home.

My dad turned 71 today.
Happy Birthday Dad! Wish I was there ... sitting in the kitchen with you and Margaret, maybe having fresh eggs with you for breakfast, and tea ... always tea.

I can't phone him now, a throat full of tears don't make for happy birthday wishing I think.

And my beloved Auntie Coral, sister to my mum ...she's in her 70s too now.
They are the risks that I take even though we can lose anyone or be lost anytime.

I felt the compulsion to phone both of brothers recently ... thinking anyone can disappear forever and it's been such a long time since I saw anyone.

I have rested a little, loving how it feels to have my daughter and granddaughter living here ... revelling in having family around me again but one day I'll go home and I'll take all the photographs I never knew I needed to take.

Perhaps that's the reward for this long time away ... I'll see my country through new eyes and I'll know what I want to bring back with me this time.

And if anyone knows how to bottle the smell of a landscape, then please write to me ... I'm eager to know.

9 comments:

Neal said...

I'll say 'hi' to NZ for you when I pass through at the end of the year.

Shashikiran Mullur said...

Lovely last line. Touching. Boldly told.

Manic said...

Aww, I can imagine how hard it is for you at this point. Just suck up those tears and call your dad, you have so much to tell him. You'll probably talk for hours on end.
Bottling air isn't easy, you need to do a lot of running because air, well it's not easy to catch. So you take the bottle, unscrew the lid and then run like a fool around the airport yelling GET IN HERE. Tell me when you are planning this, I would love to 'smell' your victory :P

With love from your pseudo-New Zealander Manic

womanwandering said...

Thanks Neal ... I guess I shouldn't complain since you're in the land of ice and snow as I write this.

And Shashikiran, the man who writes so beautifully well that it's extra nice to read your comment on my writing here :)

I'll talk to dad today Manic, homesick last night ... it comes and it goes.

Your advice on bottling the air had me smiling as I imagined it. Dank u wel to the pseudo New Zealander.

ML said...

Oh I don;t blame you.. I loved being in NZ and I get homesick for it every time the name comes up. YOu showed me the most wonderful place! I loved it, and your dad too..as well as everything about it!! NO wonder you are homesick! Say hello to him for me and happy birthday when you talk to him finally.

Peter said...

You know Di, I didn't quite realize how much you missed home in NZ...

Guess most of us know how it feels to miss people we care for, especially if they're located at the other side of the planet on these special days that are so precious.

I'm sure that your daughter/granddaughter in Antwerp can partially fill the void.

But somehow I tended to focus on your "Alpha female" side, the bold New Zealander who traveled the world like it were your back yard.

Anyway, one day you will return, along with your Belgian :-)

womanwandering said...

We had fun, didn't we ML, and we're looking forward to wandering Europe with you and Al again in September. I passed your Happy Birthday wish on to my Dad - he sounds good and had had a nice day.

Oh Peter, you must see New Zealand then you'll know what I miss. I've talked to Belgians who have been there and the common thread is their surprise over what friendly folk New Zealanders are and then there's the Nature.

Sometimes it's just tough not getting home to catch up with family and old friends, specially on birthdays and at Christmas. 3 years is too long but mostly I'm okay and home is simply where I am at the time.

Alpha female ... lol, really?

christina said...

Oh, this made me get all choked up because I SO understand what you mean. When my husband says "aren't you going to call your parents?" I sometimes just have to say "Yes, but not now. I can't". He doesn't get that at all.

womanwandering said...

It's like that though, isn't it. You don't want to waste the call with tears when you know you can do something so much more upbeat later ...

Good luck with your inner ears too ... sounds horrid.