I really love living in Australia. This is probably pretty obvious, and there are many reasons.
But my god, am I ever far from home. Far from family, which is essentially what home is, isn’t it? Far from Mom and Dad, from sisters and cousins and people who aren’t actually family but love me as if they were.
I really feel the distance sometimes.
North Carolina holds a lot of memories for me; a lot of history and heritage. But North Carolina may not ever be home again. The U.S. will be, though. What’s important to me, my one and only reason for moving back at some point in time, is the unbelievable collection of people I’m blessed enough to call my clan.
Four years ago I was packing up a two-bedroom apartment in Charlotte, preparing for the biggest move and scariest unknowns of my life. The move happened, life happened around it (some good, some bad). Through all the devastating downs, I wouldn’t trade these experiences for the world. It is a different kind of living.
But four years is a lot of missed birthdays.
I’ve missed high school and college graduations of my sisters, missed countless weddings of dear friends. I’ve missed Christmases, Thanksgivings, and FaceTimed into the 60th birthdays of my parents.
You don’t fly from Aus to the U.S. for less than a week, at the very least. Even the biggest occasions are nearly impossible to be present for, and that’s with plenty of notice. I live on a giant paradise of an island, but once you’re here, you’re here. Since 2012, I’ve been home twice.
Four years later, the risks have paid off and the move is what you could call a successful one. I love this life, and Brisbane is a place that I am happy to be for the next little while. The pull to be close to my blood kin never leaves, though.
Earlier this year I witnessed the annual mass sea turtle hatching that occurs in Queensland. The baby turtles hatch, some 80 at a time, and make their way to the sea where they will face all number of dangers. Despite a 90% successful hatch rate, only one in one hundred will survive to adulthood.
As we watched the tiny hatchlings make their way into the sea, the ranger told us that when they reach maturity, the females will return to the place of their birth to lay eggs. This will take some twenty years, but through the footprint of the earth’s magnetic field impressed on them as hatchlings, they will navigate open waters to return home to lay their young.
These turtles will quite literally travel the globe, some traversing around South America, yet even these magical lumbering sea creatures will slowly make their way back to their place of origin, with only a memory as a guide.
I suppose it’s no wonder then, that no matter how wonderful things are here, the craving for family never disappears.
The pull of the familiar is strong, and the bonds of family and sisterhood are stronger.
Nothin’ is as it has been
And I miss your face like hell
And I guess it’s just as well
But I miss your face like hell
Rivers and roads
Rivers and roads
Rivers ’til I reach you