Had I made the right decision to move to the other side of the world? Would the distance between my family and friends be too difficult to bear? Could I adapt and possibly even embrace the climate change? Was I a big city gal at heart? Was my relationship enough of a driving force to overlook the sacrifices I made to make it happen?
One thing I knew for sure was that two months back in my beloved Canada would very likely provide me with a fresh perspective - either way.
Initially as I took in the spectacular landscapes of B.C. and later Muskoka, followed by the Rideau Lakes in Ontario, I felt my heart fill with the beauty of these parts of Canada that are an intrinsic part of my history and being. As I drank it all in, I wondered if Australia could ever come close to feeding this need in me. The mountains, the water, the glory of the changing seasons, the colours, the smell of pine needles crunching underfoot. Let's face it, we are talking about two vastly different countries. As I pondered these differences, I began to wonder if the need to surround myself with the Canadian landscape was indeed something I could not live without.
But then something started to happen. As the days and weeks passed, the intensity of the beauty began to soften. It hovered gently day after day. I still felt comforted by it - fed by it, but another feeling started to take over. I started to miss my new life. I missed my modest little house and the sounds of the tropics and the smell of the ocean. But mostly I missed him. And it did not matter where I lived. It mattered where "we" lived. And despite all the opinions to the contrary, this is what matters most. To me anyway.
I read an inspiring bit of wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert yesterday where she talked about living your own dream, not someone else's dream. It was timely and spot on. I keenly observed the lives of my friends and family while back in Canada and concluded their lives are their dreams, not mine. Then, as if to cement it for me just a wee bit more, when I arrived back here in Oz, within the first 48 hours, I sipped a latte at the beach while an eagle circled over the shoreline and the balmy breezes filled my lungs and banished all travel anxiety. My garden had grown at a crazy rate, like greenery on steroids. Everywhere the Jacarandas were blooming. I stripped out of my city clothes and donned one of my hippie dresses, stripped that off a short time later and skinny dipped in our pool, ate a mango, drank a cold beer with a wedge of lime, said g'day to two kangaroos that were over my back fence, put some food out for the parrots and slept to the thunderous sound of a tropical rain on the steel roof.
And as wonderful as all that was, and believe me, it was, it was all just window dressing compared to the greeting I received at the airport. As much as I abhor cliches, home really is where the heart is and for me, that trumps everything. We could be anywhere in the world. But this little corner of Queensland will do for now. And bloody hell! I just looked up from this computer as a kookaburra landed on our Hill's hoist. He apologized for taking so long to stop by and welcome me home. I told him "no worries mate", I had already had the most amazing greeting...
...the one that mattered most.