Wednesday, October 21, 2015

There's no Place like Home, There's no Place like Home

My new flag?

I have always been a morning person but since I moved to Australia, I am even more of an early riser. It is no doubt a combination of the hot weather and the kookaburras that start their laughing around 4:15 am and the fact that the sun goes down earlier than it does in Canada in the summer. In the peak of summer here, we start tennis at 6 am and by 8 am you are feeling the sun's bite and drenched in sweat. There is no other option than to play early. If you want to do any gardening, it has to be done at the crack of dawn as well. 

After two years I am sort of into a rhythm. I rarely stay up past 10 pm. If I have had a really physically active day, I am under the covers (or laying on top of them) by 9 pm. It won't be long before I have become my parents who are in bed by 7 and up at 4 (kid you not). Maybe it has something to do with aging. Frankly, in their case, I think it is just plain crazy. But, to each his own. I have never been a fan of getting up before the sun is at least threatening to appear.

I am telling you all these riveting facts as a lead in to what I really want to say today, which is how much I am going to miss my new home over the next 6-7 weeks. I am going to miss my avian wake-up call and observing the play of light on the palm fronds out my patio window and the grazing kangaroos up at the soccer field at the end of my street. After the many challenges that changing countries has presented to me, it occurred to me this morning that I finally feel settled here in the land down under and in this quirky small town I now call home. 

However, even though this is my new home, I still call Canada my real home. I have been telling people all week that I will be gone for a few weeks. The mother/daughter team at the local Organic Patch grocery shop, my tennis ladies, my hairdresser, my neighbours, the stall holders at the weekly markets and anyone else who has gotten used to seeing me regularly. I don't want anyone to think I have disappeared and that I will be back. 

For the next few weeks, I will be deer-spotting and quail watching in B.C. and playing the role of Great Aunt Deb. After that, I will be looking out for elks and big horn sheep near Calgary and Banff with my dear friend Patti before heading east to Ontario where with any luck I will spot some brilliant red cardinals and blue jays and some pesky raccoons. The days will be shorter and colder but my heart will be warmed with many hugs and time spent with my family and cherished friends. I might even get a glimpse of that cute new PM of ours when I spend a few days in Ottawa with my girl. I wonder if there will be Trudeau groupies hanging out on Parliament Hill? Am I too old to join them? 

I have two homes now. 

It is possible to love two places at the same time.

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